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5 things we learned at Media Hour


* highlights five takeaways from the team's bye week interviews: *


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> Watch bye week interviews

When the league announced the schedule in April, many people had the Giants, who were coming off an 11-5 season under a rookie head coach, pegged for a record closer to 6-1 than 1-6 at their bye week. As it turns out, they are the latter. Even going back to his days as offensive coordinator, coach Ben McAdoo – whom general manager Jerry Reese today called the smartest man in the room -- warned it is a loser's mindset to think you can pick up where you left off the previous season. The Giants right now are learning that lesson the hard way.  

"It's almost like we came out of the gate, there was a lot of chatter about how good the team looked and how good it looked on paper and we also talked about the Super Bowl and just things like that," Reese said Tuesday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center as players left for the bye week. "But, in this business, the 11 games we won last year – that's over with. You have to start over every time and you have to earn wins and you have to do it the right way.

"You have to put in the preparation and you can't walk out there and think people are going to just lay down for you because people are saying good things about you. You have to earn wins in this league and I think we bought into some of the hype of this is a good looking football team."


The Giants thrived on closing out victories in 2016, finishing with an 8-3 record in the 11 games decided by seven or fewer points. This year, they are 0-3 in such games and have been outscored by 24 points in the fourth quarter for the entire season.  

"This time, we let some games go that we could have closed out," Reese said. "Offense could have closed a game or two out late in the game when we've been ahead. So, you have to do the little things. We've beat ourselves, not taking anything from anyone that beat us, but a lot of things are self-inflicted that happened to us and we have to clean those things up. It's pro football. You have to do the little things right and it starts with preparation. You have to prepare during the week. You don't win the game on Sunday. You win the game during the week when you practice."


From general manager down through backup left guard, the Giants are aware of the scrutiny the offensive line has been under. But every position has a hand in the teams' 1-6 start. After all, this is a team that made the playoffs last season and had a top-10 offense the year before that. This season, however, the team is 27th in yards and 30th in scoring.

"That's not where we want to be obviously, but this is where we are," Reese said of the team's record. "This roster – it's my roster. I'm responsible for everybody on the roster and I'll take ownership to where we are right now with this 1-6 start. I do believe that we still have good players on this roster. I do believe that. I do believe we have to play better, though."

On the offensive line, Reese added: "I think our offensive line is comparable. Do we want to upgrade our offensive line? Of course we do, but is our offensive line comparable to a lot of teams around the National Football League? Absolutely, it is.

"Whatever we have to do to manufacture wins, you have to do it and we felt like we had some young players in our offensive line that had a lot of snaps together. They flashed some good play at times, but obviously if you're not winning, a lot of things get pointed at. People like to point at the offensive line. It's totally not all on the offensive line. We win as a team. We lose as a team. It's a whole team effort that's caused us to be where we are right now."


At some point, Eli Manning will not be the starting quarterback of the New York Giants. The same can be said for every player at every position for every team. The question is just a matter of when that becomes the case. The answer on Manning is not now – even in the middle of a disappointing season.

"At some point, but when is that some point?" Reese said. "It's not right now because we're going to fight with everything we have with these nine games left and hopefully we can turn our season around."

Shortly before Reese's press conference, Manning spoke in the locker room and said he can still play at a high level and get the offense going.

"Everybody knows the record, so I got to play better," Manning said. "I'm going to keep fighting, keep finding ways to get completions and see if we can move the ball and score some more points."

But does it bother him when he hears talk that the Giants should think about the future?

His response: "Hey, you know, I got to play better. So, I'm going to worry about my job – going out there and playing at a high level."


Even before the Giants lost four wide receivers to injuries in one game, Evan Engram was on his way to becoming the most productive tight end of the 2017 NFL draft class. Now that he's been the most targeted Giant in the last two games, he is leading or stands near the top in all receiving categories for rookies, regardless of position. While one of the Giants' injured wide receivers, Sterling Shepard, is expected to return after the bye week, Engram will still be a focal point in the offense. 

"I'm not really complacent," Engram said. "I never get complacent, so definitely I'm always aiming for more. I'm always aiming for improvement. So I definitely, I'm definitely getting some confidence in making plays and being confident on the field, but definitely some things I can be better at and things I'm going to improve on."

At this rate, Engram could be up for some awards at the end of the season. But he won't pay attention to his stats until then.

"I mean, I get tagged in some tweets here and there," Engram said. "But I don't really – I just kind of keep my head down, keep putting the work in and then we'll see what the numbers say at the end of the year."

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