On Tuesday afternoon, Jerry Reese was interviewed by Tim Ryan and NFL.com’s Pat Kirwan (on Sirius NFL Radio); Reese touched on a few of the hot button topics but Giants fans may not have liked what they heard.
“Osi Watch” 2010 continues, but Jerry Reese is apparently pretty confident that for all of Osi’s griping and complaining that he needs to know he will be a starter in 2010, Reese is somewhat dismissive of this potential problem, calling it ‘off-season chatter.’
Now, to be fair, both Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin have met face to face with Osi, but no true resolution has resulted. Coughlin has indicated that Osi will have to “earn” his starting spot back, which is not all that unreasonable given Osi’s issues with defending the run and his general lack of production in 2009.
I wonder what is going through Osi’s mind after hearing Reese dismiss this issue as ‘off-season chatter.’ Let’s just hope that Reese knows something we don’t because Osi, while talented and a key player in the Giants pass rush, is also a little sensitive. We hope Osi is in the right frame of mind and ready to buy into Perry Fewell’s new defense and another season with the general, Tom Coughlin.
Also, let’s give Reese some credit here, his position on Osi makes good sense: If Tom Coughlin and Osi continue to have issues in 2010 (let’s remind everyone that Osi was pretty clear that he did not have a problem with Bill Sheridan and that his removal from the starting lineup was the head coaches’ decision), then Coughlin is likely gone and the G-men can make a decision whether to move Osi during the 2010 off-season. If the Giants return to form in 2010, then everyone is happy, Osi hopefully will have been a key player in that return to form, and the only issue moving forward will be keeping Osi happy with a contract extension. Nice move, Jerry.
Reese also touched on other topics such as the middle linebacker issue. Reese is singing the same tune as he did last year (about the perceived wide receiver issues) about the Giants middle linebacker spot, i.e., we have some guys who we hope will step up and develop into key guys (Goff, Sintim, Kehl etc…). But this time, Giants fans may not be so happy if Jerry does not add a middle linebacker (via trade for a guy like Kirk Morrison) or via the draft (in round one with Rolando McClain or in Round 2 or 3 with a guy like Sean Lee from Penn State). Don’t get me wrong, I like Goff, but Giants fans will not sleep easy without added talent and depth at this key position.
Reese also touched on the free agent haul of 2009 (Canty, Boley and Bernard) and how big things are expected, like we have all been saying since 2009 ended. These guys have got to earn their money or this defense will still be in trouble in 2010, regardless of draft additions. In somewhat of a surprise, Reese speaks about Bernard as if he will have another shot to be part of the defensive tackle rotation. Bernard is coming off of a torn labrum and surprisingly is still on the roster after contributing next to nothing last year. Here is to hoping Reese knows more than we do when it comes to Rocky Bernard.
Finally, Reese indicated that second year player Will Beatty will compete for a starting spot, though Reese did not say whether that will be on the left or right side. My bet is Beatty takes the starting left tackle position, and Diehl is either moved inside with Seubert going to a reserve role or Diehl will take over on the right side, leaving Kareem McKenzie as the odd man out (have to figure that an offensive lineman will be added in the draft regardless).
Giants fans, agree or disagree? Comfortable with Goff in the middle? Do you believe that “Osi Watch” is effectively resolved? I am not so sure, but stay blue!