Team Giants


Special Report

Sent: 06-29-17

Dave Klein was the Giants' beat writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books and he is one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.


By Dave Klein
Jerry Reese is the Giants' general manager and he is also an undeniable optimist. "This is football," he says, "not a mathematical equation. Things happen that you don't expect and can't predict, either way."

So the man who is accused of presiding over a collapsing offensive line and playing with fire regarding a young, inexperienced and insatiable backup quarterback situation is sitting back - well, sort of - and evaluating the team he has built with the season drawing ever closer.

"Things tend to work out," he says, not mentioning that his first draft class (2007) saw all eight players make the team and help to lead the Giants to a Super Bowl victory.

He has brought in several major players such as Olivier Vernon, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins, Dwayne Harris, Brandon Marshall, D.J. Fluker and Damon "Snacks" Harrison. He has drafted such integral parts as Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Weston Richburg, Justin Pugh, Eli Apple, Zak DeOssie, Jason Pierre-Paul, Devon Kennard, Bobby Hart, Paul Perkins, Darian Thompson and the most recent draft picks -- Evan Engram, Wayne Gallman, Davis Webb and Dalvin Tomlinson.

"There are no easy drafts," he says. "There are no deep drafts, no weak drafts. Every draft has good players and your job is to find them."

Reese worked under former general manager Ernie Accorsi and, in several real and valid ways, was the man behind the ultimate selections. Accorsi, in turn, worked under George Young and influenced him in a similar way.

"If I have the 15th pick in the first round," Young used to say, and it has been echoed by Accorsi, "then I will prepare a list of the top 15 players we want, based on months and months of research, and cross ‘em off as the round proceeds. You never know - I might get the sixth or seventh name on my list."

So now Reese sits and waits. He scours the waiver lists, a true believer in the fact that outstanding veteran players who can help a team are overlooked by most of the other team in the NFL. He is satisfied with how the Giants are developed this preseason, even the offensive line.

"You just have to wait and see," he said, "and the thing is, you NEVER stop trying to make improvements."

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

There is a question on the table today, one that has been asked repeatedly and yet has failed to be satisfactorily answered.

Ready? What do the so-called experts have against Eli Manning?

When these icons of pro football sit down to produce their lists of the NFL's top five quarterbacks, the Giants' Manning is seldom if ever there. In fact, many Top 10 lists also fail to name Manning.

So the question remains valid - why? What's wrong with Manning, who has won two Super Bowls and been named the MVP in both games?

Take a look at the quarterbacks generally positions ahead of Eli in those evidently worthless polls, or as your president likes to say, "fake news."

Let's see. We start with Tom Brady of the Patriots, then we move to Aaron Rodgers of the Packers, Philip Rivers of the Chargers, Drew Brees of the Saints, Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers, Matt Ryan of the Falcons, Cam Newton of the Panthers, Zak Prescott of the Cowboys, Russell Wilson of the Seahawks and Colin Kaepernick of ... well ... currently unattached to a roster because the best thing he did last season was to "take a knee" for the National Anthem.

Why not Eli? Is it because he has had a lousy offensive line the last several seasons? Is it because he is a slow-as-molasses runner? Could it be his inability to escape when the pocket is breaking down as if it was Bastille Day?

Sure, but those aren't valid reasons.

Check out Dave's website at E-GIANTS where you can subscribe to his newsletters which run much more frequently than what is available here.
- Team Giants

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