New York Giants: Jerry Reese

Osi credits Jerry with assist to ATL

March, 28, 2013

Osi Umenyiora had his moments with Giants GM Jerry Reese over the years over the defensive end's contract.

But during his introductory news conference in Atlanta, Umenyiora credited Reese with an assist for his signing with the Falcons.

"Me and Jerry are cool," Umenyiora said Thursday. "We have always been cool. Jerry is my guy. Obviously, if it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't even be here now because obviously the team did a comprehensive amount of research on me and my background, because of the things that were reported.

[+] EnlargeOsi Umenyiora
AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Johnny CrawfordOsi Umenyiora talks to the press after signing a a two-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons.
"They wanted to know what kind of person I was," he continued. "Obviously, they had to talk to Jerry Reese, as well as my coach. They had nothing but positive things to say."

Umenyiora and Reese have certainly had rocky moments in their relationship. During the 2011 offseason, the defensive end said in an affidavit as part of the players' antitrust case against the NFL that Reese made a promise to him to renegotiate his contract or trade him. The statement was part of the legal argument that the lockout was causing irreparable harm to players like Umenyiora.

But Umenyiora and Reese eventually got over the riff and the Giants won another Super Bowl. This winter, Umenyiora finally hit his long-awaited free agency and agreed to a two-year deal with the Falcons for $8.5 million with a max value of $12 million, including $5 million guaranteed.

It may not be the monster payday he was hoping for, but Umenyiora says he could not have landed in a better spot.

"This team is the most talented team that I have seen in my life, probably," said Umenyiora, who lives in Atlanta in the offseason.

Umenyiora is looking forward to showing what he can do again as a full-time starter and he believes playing indoors provides "ideal [conditions] for a player like myself."

The defensive end was asked about how being a part of a pass-rush rotation in New York impacted him statistically and emotionally. Umenyiora had a total of 15 sacks the past two seasons after having 11.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles as a full-time starter in 2010.

"They have some very good football players there with Jason [Pierre-Paul] and Justin Tuck being who he is," he said. "Obviously, I wasn't able to play as much as I would have liked. There is just no way you can put all of us on the field at the same time. If you look at it statistically, yes that definitely played a role. You are only going to be able to produce as much as you are out there on the football field. And I wasn't on the field as much as I have been accustomed to."

"To say that it is ideal for me, it wasn't," Umenyiora later admitted of rotating in. "Obviously, I am a guy of tremendous pride and I would have liked to have been on the football field more, but I understood the situation."

Umenyiora did say that not being a full-time starter the past couple of seasons has kept his body fresh.

Now he is looking forward to starting over fresh in Atlanta. But before being introduced as a Falcon, he called Reese.

"I talked to Jerry yesterday," Umenyiora said. "We had a great conversation and I look forward to continuing my relationship with him whenever football is over."

Notebook: Murphy is a 'knife'

March, 19, 2013
Jerry Reese believes Louis Murphy will add a new dimension to the Giants' offense.

The Giants made the Murphy free-agent signing official Tuesday and Reese thinks his new wideout will help spread the field for Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.

"He will add another dimension to our offense," Reese said on SiriusXM NFL radio. "We have a scout named Jeremiah Davis and he talks about guys being a knife. This guy is a knife. This guy can take the top off your defense. If we have Nicks back healthy and we have Cruz back, this guy gives you a deep threat that we haven't had, like a guy who can run like this guy."

[+] EnlargeLouis Murphy
Grant Halverson/Getty ImagesThe Giants hope Louis Murphy can stretch the field.
Murphy was signed to add depth with Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden both free agents.

Mum on Cruz: As expected, Reese didn't have much to say about Cruz's contract situation.

"It is inappropriate for me to talk too much about Victor," Reese said about his restricted free-agent receiver. "One thing I can say is he is a terrific young man and a terrific football player. We are hoping for that situation to work out."

Tight end talk: Reese may have a new starting tight end for the fourth straight year, but he believes tight ends coach Mike Pope won't have to do a lot of teaching and training with Brandon Myers, who signed last weekend to replace Martellus Bennett.

