General Manager, Senior Vice President Jerry Reese
* * Good afternoon. Well, obviously it did not end like we wanted it to last night, but we had some good things happen this season and we have some things that we can build on and grow from. Ben McAdoo has done a really nice job for us as a first year head coach, how he handled himself, and how he handled the team. I think probably for the head coaches, for the most part, you don't realize how much extra you have to do beyond coaching, so he has learned a lot, done a nice job and I think we have a good foundation to build on.
The defense did some nice things this year. The offense didn't do as much as we expected it to do, and the special teams were up and down, so we have a lot of things that we need to work on during this offseason, and we started today doing that. We had a lot of conversations with players on exit interviews and we will move forward and build around this foundation that we have and we think that we can get where we want to go. Are there any questions?
Q: Where do you think that the offense fell short this year?
A: I think it is a little bit of a mystery about that. I thought that the offense would definitely come in and be able to score more points than we did. I thought that we had some yards, but we settled for three points too many times. In this league, when you get in the red zone and green zone, you have to score touchdowns and put teams away. Last night, if we go up 14-0 we are in pretty good position right there, and we didn't get a chance to do that, and all they had to do was make a play and they were back in the game, so that hurt us.
Q: Do you think Eli had a down year?
A: I wouldn't say it was a down year. I just think that offensively as a whole it didn't function as a unit like we thought it would. So we have some things that we need to evaluate and we will do that. We will be honest about it and evaluate it and see which direction we need to go to get it fixed.
Q: How do you think he did this year, speaking of Eli? How do you think his year went in general?
A: I think Eli as a professional, did everything that we asked him to do. Last night he was in a good rhythm and was throwing the ball well, and there were some drops that came into play and it kind of set the tone for things that happened last night. But overall, I thought that Eli played well.
Q: As a general manager, how does it make you feel to go into the offseason spending a lot of money on free agents who turned into Pro Bowlers and All-Pros?
A: Well, the guys that we brought in did a nice job, but it wasn't just them. It was guys that we have had on the team, guys that we have drafted, and it was a combination of a lot of things. It was all about the team here for us, but the guys that we brought in as free agents did a nice job for us.
Q: Based on what you know on the roster, are you that far away from filling in the pieces that you wanted to fill in last year, but didn't get a chance to?
A: Obviously you can't do everything in one year, or one draft, or one free agency period. We have things that we can build on. We want to continue to build on every position and upgrade where we can, and build as strong a football team as we can, moving forward.
Q: Eli talked about not having many players with playoff experience. Looking back, is that something that you maybe could have tried to add more of?
A: Yeah, well when you are in free agency – obviously draft picks don't have any playoff experience, but when you go out and get free agents you try to get guys who are good players, regardless if they have been in the playoffs or not. It would be nice to have a young veteran that can come in and have playoff experience and be able to lead you that way, but that wasn't the opportunity for us this past offseason.
But, you can see early in the game that when you are in a playoff game, you have to respond. If you have a chance to make plays early in the game, you can't let that go. You have to put teams away if you have a chance. We had them on the ropes early and we just didn't finish the job. Give them credit, they did a nice job of hanging in there and got the one play that they needed, and then got another play that they needed, and that is how it happens sometimes.
Q: What is your evaluation of Ereck Flowers?
A: Ereck has played basically every snap since he has been here. He is an early-out junior, still a young player, but it is time for him to show us the fruits of being a first round draft pick, and I still think he has a chance to do that. We will evaluate that. Is he the left tackle? Should he be in a different position? We will evaluate that. But I do think that he is a big, strong kid who has a chance to be a really good player, so I still believe he has a chance to be a good player.
Q: Do you think that this team, with a couple moves in the next few months, can be a Super Bowl contending team?
A: We sure hope so. Again, I think we have a good foundation, and hopefully we can get some pieces in free agency and the draft to build around this foundation. We can upgrade at some places that we need to upgrade, and we can get back in the tournament and have some playoff experience, and see how hard it is when you get there. You have to make plays in the playoffs, you have to do things that you have to do to move on to the next round, and Green Bay did that last night and we didn't.
Q: Will you consider extending Odell this offseason?
A: We will keep all of our options open with respect to those things.
Q: What do you see when you watch Odell now on the field, and also in off the field situations?
