Accorsi meets the media

Ernie Accorsi met with the New York media Monday afternoon to discuss the season his Giants just concluded. Here's some of what Big Blue's GM had to say:

Q: How much better do you feel about everything after seeing what happened last night? Does that help at all?

A: I look at things in reality. I don't feel great about a 6 and 10 season. But I was with Joe Paterno three weeks ago at the National Football Foundation Dinner – the night before they had a reception for George Welsh who is going into the Hall of Fame – he went through a very similar stretch that we went through and really took a tremendous beating. And they beat Indiana, which was not a very good team, and then beat Michigan State, which was a 6 and 5 team, I think. But the difference in his outlook after those two wins was unbelievable; just everything about it. And you have to have something to hang your hat on. Although I thought we obviously had a chance to win two games, one against a very good team, one of the best teams in the League, in Pittsburgh. You just need to win a game and you just feel better. How I feel is not important. But I watched the players and the coaches in the locker room. They really needed that. They played so well and so hard the last three weeks, and to come from behind like that and win, they really needed that.

Q: Just in terms of personnel, do you think you are close to where you need to be, and where you are going to be?

A: A year ago I don't think we were close to anything. I think that this is an entirely different team. There were no indications in any of the games down the stretch last year that in any way were similar to the last three weeks. I think if anyone would look at some of the players that played their hearts out and the young players who played so well – Torbor and Umenyiora, I hate to start naming them because I am going to leave somebody out – Curry Burns. The pro personnel department will never get any accolades for picking up the players they picked up because they are really not name players. But the players that they did pick up that played well yesterday were remarkable. Because these were guys that were out of football and young players that really were not prominent players who had a chance to play. Whether they start next year or are backups, they are going to give us a tremendous lift. But we have a lot of good young players to build around, and I think most of us felt, even before last night, pretty optimistic. I think that the players feel fairly optimistic about next year.

Q: Looking back, obviously….when Eli comes in and when he is not it is going to be an interesting situation. Will you look back and think, out of a 6 and 10 season, did you get as much knowledge as you could from seeing Eli – what he is expected and hoped to be?

A: I don't think that any of us were searching for knowledge. I think that what he needed was to get his feet wet in actual competition. He needed to play. There was never any time that anyone in this organization was shaken by the confidence that we had in him. We saw enough when we made the trade to draft him that even when he was struggling, it wasn't a point where we started to back pedal on what we thought he was going to be. We knew it was just a matter of him getting baptized. I support Tom's decision when he made it and I am convinced, because I know him, that he made it because he thought it gave us the best chance to win, not just to give up the season and give him seasoning. He didn't. But for him to go into the next year after having this trial that he had is going to give him a tremendous edge. I think that the one part of last night - I went downstairs early – and it is a whole different world down there, as you guys know because you are down there at the end of the game. You really get the feel of the game that you do not feel in an antiseptic press box. I just thought that his poise and the look in his eyes was the thing that impressed me the most, more than anything else, more than anything he did on the field as a player.

Q: Last year you signed a large number of free agents. Are you going to continue that or are you looking for fewer overall but more quality signings…….?

A: It depends. I don't think we need the numbers. We thought we might have to replace all three linebackers. I spoke to a couple of them last night because I was concerned that they would be gone. I know they were going to talk to coaches. We have some players that surely we would like to have back. But we don't have a high list of a bunch of starting players that we are in jeopardy of losing. So we are going to have just about everyone back that we can build from. So if we have holes to fill from players leaving – I mean there would be holes to fill. Now the history of free agency has been the teams that have signed more players have been more successful. You could probably cite a bunch of examples – there are exceptions. My feeling is that - New England did it, we did it in 2000, that are off the highlight screen have done better. But it may turn out to be that way because we don't have a bunch of starters that are going to be defecting that we are going to have to replace. So we may end up signing less for the same amount of money. And we have more money that we did a year ago, and we were pretty comparable a year ago. What really stung us was we never had a cushion since the cap started like we have had coming into the training camp. We spent 4 1/2 million dollars replacing injured players. That is why we had so much cap trouble the second half of the season. We will have enough money to compete this offseason.

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