"In the past, we have given Mike some young kids," Reese said. "He had Kevin Boss, he had Jake Ballard, Martellus Bennett hadn't played a lot. This guy [Myers] has played quite a bit, he caught 79 balls in Oakland. So there is not a lot of training. He is quarterback friendly. He catches 80 balls and people don't really know that much about him. We think he will be a great piece to our offense and we think Eli [Manning] will have a relationship with him really quickly."

JPP of TEs: Reese expects Adrien Robinson -- the "JPP of tight ends" -- to "make a jump" this season after spending his rookie season developing his game.

"The guy is 280 pounds, he ran a 4.57 at his pro day," Reese said. "We think he can develop into a terrific blocker. In practice, he flashed some things that were ... like some wild things in practice. We're expecting him to make a jump this season and get in there and give us some contributions as our big blocking tight end, and he can catch the ball really nice. We expect to bring him along and hopefully he will contribute for us."

Free-agency strategy: Reese says people ask him what his strategy is when it comes to free agency.

"I don't think there is a template," he said. "Some years you have more money than other years and you think. 'I can get out and strike quickly.' I remember one year we went out and got Antrel Rolle and then another year we went out and got [Chris] Canty and [Michael] Boley and we went out and got a center [David Baas] one time.

"So you have to strike when you can, but other times you have to sit back and wait and let the market settle down a little bit," he continued. "There are three levels of free agency. ... (You) have the first level; you get the guys out there who [are] going to get the money right away. Then there is a second level and then you can bottom feed on the guys left at the end."

Reese wants JPP to talk to Strahan

January, 3, 2013
Jason Pierre-Paul was a marked man in 2012 with offenses focused on limiting the monster defensive end.

Pierre-Paul had to deal with double teams, backs and tight ends chipping on him. The result was 10 fewer sacks than the 16.5 he had in 2011.

[+] EnlargeJason Pierre-Paul
Jim O'Connor/USA TODAY SportsJason Pierre-Paul had 10 fewer sacks in 2012 than he had in 2011.
Jerry Reese thinks JPP should talk to Michael Strahan about how to deal with all the extra attention.

"To be a superstar defensive end, a pass rusher in this league, you have to beat those double-team blocks," the GM said in a radio interview on WFAN. "I am going to reach out to Michael Strahan this offseason and see if we can have him have some conversations with JPP and just tell him, look it is inside your chest, a lot of it.

"You’ve got to have the heart to do it, and I think he does," Reese added. "But I think if he hears from somebody like Michael Strahan that will really encourage him."

The entire Giants pass rush was exasperated by the end of the season after recording just 33 sacks and explaining how offenses were countering the rush with quick drop backs and getting the ball out quicker.

But it's nothing the great ones haven't faced before and something Strahan may be able to help Pierre-Paul with.

"After Michael became the superstar defensive end, he was getting double teamed, he was getting chipped but he was still getting sacks," Reese said. "The great ones still get through there and make plays. And he’s got to do that. he can’t give up, like, 'wow, they’re double-teaming me, they’re triple-teaming me, I’m getting chipped, they’re high-lowing me, they’re doing everything to me.'"

Tom Coughlin says his young franchise rusher will benefit from studying the 2012 tape.

"He is still a premier, premier football player and pass rusher," Coughlin said. "He didn’t have the numbers this year the way that he had a year ago but the long arms and the outstanding ability to engage and play the run well as well, this is a big strong kid now.

"He’ll benefit tremendously from studying the way in which people went about their business this year," Coughlin added. "Because it didn’t happen all the time. They don’t chip you on every play, they don’t slide that way on every play. Sometimes you do have that opportunity but you’ve got to be able to take advantage of it when it’s there."

Has Ojomo's turn come at last?

December, 22, 2012
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Before each game, Giants general manager Jerry Reese has a brief conversation with rookie defensive end Adewale Ojomo.

"He tells me just stay ready and he asks me if I had to play today, could I?" Ojomo said on Friday. "I always tell him, 'Yeah.' Just look him in the eye and tell him 'Yeah.' Just waiting. I want to play, get out there and show what I can do."

