It’s no secret that Jerry Reese is on a very short leash. The New York Giants general manager has taken a majority of the blame for last season’s 6-10 record as well as the team’s failure to make the playoffs in each of the last four seasons. It’s easy to see, then, why Reese likes what he see’s so far from the team he has assembled.
“I think we have a very good football team,” he said during his first address to the media this season. “We added some players, obviously, in the offseason and we think we helped our defense a little bit more than we have been able to in the past.”
Veteran WR Victor Cruz is one player that Reese hasn’t added to the roster, but hasn’t played since 2014. Reese is excited to see the Paterson, New Jersey native take the next step in his rehab process.
“I think physically he is fine, but it is a mental hurdle that you have to get past, and hopefully he’ll be able to go out there, pass that mental hurdle, really turn it loose and we can see some glimpses of the old Victor Cruz.”
Another player that missed time last season, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, has really impressed Reese throughout the offseason. He noted that Pierre-Paul looked “big and fast and explosive” and that he “expects him [JPP] to be a load” this season.
Despite these feel-good storylines for two beloved Giants, the majority of attention and focus has been on Odell Beckham Jr., who fell under a load of scrutiny by the media for his antics and immaturity against Carolina. Reese says that he and Beckham have had a few discussions about his maturity, and believes that he has grown from last year.
“On the field, he is definitely maturing and being a leader out there,” Reese said, while also adding that Beckham, being a star player, needs to be extra careful with what he says off of the field because “anything [he says] gets sensationalized more than others.”
To get to the playoffs and make a run, Reese will need everyone—not just Cruz, Pierre-Paul, and Beckham—to step up to the table and contribute. After all, his job future depends on it.