A: This is what I see – I see a guy who needs to think about some of the things that he does. Everybody knows that he is a gifted player, but there are some things that he has done that he needs to look at himself in the mirror and be honest with himself about, and I think he will do that. We will help him with that, but he has to help himself, and we believe he will do that. He is a smart guy, but sometimes he doesn't do smart things.
Q: How do you help him with that though?
A: We all have had to grow up at different times in our lives, and I think it is time for him to do that. He has been here for three years now and is a little bit of a lightning rod because of what he does on the football field, but the things he does off the football field, he has to be responsible for those things and we will talk through it. I know he is a smart guy, and I believe he understands that he has a responsibility being one of the faces of this franchise, and I think he will accept that responsibility.
Q: What was your feeling about the trip to Miami, and the hole in the wall?
A: Yeah, I don't think that had anything to do with it. The trip to Miami - you can always point to that if you want to, and they came out and had really good practices, but had a bad game. So I don't think that had a lot of bearings on what happened in the game last night.
Q: And the hole in the wall?
A: We will address that when we get all the information, and we will definitely take full responsibility for it after we get all the information on what happened.
Q: What about holding (Odell) responsible?
A: Well, that is what I mean. If it comes down to him being responsible then we will definitely, one thousand percent hold him responsible for that.
Q: Did he hurt his hand at all? Punching the wall?
A: No, again, I am not going to say anything else about the wall. I just want to let you know that if he is responsible for it, we will hold him responsible for it.
Q: Is the team holding its own investigation?
Q: Did you talk to him today?
A: I did talk to him.
Q: How did you find him? He talked about near misses and not being able to connect. With you, did he take personal responsibility?
A: We are all in it together. There is not one person who lost the game last night, we all lost the game last night. That is how we do it here. We all lost the game. Green Bay was better than us last night and we all take responsibility for it. Not one person lost the game last night, we all did.
Q: Where does JPP stand in regards to your decision-making this offseason? He said he is not signing a one year deal.
A: Well, players should say that, and we are in the genesis of the offseason evaluation and we keep all of our options open, and we will try to do what is best for everybody involved in the situation.
Q: Do you want him back?
A: Do we want him back? Of course we want him back. He is a good football player.
Q: After putting together that defense and seeing what they were doing, would you like to have that complete unit back?
A: That would be great, but again, we will see what our options are. Again, the evalution starts and we will grade all of our players, we will see how everything fits. We will sit down with our personnel staff, and our coaching staff, and we will see how everything fits into the puzzle. But as many good players as you can have, you want them on your roster, and Jason is a good player.
Q: With Eli at age 36, do you feel there is a little more urgency to add a player or two around him?
A: Of course. Everybody has a job. Eli has a job to do and everyone around him has a job to do. 36, I don't think that is ancient for a quarterback. I think he is probably on the back nine, but I don't think that is ancient for a quarterback, and he is taking care of himself really well, and I thought he finished the season strong. I thought he was in a really good rhythm last night. We were protecting, running the ball a little bit, he was hitting guys, and we just had some untimely drops right there that hurt him.
Q: Do you regret not picking up a fullback?
A: I am not a coach. There are a lot of teams that use tight ends in different ways and not carry fullbacks. This offense doesn't really have a lot of plays, you would play five or six plays a game. The thought was, 'Why carry a fullback if he is only going to play five plays a game?', but we will look into that as we move forward and see if that is something that we need to have.
Q: Ben is an offensive guy, so did that really puzzle you why they couldn't figure out what was going on with the offense?
A: We will evaluate everything. We will evaluate the play calling, the players, everything that happened. It is all part of the evaluation process and we will be honest and look deep into that and see what was a problem. Why didn't we produce more points than we did? We will figure that out.
Q: Do you envision Victor Cruz seeing more days with the Giants?
A: That is all part of the process. Everybody is being evaluated. We will come to a conclusion after the process is over, and we will see where everything goes. We will keep all of our options open with respect to everybody on the roster right now.
Q: Where do you stand financially in your ability to make moves this offseason?
A: We don't have as much money as we had last year to go shopping in free agency. But I think that we will be able to do things that we need to get done to help this football team.
Q: Is re-signing JPP and Hankins realistic?
A: I think so.
Q: When did Josh Brown inform the team that he abused his wife?
