You could forgive New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese if he feels a bit like a piñata these days. During the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine members of the national media have sharpened their daggers, pointed them at Reese and let fly.
First, NFL Network analyst Heath Evans went off, saying the Giants had "by far" the league's worst roster. Then, Will Brinson of CBS Sports chimed in with "this is a pretty terrible roster. The Giants just aren't very good." Now, in his Monday Morning Quarterback column, Peter King has shredded Reese's "we could have been 10-6" diatribe. Here is what King wrote:
I think I've had enough of the if-we-could-just-close-out-games-we'd-have-been-a-playoff-team palaver from Giants GM Jerry Reese. At the combine he said, "If we close out a couple of games, you know, we can be 10-6. We lost a lot of games close. We had the lead late in the fourth quarter in a few games ... A few plays here or there and we could be 10-6 instead of 6-10." Two points. The Giants closed the season 2-7, allowing 30.7 points per game in those nine games. That's not a good team. That's not close to being a good team. And the game is 60 minutes long. It's cute and interesting (the first 74 times) to hear the Giants would have been the '85 Bears if the games were only 57 minutes long, or whatever, in 2015. They don't give shiny trophies for 57 minutes of football. A long time ago, I covered the Giants, and I asked Bill Parcells, then the coach, some question having to do with progress his team was making, and he asked me to see the Giants media guide. I handed him one, and he turned to the year-by-year won-lost records. "Look," he said, pointing to some past season. "L, W, W, W, L, L, L ... Do you see anywhere in there what actually happened in the game? No. It doesn't matter. All that matters is the W or the L. Nobody years from now is going to look at our record and say, ‘Well, the quarterback was hurt for this game, or you missed whoever for another game.' Did you win or lose? That's it."
Look, King is 100 percent right. The Giants were 6-10. They were 19-29 the past three seasons with a man I consider to be a Hall of Fame coach and a borderline Hall of Fame quarterback. Neither of those two men are blameless, and it's pointless to revisit the whole "Reese vs. Tom Coughlin" debate. Point is, it's a travesty that the Giants have been that bad with two men of that caliber as their cornerstones.
Another quote Parcells is famous for is "You are what your record says you are."
What the record says is the Giants haven't been very good. By their standards, they haven't been very good for a very long time. Make excuses, spin how one play here and there would have changed the outcome of certain games. None of that matters, and there is no real benefit in arguing about it.
All that matters is going forward and finding out whether or not Reese can bring in players who can help the Giants fix this unfortunate mess. Getting players good enough to win games is the only way to change the narrative.