The New York Giants went home for their bye week. When they return they will still be a 1-6 football team playing out the string of their schedule.
So what went wrong?
How did the season that began with Super Bowl expectations fall so flat?
The Media spoke with Jerry Reese for his mid season press conference this week and tried to give some explanations on what happened through the first part of the year. “We’re 1-6. That’s not where we want to be obviously, but this is where we are. This roster – it’s my roster. I’m responsible for everybody on the roster and I’ll take ownership to where we are right now with this 1-6 start. I do believe that we still have good players on this roster. I do believe that. I do believe we have to play better, though. We splashed, you know, big plays at different times. But, in this league it’s almost like we came out of the gate, there was a lot of chatter about how good the team looked and how good it looked on paper and we also talked about the Super Bowl and just things like that. But, in this business, the 11 games we won last year – that’s over with. You have to start over every time and you have to earn wins and you have to do it the right way. You have to put in the preparation and you can’t walk out there and think people are going to just lay down for you because people are saying good things about you. You have to earn wins in this league and I think we bought into some of the hype of this is a good looking football team. But, again, I do believe we have good players on the roster. I do believe that during this off time that we can make some adjustments and we have nine games left and I feel like we have the coaching staff and the players with the pride to be a New York Giant in this organization and nobody is going to lay down. We’re going to come back after this break and we’re going to leave everything out there.”
One of the key points Reese pointed out is the franchise believing the hype built in the pre-season and that everybody has to take accountability for not performing at the highest level. “It falls on all of our feet. Again, there was a lot of chatter, a lot of good things were being said about the team. But again, when you have a young team – which we have, a relatively young team – you have to protect against winning. And when you win 11 games, then you’ve got a little bit of a swagger about you, you come back and say, ‘Well, this is pretty easy, we won 11 games with a rookie head coach.’ So, you come back and think, well, ‘We already got 11 wins,’ that’s just not how it works. So, you have to protect against winning. That’s all I can say, you have to protect against winning, you have to start over, you have to put in the work, you’ve got to play with some passion out there. So, that’s what I’m trying to say.”
Reese continues to take heat for not putting more effort into upgrading the offensive line during the offseason and addressed this during his news conference and stated that is not the only reason the team is off to a rough start. “Well, the starting five we felt like had a lot of snaps together and we felt like those guys, when you have some continuity in your offensive line, that’s a help. We brought (D.J.) Fluker in. We drafted a young kid we felt like the offensive line – and there weren’t a lot of choices out there to go out there. We looked at a lot of different situations, but there just weren’t a lot of offensive line help out there from our perspective and we had an opportunity to get somebody, but we looked at some different situations and it didn’t work out for us.”
Much of the conversation pointed to the future of starting quarterback Eli Manning. Reese stated flat out every member of this roster including Eli had to step up and play better. Along the same lines the question was asked about playing QB Eric Webb to see what he has.Right now, we have nine games to play and I feel like, don’t count us out yet. We’ve been left for dead by a lot of people, but don’t count us out yet. We’re going to go into the second half of the season, give it everything we have, do some self-evaluations and figure out what we can do better, what things we have done good, what we’ve done bad, how can we manufacture and win football games. That’s where our focus is moving forward right now.”
The most telling point of the press conference is that not only does he feel like he is on notice but the whole franchise is. The only thing he and every other member of the Giants staff can do is continue to work hard. “Yeah, well, you’re always on notice. I’ve been doing this over 10 years now and every single time – I’ve been left for dead a lot of times since I’ve been doing this job and that’s just part of the business, it comes with the territory. It’s a high performance business. I’d love for us to have won 10 Super Bowls in my 10 years as the general manager of the Giants, but we haven’t. I wish we could have. We’ve won some games, but I sure believe we could have done better than we have.”
Eli manning spoke with the media as well and discussed what went wrong in his eyes in the 1-6 start. “Well, it’s tough. Each game is different. I don’t know if there’s necessarily one thing that went wrong. We had a little stretch there where we had leads and lose a couple games in the last seconds – last minutes of games. So, you’re right there in the stretch. That’s just football sometimes. We’re just not playing well enough, just not doing everything that we need to do to win football games and I think obviously when two weeks ago, this last week – right there in it in the fourth quarter. Just didn’t make the plays in the fourth quarter.”
The Giants Enjoy their time off and return to action Next Sunday against the Rams at 1pm!!