A: I am not going to talk about Josh Brown, guys. I already told you guys that I am not going to talk about that, so I am not going to answer any questions about Josh Brown.
A: Not with you guys.
Q: There was a lot of talk about you being on the hot seat coming into this season. Do you feel like you have done enough to be off the hot seat?
A: Everything is a hot seat, man. It is New York. I tell free agents this, 'Guys look, if you can't take criticism, or not want to be on the hot seat, then don't come here, this is not the place for you.' That is the way it is here and we relish that here. Even when you win, you are on the hot seat because you are only as good as your last game in this business, and I am always on the hot seat. I am used to it.
Q: Have any teams have asked permission to interview your assistants or coordinators about jobs?
A: Not at this point.
Q: Was the special teams play last night bad enough that you could make some changes there?
A: I think that as a whole, special teams-wise, we had a bad night. It was a bad night for our punter. Our punter has really been one of the valuable players on our team. Their punter kept them in the game last night. He did what Wing had been doing for us – turning the field over and giving us good field position. Their punter did that for them last night. He kept them in the game, really, how he hit the ball last night, and Wing didn't have his best game and the coverages teams were not up to par like we want them to be, so it was a bad night to have your special teams not show up like we needed them to do.
Q: Any concerning injuries that might not be ready in time for when you start back up again?
A: I don't think so. Not right now. We haven't had a medical meeting today. It has been chaos today when you have these days right after the season and you have a lot of meetings going on. But we haven't had a medical meeting. We had all the physicals, but I haven't sat down with the doctors or Ronnie Barnes to see exactly what we are thinking of in respect to medical.
Q: The perception has been that you have a very good relationship with Odell and that you guys connect. Is there anything that you have told us today that you have not told Odell yet?
A: I try to have a good relationship with all the players and they can always come to my office. I have an open door policy about everything. You can come in, but if you come in my office, I am going to tell you the truth. When Odell comes into my office, I tell him the truth, and he heard the truth today and I think he is going to do the things that he needs to do to be accountable for some of the actions he has had.
Q: Do you guys have to go into this offseason thinking about drafting a quarterback?
A: We always think about every position. But Eli is 36, and we have started to think about who is the next quarterback, and who is in line, so we will look into that as we move into the offseason.
Head Coach Ben McAdoo Opening Statement: 11 wins, tough to get in this league. We didn't reach our goal that we talked about as a team, we're all disappointed. I feel that we built a solid foundation for the future and made progress towards our goal. We have a bad taste in our mouth right now but that's got to fuel us moving forward.
Q: When you look at the offensive personnel, how close do you feel you are to having enough to get you over the hump that you had this year?
A: We felt that we had the talent and the coaching in the scheme this year to have a better year than we had. We obviously fell short from an offensive prospective. We need to go back and take a look at the film, do the scheme evaluation, do the personnel evaluations and look at everything that's involved. I need to take a good look at everything and see where we can get better.
Q: How do you view the degree to which this was a success?
A: I think we made some progress. We didn't reach our goal and there's only one team that's happy at the end of the season and we're not going to be that team this year. We're going to have a bad taste in our mouths here for a little while and when we come back here in April, and hopefully before then, within the rules, we'll get better and have a chance to evaluate everything and use that for fuel for success for the future.
Q: When do you the offensive evaluation, is play calling something you're going to look at?
A: Everything, we need to look at everything.
Q: Why do you think the offensive never really clicked in 17 games?
A: You take a look at it, there are opportunities out there. We had opportunities to be successful. Some plans were better than others, some games...you just have to go back and take a look at it. It's hard to come in here and say. We were so focused on the ball game yesterday at this time to give you a straight answer. We need to go back and we need to study it, study the personnel, study the scheme, study how it fits together and what we can do to get better.
Q: When you look at your rookie class this season and guys like Eli Apple, Paul Perkins, Sterling Shepard, what does that say about your team to have rookies come in and contribute to team success immediately?
A: I think we added a strong class of rookies and free agents to the locker room this year. The young guys really worked hard at developing throughout the course of the season. At the end of the year we got a lot out of them and that's encouraging moving forward. At the same point in time, they need to take a big jump from year one to year two, there needs to be a big jump there. We can't have any sophomore slumps.
Q: Did you address the team today, and if so, what was your message to them?
