If ever you wondered what New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese looks for in free agents and prospects, he’s made his strategy public knowledge.
Jerry Reese has been a member of the New York Giants organization since 1994. He began his career as a college scout, became a pro scout in 1997, was named the director of player personnel in 2004, and was hired as general manager in 2007.
With two Super Bowls under his belt, Reese has earned his place as one of the best general managers in the NFL.
Reese recently gave insight into his thinking process when it comes to evaluating players and how they fit with the Giants. He acknowledged the value of size, speed, strength, and athleticism, but stated that his primary focus is finding players who have something extra
According to Brandon Shields of The Jackson Sun, Reese’s primary focus when evaluating free agents and draft prospects is their heart.
"“What’s most important to me is what’s inside your chest,” Reese said. “How big is your heart? When you get in the fourth quarter of a critical game in the division, do you have the heart to come out and fight exhaustion and play at the highest level you can.“Because you’re playing at the highest level of football you can, and the heart you put into it should reflect that you’re willing to do that for our organization.”"
In other words: Reese cares more about how passionate a player is than how talented they are.
Reese’s strategy for signing and drafting players enabled New York to win the Super Bowl during the 2007 and 2011 seasons. The Giants also won the NFC East in 2008 and 2011, and won 10 games in 2010 and 11 games in 2016.
Though New York may not always have the most talented roster imaginable, the foundation of the organization is routinely hard work and effort.
Based on his recent comments, it’s clear that Reese knew exactly how hard his players were going to play when he built the Giants teams that have made Big Blue proud.
As free agency and the 2017 NFL Draft near, Reese will look to find the next generation of great Giants players. There’s no telling who he will or won’t acquire, but Reese has an eye for players who put the team first and play with heart.
If the Giants are going to build upon a successful 2016 campaign, then Reese will need to continue doing what he does best.
As fans and supporters of the New York Giants, the saying holds true: In Reese We Trust.