GM Jerry Reese talks offseason changes

Posted Feb 23, 2013

General Manager Jerry Reese talks offseason changes at the NFL combine

Q: On the offseason changes with respect to the salary cap:
A: Well you always need more cap room. Right now, we’re in pretty good position, probably (would) like to be in a better position, but we’re okay.

Q: Update on the contract negotiations with Victor Cruz:
A: There’s really nothing to report right now with respect to that. All of our contracts, it’s really nothing to share with the media. I don’t have a lot of comments about where we are with contracts.

Q: On his role in developing the new aptitude test for the NFL Combine:
A: I didn’t have a big role with respect to that. They called several general managers and asked what we are looking for with respect to testing, psychological inventories, learning ability (and) things like that.

Q: On what types of changes he suggested in the testing:
A: I don’t want to share that with the media. That’s private information. What we look for, I don’t want to share that.

Q: On his assessment of the cornerbacks at this year’s NFL Combine:
A: There are good corners. Every position, there’s a lot of good players out there. There’s good corners and there’s good players at every position as far as I see.

Q: On if this year’s cornerbacks are better or worse than past draft classes:
A: I don’t think so. There’s always good players in the draft and you have to see who fits your system.

Q: On reports the Giants have prioritized Hakeem Nicks over Victor Cruz:
A: No, that’s not correct. They’re both good players and we like them both. I don’t think we like one more than the other. I think they’re both really good football players.

Q: On whether Osi Umenyiora's career with the Giants is over:
A: No, we keep all of our options open.

Q: On the possibility of signing free agent Dwight Freeney, who expressed interest in the Giants:
A: We investigate everything.

Q: On the lack of minority coaches being hired this offseason:
A: Well, it’s a little disappointing, but I think there were some good candidates who had some opportunities and it just didn’t work out this time. When you’re 0 for 15, it is what it is.

Q: On Terrell Thomas returning with the Giants and if his offseason plans will change after the past injury:
A: I’m not a doctor; it’s hard to say. He thought he was ready to go (last year). Doctors thought he was ready to go. He was still on a pitch-count during training camp so it’s kind of freakish what happened to him. Hopefully this time we’ll take more precautions. He knows his body better than anybody. Hopefully this time he’ll be able to stay healthy and be able to contribute.

Q: On if David Wilson is now the number one running back on the depth chart:
A: Well, it’s competition. That’s what we try to do at the Giants. We try to create competition. There will be competition at the running back spot just like all the other positions. He (David Wilson), along with Andre Brown and Da’Rel Scott, those three guys right now. Obviously we’ll continue to look for runners to make the fourth or fifth guy.

Q: On the 2012 rookie class and the possibility of an increase in their role:
A: I hope so. When you pick 32nd in the draft, you’re picking down low, so a lot of the guys you’re getting are developmental-type players. It’s a privilege to do that and some of the guys you pick are developmental and we picked a tight end (Adrien Robinson) who we think will be a good player for us. We picked a couple offensive linemen who we think we can develop. Hopefully those guys will come along and develop for us and contribute this time.

Q: On what TE Adrien Robinson needs to do to become a key player for the Giants:
A: He flashed a lot of good things at practice. I just think he needs to get out there and play. I think it’s the number one thing you need to do with players – put them out there and let them play. Hopefully he’ll be able to get out there and play. That’s what’s most important for me – to get him out there.

Q: On if Chris Snee, David Baas and Hakeem Nicks will return before training camp:
A: I think they’ll be ready, yeah.

Q: On the possibility of the younger offensive linemen getting the chance to play this coming season:
A: We hope so. We try to develop players. We draft guys and what to develop them. We hope those young guys will come along and make a jump, but obviously we’ll look at free agency and look in this draft as well to try and fill up some positions there.

Q: On the similarities between BYU Defensive End Ziggy Ansah and Jason Pierre-Paul:
A: I hate to compare players, but he is a long, tall, big athlete. Probably a little bit raw, but you want to coach those kinds of guys. (There’s) probably some similarities there.

Q: On the difficulty of managing the roster under the flat-salary cap:
A: It’s pretty tough. You have what we think are good players and the cap stays flat. Dollars really don’t make sense. You have to make some moves and sometimes you have to make some tough decisions.

Q: On if the salary cap is going to force teams to make decisions on higher-priced veterans that are underperforming:
A: Everybody is different, you just try to keep as many good players as you can on your roster and keep your nucleus intact. I can't speak for anybody else. Obviously, when your salary cap has been pretty flat for three or four years in a row, it’s tough to keep a high number of high salaries.

Q: On where OT Will Beatty ranks in the Giants' offseason priorities:
A: We’ve had some conversations with Will, but again, with respect to contracts, there’s really nothing to report.

Q: On the use of analytics in football and its application for the Giants front office:
A: You always try and get an edge, but I think for the New York Giants, old-fashioned scouting is what we hang our hat on. We try to put the numbers in and see what the numbers say, but we put our eyes on players and see what our eyes say. I think we depend on that more than anything else, but we don’t put our head in the sand and ignore what the numbers say as well. We try to put it all together and come to a consensus on what we think players are and we depend on our scouts. Again, the scouts are really the unsung heroes of what we try to do in the National Football League. They go out 185-200 days a year and look for these players. We count on our scouts. They do the work. They go see them – they see them practice, they see them play in games, they talk to their coaches. We hang our hat on our scouts and what our eyes see.

Q: On the possibility of pushing back the offseason league-wide and his opinion on it:
A: Everybody is in the same boat. Whatever the league thinks is best, I’m in. Count me in.

Q: On John Mara’s statements that the Giants will likely not use the franchise tag this season:
A: We keep all of our options open. John and Steve Tisch, they own the team so they can say whatever they want, but I like to say that we like to keep all of our options open with respect to that.

Q: On Justin Tuck’s play this past season and helping him get back to his old ways:
A: Justin obviously hasn’t played as well as we think he can play and the kind of player he has shown to be in the past. He knows that. Justin and I have recently had a really long conversation and talked about some of those things. He really wants to get back to the old Justin Tuck and be the player that we know him to be. Hopefully he can get healthy and have a good offseason and get back to his old form.

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