A: Very similar to what we just talked about here; that they bought into a rookie head coach and I thanked them for that. That was important for me personally to thank them for what they've done for the Giants organization. Putting themselves out there the way they do. Talked about making progress, that we have a solid foundation built. We have talented men of integrity in the locker room, which is important. We didn't reach our goal and we all know what the goal is and we need to keep working towards that goal and use this last game as motivation.
Q: On Eli Manning's comment on Odell Beckham Jr. making the game bigger than it was. Do you think that's possible?
A: I'm not sure, I think anything is possible. I think Odell went out and played with tremendous effort. I think there may be some signs of some guys pressing in the ball game. You go through it, you learn and next time you have that opportunity, you have to cash in on it.
Q: Did you ask him if he [Odell Beckham Jr] punched the wall?
A: There's a hole in the wall in the locker room in Lambeau and I take full responsibility for it. That's not the way we want to be acting after ball games.
Q: Did he hurt himself or his hand at all?
A: I answered the question.
Q: What do you think you have to accomplish with him in the off season to help improve his behavior?
A: After an emotional football game, we need to make sure we put a lot of thought and energy in how we want to carry ourselves.
Q: You don't condone punching walls?
A: I do not condone putting holes in the wall, no.
Q: When did you become aware of that?
A: Last night or early this morning.
Q: Did you talk to him about it?
A: He and I had a conversation, there have been conversations. But again, there's a hole in the wall at Lambeau Field, we take full responsibility, I take full responsibility. It's no way to carry yourself after a ball game. Let's move on.
Q: Odell has made so many difficult catches that when we see games like yesterday, we look and count numerous drops. How do you look at his performance?
A: I don't think as a team we handled the ball very well. Odell had a couple of costly drops and that's something that's going to stick with him for a long time. He'll learn from it and he'll grow from it and he'll bounce back.
Q: How much was his thumb a factor between that and the cold?
A: Again, we didn't handle the ball well and when the ball hits our hands, we have to catch the football. That's a part of it.
Q: Will he need any procedures on his thumb during the off-season?
A: Not that I'm aware of.
Q: You talked about having a solid foundation in the young players. How do you balance that with having a 36 year-old starting quarterback?
A: Eli, to me, was moving better in the pocket than he has since I got here. He threw with tremendous zip all season. He had a couple come out funny, but a lot of guys do in weather games. I thought yesterday he was stroking the ball pretty good. The go route had nice depth to it and he fit a couple nice shots in there yesterday. The post was nice, throwing catch with him and Tavarres King, so I thought he was throwing the ball well, I thought he was moving in the pocket well, thought he played well.
Q: [inaudible] on Manning.
A: Each and every day we all have something to prove in this business. Each and every day we have to go out and prove it. I don't see anything from this year that says he can't play at a high level.
Q: In the first-half, why Bobby Rainey on 4th-1 and not Jennings or Perkins?
A: It was a two-minute call and it was a combination of short yardage, two-minute call. The defense took away the A gaps and Morgan Burnett made a nice play on the ball.
Q: Would you like to have that one back?
A: Any 3rd-down conversion you don't get, you want to have back. Absolutely that's one of them.
Q: Ereck Flowers, by Pro Football Focus, is rated the 59th best tackle. Do you have to get someone in here to compete with him or think about ways to challenge him differently?
A: We're going to go take a look at all of our personnel and our schemes and we're going to evaluate everything, put it all out there on the table and see what we have to do to get better. It's a little early right now to say what direction we need to go or where we're going to go. Competition is always good.
Q: What did you see from him this year?
A: I saw a guy who's learning to trust his technique. With young players, the way they come into league now, you have to take a leap of faith with their technique as far as the bending, keeping your elbows tight and striking with your hands and pass protection. Finishing the way you're capable of finishing, those are the things that need to improve.
Q: Were you content with the progress that he made in that regard?
A: I'm not content in the way we played offensive football, no.
Q: Are there any injuries your concerned about when you start back up in the spring?
A: We just had the exit interviews and they were getting checked by the doctors. It's a little early for me to say.
Q: Do you feel that roster wise your close with a couple of moves?
A: I think that we need to keep developing players and that's important. Whether it's a veteran player who's coming off of a good year or a young player that's making progress; we need to keep developing the players on our roster and go back and take look and see what we need to add, whether it's a veteran piece or a nice draft class. We need to keep acquiring talent and developing players.
