Key responses from CEO John Mara’s season concluding press conference on Monday afternoon. The full question & answer session (text/video) can be found here from Giants.com.
Regarding the potential for wholesale changes:
I think our offense is broken right now and we need to fix that and we need to make some improvements on defense, too, but obviously the offensive side of the ball we’ve got to improve there and we can’t go into next season with the same personnel. My biggest concern coming into the year was would our offensive line stay healthy because I was concerned about the depth that we had there and, of course, we get the center (David Baas) and Chris Snee hurt right off the bat and then the backup center (Jim Cordle) gets hurt and we just never seemed to be able to protect Eli well enough or get a ground game going well enough and that to me is the number one personnel priority going into the offseason, is we need to improve the offensive line.
Content with recent talent evaluations?
We do that all the time, but I think we have as good a group of scouts as any team in the league. Now we may have taken some calculated risks on players in the past, knowing that they were risks thinking that maybe we’d hit big and we didn’t, but that’s not necessarily a function of the scouts. That’s as much on me as anything else. I knew what the risks were in certain cases and we took them and they didn’t work out, but we’ve had a lot of guys that have worked out, too, as lower round picks. So you take the good with the bad, but to be successful in this league, you have to do a good job in the draft, especially on those middle round picks, and there’s no question over the last few years we’ve missed on a few of them for whatever reason. I’m not sure why it took us three years to find out that Jerrel Jernigan can play. We finally put him in the game and he starts making plays, so you have those instances also.
Words of wisdom to the dedicated but fickle Giants fan base:
You’d like to think that after a certain period of time you’ve earned a little bit of credit that we’re going to do whatever we have to do to build this team back to where we think it can be and that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to make the moves that they want us to make, but nobody wants to win more than Tom Coughlin or Jerry Reese except maybe myself. This is a lifelong thing with me and we’re going to do what we have to do, but we’re going to do it in an intelligent fashion. We’re not going to make these sweeping changes. Stability is important. It’s one of the reasons we’ve had some success here, but there are times when changes have to be made. If we agree on those changes, then we’ll make them going forward, but we’ll do whatever we have to do to improve this team and put a team on the field next year that our fans can be proud of.