[+] EnlargeAdewale Ojomo
Rich Schultz /Getty ImagesAdewale Ojomo
As the least experienced member of the defensive line, Ojomo is patiently waiting his turn to see the field as the season nears its end. Ojomo has only been active for one game this season, against Cleveland on Oct. 7, but he could be considered this week with veteran Justin Tuck questionable for the game.

"I'm staying ready," Ojomo said. "I'm ready to play. I can't wait to play."

Ojomo, who went undrafted out of Miami, said he usually doesn't find out if he'll dress until the last minute. He's currently listed as the sixth defensive end on the depth chart, and it's been tough to secure his spot among the 46 who dress. In the one game he did play, he was on special teams.

The defensive end was the star of the preseason, posting four sacks and earning praise from teammates and coaches. The Giants are loaded at the position, but, fearing other teams may snatch him up, kept Ojomo on their final 53-man roster.

While it's not surprising Ojomo isn't getting much playing time, he still yearns to be out there each Sunday.

"It's been tough but I gotta be patient and wait my turn," Ojomo said. "I know Jerry Reese and the coaching staff, Tom Coughlin and everybody, they know what they're doing. I just got to be patient."

Ojomo said he understands a rookie must pay his dues. He described this year as a "learning process" in which he's studied how the team operates and prepares for games. With Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Mathias Kiwanuka around, he said he's tried to absorb as much as he can.

Ojomo has also used his time to beef up -- since he doesn't play, he can lift weights five times a week. Ojomo said he's the strongest he's ever been. For the 6-4, 270-pound end, the season has turned into a developmental year, both physically and mentally.

It's also been like a redshirt year in college for Ojomo, with one big difference.

"(It's) like a paid redshirt year," Ojomo said. "That's what it is."

'Hoping for the best' with Thomas

August, 3, 2012
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Appearing on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York 98.7 Thursday, general manager Jerry Reese said injured cornerback Terrell Thomas has a visit scheduled with Dr. James Andrews and that the team is “hoping for the best.”

“That’s all I can say about that right now,” Reese said. “Hopefully he’ll be able to maybe rehab it and come back at some point in the season, but we don’t know yet. We really absolutely don’t know right now.”

Kay asked Reese if cornerback Prince Amukamara, the Giants’ first-round pick in 2011, would take Thomas’ starting spot.

Reese was asked recently what expectations he had for Amukamara and said he expected him to play like a first-round draft pick. Reese expanded on that quote on the show.

“But I also expect [Jason Pierre-Paul] to play like a first-round draft pick, I expect Hakeem Nicks to play like a first-round draft pick. David Wilson, all those guys. We expect them to play like first-round draft picks, but it got stretched in a lot of different directions. We do. We expect [Amukamara] to step in and play well.

“We do have some young players that we like that can fill some roles. We have 10 corners on the roster right now, so I think we have some guys that can fill in those positions. If Terrell doesn’t come back, next man up has to play.”

Reese also touched on a number of other subjects:

• Second-year safety Tyler Sash was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s Performance Enhancing Drug policy earlier this week. Reese said he believes in Sash’s innocence, but it’s not up to him. “The league office, they do a good job of making sure everybody abides by the rules. You can’t just take a guys word. Tyler’s a good kid and we’ll get him back after four games. The best part about it is he’ll be able to play through the preseason for us and after the last preseason he will have to leave for four weeks.”

• Kay brought up the possibility of wide receiver Plaxico Burress making a return. “You never say never. I learned a long time ago to never say we have no interest because you never know when you’ll get a rash of injuries at the position and you have to call on some guys.”

• On former Giants Super Bowl MVP quarterback Phil Simms telling USA Today that Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning are sure-fire Hall of Famers. “That’s not for me to judge. I think they have a tremendous start, but I don’t think either one of those guys are focused on that. We’re just focused on this season. They’re not resting on their laurels. … Those guys are hungry as ever.”

SALSA STAYS: Wide receiver Victor Cruz was asked by Kay if he had any plans on reinventing himself with a new touchdown celebration in place of his famous salsa dance.

