Jerry Reese has New York Giants ready for the future
By Brian Vogel
The G-Men are ready to “one-up” last season.
We are a day away from the full start of New York Giants training camp. In fact, some teams are already under way. Big Blue enters this last week of July with a plethora of young talent on both sides of the ball. This young group has the chance to build off what could be considered an over-achievement from last year. The year ended with a first-round playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers, but it also brought with it an excitement that has New York Giants fans looking to the future.
Jerry Reese deserves our respect
General manager Jerry Reese has been the subject of many New York Giants fans disdain in recent years. However, it is starting to seem clear that disdain is misguided. Fans love to point out that the Super Bowl XLII team was primarily built by previous GM, Ernie Accorsi. This does of course hold some truth, but the 2007 rookie draft class would ultimately play a huge role during that season and post-season run. That draft class was Reese’s first as a general manager in New York. The players drafted that year were important pieces to both of the subsequent playoff runs.
Fourth round pick Zak DeOssie is still the teams long snapper a decade later
Ten years later and the 2007 draft class is still giving back. DeOssie, who is the son of a NY Giants long snapper has assumed the same role without relinquishing it for what seems like a lifetime. He now wears a “C” on his chest, as he has earned the respect of his coaches and teammates. Enough so to be a team captain for the New York Giants.
The New York Giants seventh-round pick Ahmad Bradshaw proved to be one of Reese’s best picks from his first year on the job. Bradshaw played a huge role in his rookie season with the Giants. There was a handful of special moments authored by Bradshaw, but his 88-yard TD run in the snow at Buffalo in week 16 is the one I always go back to.
Aaron Ross, who had a solid NFL career, was the team’s first pick that year and wide receiver Steve Smith was the second rounder. Smith was a player who was incredibly sure-handed during his time with the Giants. They both played major roles in the 2007 season.
New York Giants
Fourth-round pick Kevin Boss had a memorable and very key reception in Super Bowl XLII. The last impactful guy from that draft class was Jay Alford. He didn’t play a huge role for Big Blue, but we certainly won’t ever forget his sack of Tom Brady on the second to last play of the Giants third Super Bowl victory.
Reese immediately helped put the Giants team in a position to win. He has been the general manager for two Super Bowl championships, but still has received more hate than love. That stops here.
This New York Giants team will help Reese leave his mark
Out with the old, and in with the new. In the last five years, Reese has made some very strong draft selections that will prove to be the icing on the cake of a great Big Blue career. Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, Paul Perkins, Weston Richburg and Evan Engram round out the list of young Giants on the offensive side of the ball. This list leaves off a guy in Ereck Flowers, who I still believe has the potential to earn the right to be among these names by season’s end.
The other side of the ball is headed up by resident all-pro Landon Collins, who provides OBJ like excitement for our defense. Along side of Collins, in the young core, are: Eli Apple, Darian Thompson, Dalvin Tomlinson, Andrew Adams and B.J. Goodson. Goodson is a second-year player out of Clemson and is the slated as the starting “Mike” linebacker entering camp. It will be his job to lose, something we all hope he does not. If Goodson can prove to be a solid pro in the middle, it will elevate the game of the other 10 players surrounding him. But of course we wait with bated breath.
Who could ask for better veteran leadership to learn from..
This group of young professionals play along side a crew that has a lot to teach. OBJ, Engram and Shepard have a two-time Super Bowl MVP in Eli Manning to help guide them. The young wide receivers also have new addition Brandon Marshall who will of course help on the field, but will also add great value in the meeting rooms. Marshall has proven to be a great locker room guy in the recent years of his career. He has become an incredibly self-aware player and person, which will add years of maturity to his wide receiving colleagues. A great signing by Reese and the front office.
Back over to the defensive side of the ball and rookie Dalvin Tomlinson has an equally impressive unit to learn from. Damon “Snacks” Harrison will be his neighbor on the defensive interior, while Jason Pierre-Paul, and Olivier Vernon will anchor the surrounding edges. Tomlinson is a very impressive young man both on and off the field. He is just the type of player the New York Giants front office love. He had the opportunity to attend one of the nations best colleges, but instead chose the nation’s best football program. Tomlinson told SB Nation about his decision, prior to this year’s draft.
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"The academic standpoint is always just, Harvard is just Harvard. It’s one of those schools that you just want to go to because it’s Harvard,” Tomlinson said. “And I’m glad I came (to Alabama). I got my degrees while I was here and everything, and I got to play on one of the best dynasties ever in college football.”"
Best secondary in the NFL
Big Blue View discussed the top ranking that Pro Football Focus has given the New York Giants secondary heading into camp. The main beneficiaries of this deep secondary will be Eli Apple and Darian Thompson, who are both set to play heavy snap counts this year with elite talent surrounding them. Playing along side veterans like DRC and Janoris Jenkins takes a lot of pressure off the younger players. The tutelage and the experience will leave both Apple and Thompson in a better place once it is them leading the secondary.
Third-year safety Landon Collins has quickly made everyone forget that he is just 23 years old. He has already become one of the team’s leaders. Collins has certainly enjoyed the advantages of having pro bowl caliber side kicks in every direction. If they remain healthy, this New York Giants secondary has a chance to be special.
Jerry Reese, we thank you.
I suppose the point of this piece was to make everyone realize that Jerry Reese is a major reason for this new-found excitement. To me, this New York Giants team has far more talent than either of the previous championship teams. Reese and the front office have given the fans two transformational talents in Odell and Collins. He has also given us a young core that can learn together and grow together. This team is ready to win now, and seemingly set up for the future.
This will come at much to the chagrin of the Dallas Cowboys owner, but it is becoming abundantly clear that it is Jerry Reese, not Jerry Jones, is running the NFC East. Based on this, I see no indication of a change in that going forward. This division is simply not big enough for the both of them.