You can almost always pre-write large chunks of what New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese will say at his NFL Scouting Combine and pre-NFL Draft press conferences. Thursday was no exception as Reese was in fine cliche form during his press conference in Indianapolis.
Among the cliches:
"We're gonna try to go with the best player available."
"We're gonna try to get good players."
"We'll keep all our options open."
You can write these every year because Reese uses them every time.
Let's see what we can take away from Reese's remarks, other than his phenomenal ability to recycle the same cliches year after year.
The Giants have nearly $60 million to spend right now under the anticipated salary cap. So, who would Reese like to spend it on?
"Whoever makes it to the market makes it to the market," Reese said. "We have a little bit of money to spend this time and we'll try to spend it wisely on the players that make it to the market.
"We'll try our best to get some of the best players available."
Pressed on whether the Giants would pursue big-name players in free agency, Reese deferred:
"We're pretty healthy with our cap situation right now," he said. "We're gonna have to wait and see who's gonna hit the market. ... Hopefully, we will be able to land some guys."
Reese called Pierre-Paul's Fourth of July fireworks mishap "the biggest blow" the Giants took before the 2015 season began.
Will Pierre-Paul be back?
"We know him better I think than anybody else would know him," Reese said. "We're hopeful this procedure he had after the season helps him with respect to the hand injury that he has.
"After you look at that injury ... I think it's a miracle that he was able to walk out there and play for eight games for us.It was really unbelievable after you really see what happened to his hand."
A day after head coach Ben McAdoo said he "absolutely" wanted Victor Cruz back, Reese wouldn't go into a discussion about the wide receiver, saying only "we'll see where the process goes."
"I'm not gonna talk about contract. Victor's under contract," Reese said. "Victor's working hard to get healthy ... he's headed in the right direction."
The state of the roster
"We need good players. That's what we need the most," Reese said. "We need good players, and we'll try to look for good players at every level -- offense, defense, and special teams. That's what we'll do. ... We need help all over the roster."
Reese believes the Giants can contend in 2016
"You can get well pretty quickly in the National Football League," Reese said. "You can get players in free agency, you can get players in the draft, you can get players in trades ... We have work to do obviously, but I think we're close enough to believe that we can compete for the NFC East."
Reese was asked about seeking help on the offensive line and said "we may have the starter on the team right now" that we need. That has to be a reference to the much-discussed 2015 seventh-round pick, Bobby Hart.
"We'll look for a good player in free agency on the offensive line, we'll look for good players on the offensive line in the draft. Every position," Reese said.
Reese indicated that 2015 first-round pick Ereck Flowers is going to remain at left tackle.
"We think Ereck Flowers is a left tackle," Reese said. "We think he's gonna be our left tackle moving forward. He was up and down a little bit during the season. He really looked good at times, and he looked like a rookie at times."
Reese said that Justin Pugh, who moved from right tackle to left guard last season is "kind of flexible for us," and that the Giants would "put him in the best place available for us to be successful."
That, of course, opens the possibility of Pugh moving back to right tackle.