Jerry Reese speaks during a news conference where he was named the new general manager of the New York Giants, making him only the third black GM in NFL history, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007 in East Rutherford, N.J.. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Some highlights of Giants general manager Jerry Reese’s Saturday morning chat with reporters at the NFL scouting combine:
On the fact that none of the 15 offseason head coach and general manager hires were a minority: "It’s a little disappointing. There were some good (minority) candidates that had some opportunities, but it just didn’t work out this time. 0-for-15. It is what it is."
On the fact that aside from first-round RB David Wilson, the team didn’t get much contribution from their 2012 draft class: "When you pick 32nd in the draft, you’re picking down low. A lot of the guys you get are developmental type players. We picked a tight end (Adrien Robinson in fourth round) who we think is going to be a good player for us. We picked a couple of offensive lineman (Brandon Mosley in fourth round, Matt McCants in sixth) we hope will develop."
On Brigham Young DE Ziggy Ansah who has been compared athletically to Jason Pierre-Paul: "He is a long, tall, big athlete. Probably a little bit raw. But you want to coach those guys. There probably are some similarities there."
On dealing with a flat salary cap: "It’s tough. We have what we think are a lot of good players and the cap stays flat and the dollars don’t really make sense. So you have to make some moves. Sometimes you have to make some tough decisions. You just try to keep as many good players as you can on your roster and keep your nucleus in tact. I can’t speak for anyone else, but when your salary cap’s been flat for 3-4 years in a row, it’s tough to keep a high number of high salaries."
On the role analytics play in the scouting process: "For the New York Giants, just old-fashioned scouting is what we hang our hat on. We put the numbers in and see what the numbers say. But we put our eyes on players and see what our eyes say. We depend on that more than anything else. But we don’t put our head in the sand and ignore what the numbers say. But we depend on our scouts. The scouts really are the unsung heroes of what we try to do in the National Football League. They go out 185-200 days a year and look for these players. We count on our scouts. They do the work. They go see (the players). They see them in practice. They see them play in games. They talk to their coaches. So we hang our hat on our scouts and what our eyes see."
On league’s interest in pushing back free agency and draft to later in the offseason: "Whatever the league thinks best, I’m in. Count me in."
On Justin Tuck’s disappointing season: "Obviously, Justin didn’t play as well as we think he can play, (didn’t play like) the player he’s shown to be in the past. And he knows that. Justin and I recently had a long conversation and talked about those things. He really wants to get back to the old Justin Tuck we know him to be. So hopefully he can get healthy and have a good offseason and get back to his old self."