Q: What's the experience and journey been like for being the head coach of the Giants for close to a calendar year now?
A: I haven't had time to sit down and reflect on anything. I'm not sure it's been a calendar year. Today is Monday, that's all I know. Haven't had to sit down and reflect on anything, I'm just focused on the task at hand.
Q: Even though you haven't looked at it, what's your evaluation of yourself in your first year?
A: The bottom line is all that matters, it's a bottom line business. We fell short of our goal, we made some progress, not where we want to be.
Q: What do you think you need to do better?
A: Put the trophy in the case, that's the goal here, period. That's what we're here to do, that's why we show up to work every day.
Q: Any steps along the way now that you have some experience?
A: That's a good step, that's the next one.
Q: With a handful of personnel moves coming up this off-season, where does Jason Pierre-Paul rank for you guys trying to bring him back?
A: We haven't even had a chance to sit down and talk about much of anything yet. JPP is a tremendous player, great talent, can rush the quarterback. Anytime you can rush the quarterback or cover somebody on defense, you're a valuable asset and we'll take a look at that and talk about that here shortly.
Q: Do you want him back?
A: Do I want him back, JPP is a heck of player. He makes a lot of things easier on defense, sure.
Q: Do you consider the plan that you and Aaron Wellman put in place a success as you kept a lot of banged up players on the field?
A: Again, that's the other thing that we're going to go back and take a look at the schedule and see how we're going to make it better. We felt we made some progress in some areas. Building guys up to the games, being able to practice with pads later in the season, that's always encouraging. I think everything can get better, don't ever be satisfied. You can't stay the same in this business.
Q: After the last two games, a lot of fans were wondering, where was Tavaress King this year?
A: Yeah, Tavaress, hats off. He did a tremendous job the last two games, got behind the defense a couple of times. Ran a nice post route yesterday, focused on the ball. Opened some eyes.
A: Victor Cruz, staying healthy is obviously encouraging. We'll sit down, we'll have discussions with Victor like we do with all of our players. I'm confident in Victor.
Q: Do you want him back?
A: I'm confident in Victor, absolutely. I want them all back! I like them all.
Q: When you look back the play of the defense, did it exceed your expectations?
A: I think defensively, like we said early in the season, we acquired some talent through free agency and acquired some young guys through the draft. When you have a chance to hit on talent, you always don't know what you're getting until they get into the building. So I think we added talented men of character and that's the biggest thing, guys who enjoyed seeing everyone else in the room having success, everyone else on the defense having success and not being selfish so everything fit together.
Q: Do you anticipate or would you consider any coaching changes?
A: No, it's way too early for that but I don't anticipate anything. Never say never.
Q: You just said you want everybody back as a team. Is that the hardest thing on a day like this, when you return in the spring it's not going to be the same.
A: You talk about building a solid foundation but not everybody is going to be in there. The room is going to change, things are going to change. Some coaches may move on to bigger and better things, some players may move on to bigger and better things. Since they played at a high level, they may have an opportunity to cash in somewhere else, or may not fit or whatever the case may be. Teams change year in and year out. When you miss an opportunity like we missed yesterday and we felt we had plenty opportunities, it stings.
Q: Will it be a point of emphasis for you this off-season to figure out how to get down the field regardless of how defenses play against you?
A: You can get down the field. There's things that you can do to get down the field schematically from a passing game standpoint. It's just takes time to get there.
Q: Landon Collins today, and other players over the past few weeks have talked about how they found you easy to communicate with, that you're open to their ideas and they appreciate that a lot. Is that something you believe that you leave this first season with, knowing that you have that foundation?
A: I believe communication is important, leadership. I think whether they're a veteran player or a they're a young player, they need to be able to come up and communicate with me or get a message to me and have me communicate to them, I think that's an important part of growth. My door is always open, a lot of guys took advantage of it today and I'm sure some will moving forward and when they come back in April. That's something that I encourage and I think it's important for growth.
Q: Do you have a date for when they come back?
A: We're going to try and get them back here as soon as we can get them back here. They spend a lot of time away, I like coaching players.
Q: What do you do the next couple of weeks?
A: We're going to sit down, evaluate players, evaluate scheme. I'm ready for next year, lets go.