“I think I’m going keep it the same, man,” Cruz said. “Who knows? It will probably be spur of the moment -- something else might come up. But I think I’m going to keep it basic. I think my grandmother wouldn’t be too thrilled if I changed it.”

Nicks looking forward to helping Randle

May, 8, 2012
NEW HAVEN, CONN. -- Rueben Randle can start preparing for sessions with Professor Nicks.

"I'm looking forward to helping him with anything, as far as off the field or on the field," Hakeem Nicks said Monday at an event at Southern Connecticut State University. "I've been in that situation before. It's something I know he'll be excited about and eager to learn the offense and I'm ready to teach him."

The Giants drafted Randle in the second round and he's expected to come in and produce right away, just like Nicks did back in 2009. There's an opening on the outside opposite of Nicks, and Randle is going to have a chance to earn that role. Nicks had 790 yards in his rookie year.

Nicks' biggest advice to the rookie receiver from LSU is to not put any pressure on himself as he prepares for his first year. As he tries to help Randle, Nicks is looking forward to being a leader this season, as he will be the longest-tenured starting receiver.

"Just play the game the same way you've been playing that got you to this point," Nicks said. "Be patient with yourself and don't get down on yourself, you're going to make some mistakes, that's part of the game, that's part of being a rookie. Everything isn't going to come right away, but when it does, then you're good."

Randle, registering at 6-2 and 208 pounds, caught 97 passes for 1,634 yards and 13 touchdowns in his time with LSU, and earned comparisons from Giants general manager Jerry Reese to Nicks. Reese mentioned the two receivers being similar speed wise and how they play, although Randle has a little more size to him.

"That's a compliment, even for a young guy to be compared," said Nicks, who caught 76 passes for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns last season. "I'm looking forward to playing with him and being out on the field with him."

Nicks liked what the Giants were able to accomplish in the Draft, mentioning the numerous additions to the offense as well as adding a cornerback in the third round. After the offense shined during the playoffs, Nicks believes the Giants can carry that strong play into this season.

"I think we can definitely maintain it throughout the year," Nicks said. "It's up to us, the sky's the limit. We just have to continue to remain humble and keep playing within the team and the system and I think we'll be OK."

US Presswire, Getty ImagesAdrien Robinson and Jason Pierre-Paul
Just looking at his statistics, Cincinnati tight end Adrien Robinson didn't appear to do much offensively.

But the Giants were ecstatic to land a tight end who had a total of 12 catches for 183 yards and three touchdowns last season.

General manager Jerry Reese says Robinson is kind of like the "JPP of tight ends" in terms of raw athleticism and potential. That's high praise, considering Jason Pierre-Paul was a first-round project who emerged into a Pro Bowl defensive end in his second season.

"We really think this guy has a huge upside," Reese said. "He is a big, big man [with] long arms. He didn't catch a lot of balls for them. But he is kind of a late bloomer who has really come on. And we think this guy is kind of a JPP of tight ends. We like these kind of people."

The Giants believe the 6-4, 264-pound Robinson is full of "untapped" potential.

"He's a physical specimen," said Marc Ross, director of college scouting. "He ran a 4.5. He's just learning how to play football. We think he has tremendous upside. And the kid plays hard for being a former basketball player. Just didn't get a lot of chances. We think the sky is the limit. Coaching, the way we'll use him, I think he will just flourish."

And of course, when it comes to developing tight ends, few are better than tight ends coach Mike Pope, who has helped undrafted tight ends like Jake Ballard and Bear Pascoe emerge into starters.

"I don't know if he does the flips," head coach Tom Coughlin said of Robinson, in reference to Pierre-Paul's ability to do back flips. "He's got a lot of work to do to understand the pro game. He's athletic, a very, very athletic guy. It's all in front of him and we're anxious to get to work with him."

The Giants, of course, can use another tight end with Ballard and Travis Beckum recovering from torn ACLs suffered during the Super Bowl. They signed former Dallas tight end Martellus Bennett, another athletic, big player full of potential. And they have Pascoe and Christian Hopkins, who spent last season on the practice squad.

