Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reese's Pieces

Ahmad Bradshaw didn't think there was a need to draft a running back. Then again, he's just a running back, not a general manager.

What Jerry Reese might do is anybody's guess at this point. If he knew today his draft strategy for next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, he wasn't letting on during the traditional media cat-and-mouse pre-draft session with him. But we do know this. The Giants have shown great interest in Clemson running back C.J. Spiller. But then again, they've also shown great interest in Alabama inside linebacker Rolando McClain, and South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, and maybe, oh, 100 or so other guys, the names and order of whom rest under lock and key on the Giants' value board.

Needless to say, Reese wouldn't talk specifics. But when asked about drafting high at a position of depth -- say, running back -- he didn't discount it. So even though Bradshaw noted a backfield depth that also includes starter Brandon Jacobs, and backups Gartrell Johnson and Danny Ware, Reese wouldn't rule out anybody based on positional surplus.

Now, whether that means he's got his eyes on Spiller if he's there, who knows? But the idea isn't without precedent.

"Back when we drafted (Mathias) Kiwanuka we had (Michael) Strahan, we had (Justin) Tuck, and we had Osi (Umenyiora)," Reese said. "But he was the best guy on the board right there at that time. There was no way we were going to pass him up. So it doesn’t preclude us from drafting even if we have depth at a position; if he is the best guy up there, it is going to be hard for us to pass him up."

Not that there wouldn't be a lot of discussion about it.

"There was conversation about that," he said. "We had a great conversation about it. It is great conversation when a situation like that arises. But you just have to make the best decision for your team.

"You are not just looking for what is going to happen tomorrow. You have to look into what is happening in the future with your team as well and try to see the big picture from where I’m standing."

From where everybody is standing, the Giants' running backs are still a battered group, with Bradshaw having just taken his first running steps since feet and knee surgery in January, and Jacobs slowly coming back from knee surgery. So there are no certainties, healthwise, with that bunch. But Reese said the team also has to be cautious about overstocking the position.

"There is always some thought about what if this guy goes down right away," Reese said. "So you always try to create enough depth at those positions to get yourself through. But again, you only have 53 spots so you can’t have 10 running backs."

He also discounted scheme as a reason to pass on a good athlete. Of course, we didn't dare mention McClain by name, but Reese said the idea of an inside linebacker transitioning from a 3-4 (like Alabama's) to the middle of a 4-3 (like the Giants) is certainly not a rarity.

"A good athlete is a good athlete," he said. "The object is to get a good player."

Still, no commitment to a first-round linebacker, though he didn't exactly give a ringing endorsement to an incumbent group of MIKE candidates that includes Jonathan Goff, Bryan Kehl, Gerris Wilkinson, and Chase Blackburn.

"I think there are some linebackers on our team that need to prove that they can do it," he said. "Just like last year, I thought there were some receivers – I do have some confidence in some guys on our roster that haven’t played a lot. I want them to step out of the shadows and show us what they have. I do expect that.

"But that won’t preclude us from continuing to look to upgrade that position."

Whether he trades up or down will depend on the movement in front of him on draft day. He said he hasn't gotten any more phone calls than usual for potential draft-day trades, and he doesn't expect the first-round's move to a solo showing at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday should produce no more trades than the noon draft starts of other years have produced. Nor should the 22 1/2-hour gap between Rounds 1 and 2-3 on Friday.

"It just gives us more time to overanalyze what we have already overanalyzed is basically how that works," he said. "It is not a big deal that it is from Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. It is just a small adjustment – small stuff I think."

So there you have it, from the mouth of Jerry Reese.

Draft for depth? Check.

Draft for position? Check.

Running back? Check.

Any other position on the team? Check.

Trade up, trade down? Check.

I don't know about you, but the strategy at No. 15 couldn't be any clearer to me.




  1. Ernie - Why I understand it is frustrating to guy, such as yourself, whose livelihood depends on breaking news, Jerry is 100% right here. 1) Never tip your hand 2) Never let your opponent know what you are doing before you do it. I wouldn't be shocked to find that Philly, the Skins, and Dallas have some intern scanning all the blogs, websites, and newspapers dedicated to their NFC East opponents. I sincerely hope the Giants are doing that 3) Why alienate a college guy that may be a star. Let's use Spiller, as an example (sorry Wayno). The guy may end up being great. Why inspire him to "show up" your team by saying, "Well, we have all the RBs we need"? Some guys carry grudges. Far better to compliment these guys, stroke their egos a bit, and then proceed with what's best for your team. Jerry's doing his job to perfection right now. Let's hope he continues doing it to perfection throughout the entire draft.

  2. Wow, Reese may or may not do a lot of things but whatever they do will be discussed thoroughly.
    RB's - sure, LB's - sounds good, OL - great. I'm with Dweez, he is doing all the right things here.

    Let's just get it on. Come on there for us.

    Chris B.

  3. Draft Wish List


  4. Our RB situation is bleak, I'm not thrilled to learn that Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown and BJacobs are just getting back to running, without cutting (as is KP). This might be "on schedule" but it also means that they are far away from being at the level demanded by the NFL. We almost have to draft a RB as insurance, there is every chance that camp arrives and we have no back at 100%. Even as thin as we are at LB, we still have able bodied players.

  5. I'm glad that the had a post about Nicks' broken toe. I posted to this blog that there was one play in particular when I watched a strong safety gaining ground on him in the open field and his running stride appeared labored. Now at least there's an explanation. Looking forward to great things from him.

    I think Giants draft a TE in the later rounds, and finally realize the mistake that drafting Beckum was

  6. To the last Anonymous poster, can't say that I agree that drafting Beckum was a mistake. It's Reese's responsibility to find talented players, and the coaches' responsibility to find out ways to use the respective talent. Not to mention, if the Giants draft a TE, it would be a blocking TE. They really missed Michael Matthews last year.

  7. Agree with the most recent anonymous. I think it is too early to tell about Beckum. He was just a rookie last year (I believe he also battled injuries too) and KG has no imagination. I think that with a year under his belt and with some offensive planning, he could be a good weapon in the future.

    And I have faith in Reese. I think he will make the right move for us at 15. I am actually more interested in seeing who he targets in rounds 2-5 at this point.

  8. Agree with CE718, and I too have faith in Reese.

    But if I know anything at all about him, there's no way he's going for a running back at 15. He'll pick one up in the 4th or 5th round.

    Prediction: Coughlin will find a way to light a fire under DJ Ware and he will have a great year. I know he's been soft, but I've got a feeling about the situation.

  9. Forget about what the Giants do with the 15th pick. Lou, I don't even think Ware makes the team this year if Brown shows that he has truly recovered from his injury.

  10. "Forget about what the Giants do with the 15th pick".

    The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken!

    Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

  11. This is what happens when you fail to fully read a statement.

    Basically, the point I was attempting to make is that Ware may not be on the team regardless of whether or not the Giants spend their 1st round pick on Spiller. The Giants generally keep 4 RB's on the roster, with 1 usually inactive. Jacobs, Bradshaw, and Brown are automatics. If they use a late round pick on a RB or even perhaps an undrafted invitee, it will be extremely difficult for him to make the team.

  12. Wayno,

    Just a suggestion, but you may want to think about having some prozac on hand next Thursday in the event Spiller isn't taken by the Giants.

    Come on McClain...drop to the G-Men!

    Chris B.