- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS -- A few takeaways from Jerry Reese's news conference Saturday at the NFL scouting combine:
The New York Giants' general manager praised former offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, but he also said "it was time to make a change" -- a comment that suggests the organization wanted him out. Officially, Gilbride retired amid speculation he was on the verge of being fired. Reese described new coordinator Ben McAdoo as a breath of fresh air.
“I think he’s going to bring some new life,” Reese said. "Obviously, Coach Gilbride did a terrific job for us. The change, I think, is going to energize our offense a little bit. There’s new learning for the quarterback and the staff. He’s an interesting guy. Very bright.”
Reese wanted no part of a big-picture discussion on former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, who announced recently that he’s gay. “I’m not talking about that,” Reese said. “If you want to talk about him as a football player, that’s fine. What people do in their personal life, I’m not concerned about that. That’s not true, of course, because teams spent millions each year to perform background checks on prospects. They absolutely care about what players do off the field. I think he’s a good football player. You have to be a pretty good football player to win [co-Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC]. In our evaluation, he’s a good football player.”
A shade under 6-foot-2, and 255-260 pounds, Sam projects as a defensive end in the Giants’ 4-3 front. After Sam’s announcement, Giants co-owner John Mara released a statement, saying Sam's sexual orientation wouldn't affect his position on the team's draft board.
C David Baas (knee), G Chris Snee (hip) and S Stevie Brown (knee) are progressing well from major injuries, according to Reese. Reiterating what coach Tom Coughlin said Friday, Reese said Snee has expressed a desire to play in 2014. There had been some rumblings about retirement.
Reese didn't rule out the possibility of drafting a quarterback for the second straight year. He acknowledged the obvious -- they won’t take one with the 12th overall pick -- but he said “we’re not afraid” to select one in the late rounds. A year ago, the Giants picked Ryan Nassib in the fourth round.
Reese said he’s not opposed to trading down from the 12th spot.