But the Giants brass could not contain its enthusiasm over landing Robinson in the fourth round.

"He is just a big, gigantic man with long arms," Reese explained of his JPP comparison. "He has got those freakish athletic numbers. When we got Jason we said, 'This guy hasn't scratched the surface.' And Jason still has a lot of learning to do [and] continuing to grow. This kid [Robinson] hasn't scratched the surface yet. He has a chance to be really something, we think."

Who should stay and who should go?

February, 8, 2012

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Considering the Giants' 7-7 start this season, GM Jerry Reese may need to tweak things a bit. Do you have any recommendations?

Vote here in our Take 'Em or Trash 'Em poll.

Giants validate GM's claim from August

January, 2, 2012
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jerry Reese believed in his team in the summer, expecting them to make the necessary plays to make the playoffs and be able to make a run once they got in.

Sunday night, the Giants clinched a spot in the playoffs with their 31-14 win over Dallas, validating Reese's trust in them.

With a home playoff game on tap next Sunday against Atlanta, the Giants' general manager still believes his team can make some noise.

"Of course. Good players in here, good coaches," Reese said. "We just got to focus, it's a whole different ball game now, it's a different level when playoff time comes around. We're battle tested, had a tough schedule, we're getting healthy but you have to focus and do the things it takes to win. You have to match the physical contest, play as a team, can't have bad fouls, we only had three fouls tonight and you win when you do these things."

Reese came under fire heading into the season as he saw some of his best players, like Kevin Boss and Steve Smith, depart the team in free agency with the latter even heading to division rival Philadelphia. Reese only made one big signing in free agency in center David Baas, opting to stay quiet.

On Aug. 11, as the Giants seemed like a team unsure of what it was doing in a shortened free agency season, Reese made his proclamation that he thought his team would be able to end its two-year playoff hiatus.

"If we made a couple of plays here and there last year, we would have been in the playoffs," Reese said in August. "And who knows what would have happened? But it didn't happen, so we will make the plays this time and we'll get in the playoffs and make a run."

More than four months later, Reese looked like he clearly knew what he was talking about as his team ended its two-year playoff drought with its big win against Dallas. The team has now won two divisional titles under Reese, who took over in 2007.

"We're playing pretty good, we definitely can play better, we're playing pretty good right now," Reese said of his team's play entering the playoffs. "I do expect us to play better and continue to (ride) the momentum. It's all about preparation during the week, the preparation is the key."

Source: Bradshaw 'definitely back soon'

November, 7, 2011
A day after the Giants put together a 24-20 win over the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., coach Tom Coughlin wasn’t ready to declare that several key players will be ready to play in San Francisco this week.

Coughlin said center David Baas, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and running back Ahmad Bradshaw were “improving” and that there were encouraging signs but further evaluation needs to be made before determining when they will return to the Giants' practice field. Nicks and Bradshaw were injured in the win over Miami. Bradshaw fractured a surgically repaired foot, and Nicks hurt his hamstring. Baas has a knee injury.

Specifically about Bradshaw, Coughlin said the team has to wait and see how he feels before putting together a plan for him to return.

A source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that Bradshaw “will definitely be back soon,” however.

It has been previously reported that he won’t need surgery on the stress fracture in his foot. The injury is supposed to heal on its own.

The source told Schefter that Bradshaw may be able to play as soon as Sunday.

Coughlin also said that draft pick Prince Amukamura was improving with the broken foot but, “There are still some things that need to be cleared up on the practice field.”

In place of Baas and Bradshaw, Kevin Boothe took over at center and Brandon Jacobs was the primary back.

The Giants didn’t let the number of injuries to starters get in the way of their game plan against Tom Brady and the Patriots.

“We never use that for an excuse here, it’s next man up,” said general manager Jerry Reese on ESPN New York 1050 Monday afternoon.

Jacobs gained 72 yards on 18 carries and scored a touchdown, and tight end Jake Ballard stepped in as an effective target, with 67 yards on four catches, including two in the pivotal game-winning drive.

Reese reiterated that although all three injured starters were improving they are not yet definite to return. He also made a point to praise Boothe for being so versatile, and said the backup center was one of the unsung players of the game.

Video: 2011 Giants season preview

September, 7, 2011

Freddie Coleman and Ohm Youngmisuk discuss how the defense will deal with all the preseason injuries and if Eli Manning can become a Top-5 quarterback this season.

Ryan T. Hurley
Justin Tuck visits with Michael Kay and Don La Greca during a live broadcast of "The Michael Kay Show" from Giants training camp.
ESPN New York 1050's "The Michael Kay Show" was broadcasting LIVE Tuesday from Giants training camp at the Timex Performance Center.

Check out who stopped by --

Eli Manning:  Play Download

Justin Tuck:  Play Download

Jerry Reese:  Play Download

Tom Coughlin:  Play Download

Antrel Rolle:  Play Download

Dominik Hixon:  Play Download

Hakeem Nicks:  Play Download

Terrell Thomas:  Play Download

Jerry Reese backs off on playoff prediction

August, 16, 2011
Don’t print the playoff tickets just yet.

Last week, Giants GM Jerry Reese said in a press conference that the Giants will make the playoffs this year and will make a run at the Super Bowl.

Tuesday, on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York 1050, Reese backed down a bit from his declaration that the Giants would reach the postseason for the first time in three years.

“First of all, I never said guarantee and I never said promise, that’s the way they spin it in this neighborhood,” Reese told Kay. “I was giving our team a vote of confidence that I have in them. I said, last year if we had made some plays down the stretch here and there we would have been in the playoffs and this time we’ll make the plays. We will get in the playoffs. We’ll make a run. I’m giving my team a vote of confidence. I never said promise, I never said guarantee, but when you read the paper, Jerry Reese said guarantee, so that’s what you get around here.”

Among the other topics broached on the interview included the Giants' failure to sign Kevin Boss, Steve Smith and Plaxico Burress, the Osi Umenyiora saga, how the Giants have so little cap space, who can emerge as the No. 3 wide receiver and Eli Manning as he tries to rebound from a 25-interception season.
Jerry Reese talks about all the departures and additions made this offseason and sheds some light on the latest Osi Umenyiora dealings.

Reese on free agency, Baas, roster

July, 30, 2011
The Giants have extended offers to free agents Ahmad Bradshaw, Kevin Boss and Steve Smith. So, according to GM Jerry Reese, "the ball is in their court."

"We have offers out to all those guys and we communicated with those guys," Reese said. "The ball is in their court and we will see what happens in the very near future with that.”

• Reese spoke highly of center David Baas, who recently inked a free-agent contract to replace Shaun O'Hara.

"We like him. He is a big man and we like the versatility that he brings," Reese said. "He played center last year and he was a center and guard in college as well. He is a big, tough guy and very, very smart. A high test score guy so he fits everything we like at that position. He looks just like a New York Giant offensive lineman to us and we think he is going to bring a lot to the table. He will start out as the center for us."

• Although many think otherwise, Reese claims there aren't many "gaping holes" on the Giants roster.

"I don’t think there are any gaping holes for us right now," Reese said. "I think there are some guys we would like to have on the roster as we go forward but if we had to go out there and play right now, I wouldn’t be afraid to play."

• Reese left open the possibility that the Giants could bring back O'Hara and Rich Seubert, who were recently released.

"We always try to leave the doors open for any transactions that have been made with us," Reese said. "We don’t try to burn any bridges with anybody, so yes that door is still open. Hopefully both of them will be healthy enough to play at some point and who knows, they could be back here. So we always try to keep our door open with respect to that."

• Reese was asked about how the younger players on the roster are going to be affected by the loss of OTAs and minicamps before training camp.

"I think, as far as young guys and rookies are concerned, those guys have to learn as you go anyway," Reese said. "You put them in there some early in the season and hopefully they get a feel for the speed of the game. The preseason is really not the real speed of the game. It really is not it. When they get out there in the real varsity action, I think they learn as you put them in early in the season and maybe middle way through the season they have a pretty good feel for the speed of the game. You are hoping that by the latter part of the season, those guys can help you some. I think they learn on a fly anyway to answer your question."