Through the first four weeks of the 2013 regular season; where the New York Giants are 0-4, the fans, and some of the media too, have put quite a few people on the hot seat in New York. Head coach Tom Coughlin is on it; as is offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. And yes, even two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning apparently has made it as well. But there's been one guy that hasn't felt that "hot seat" talk yet.
Giants general manager Jerry Reese, who since coming to the team, has been the architect of the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl Championship teams and in his seven seasons, has not had a season under .500, although the team is unfortunately striving to make that a first under the Reese era.
But the team is 0-4 and could be 0-5 if they lose at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles, who the Giants have only beaten once in New Jersey since 2007 and have failed to manage more than seven points of total offense in their last two weeks. This is the team that Reese has put together, and it's come under great scrutiny.
Some fans have gotten on Reese for not addressing the linebacker situation in the draft, as he has passed on taking all linebackers in the 2013 NFL Draft and have a starting lineup with Jacquian Williams, Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlich, which with the exception of Paysinger last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, have been nothing worth mentioning; Herzlich especially, who shouldn't even be in the starting lineup and only is because Dan Connor is on season-ending injured reserve.
Some have also gotten on him for the lack of proper depth the team had at running back following Andre Brown's injury in the end of the preseason and deciding to keep Da'Rel Scott, whose lack of football sense cost the team a potential Week 1 comeback victory against the Dallas Cowboys when he failed to look around when Eli Manning was passing him the ball, and instead, allowed Brandon Carr to score the go-ahead interception. Many have said that in that situation, Ryan Torain would have been better suited, but Scott was in, and as they say, the rest is history.
There's also been Reese's lack of being able to figure out the salary cap situation and not having much money to spend in free agency because it was tied up in other deals and didn't allow the team to sign guys this summer like Vonta Leach and Desmond Bishop. In fact, former Colts and now (injured) Chargers defensive end Dwight Freeney's father referred to the Giants as "being broke" because they couldn't afford him. In hindsight, it's a good thing the Giants didn't sign Freeney, but there were quite a few players the Giants could have been able to afford if their salary cap situation wasn't such a disastrous mess.
The one that some of our own Giants 101 readers have brought up is the draft classes and leaving 2013 aside because it's only four games in. But excluding 2007, where just about every single player contributed in one way or another to winning Super Bowl XLII, a lot of the draft classes that Reese has put together include a lot of players who have either been labeled a bust or no longer are on the team.
From the 2008-2011 classes, only Terrell Thomas, Hakeem Nicks, Will Beatty, Andre Brown, Jason Pierre-Paul, Linval Joseph, Prince Amukamara, Jerrel Jernigan, James Brewer and Jacquian Williams are left. Out of 38 players taken during that time, 10 remain from those respective draft classes. And from the 2012 draft class, both Adrien Robinson and Markus Kuhn have been hurt and Matt McCants is gone. But Prince Amukamara, Rueben Randle, Jayron Hosley and Brandon Mosley are, and with the exception of Mosley, the other three have played and have contributed in some capacity.
Now granted, a lot of general manager's have failures as draft picks, because you just don't know what you're going to get with a player coming out of college until he's actually on the field. Hell, many fans were ready to label Manning a bust before Super Bowl XLII shut those people up. But the draft pick situation has been brought up more frequently now that the team has missed the postseason in three of the last four seasons and could be looking at it's fourth straight January without a playoff trip and the players that the team drafted being sent on their way is starting to get noticed more, and that falls squarely on the shoulders of Reese.
Just like Coughlin, it's very hard to see an executive, who has for the most part, been considered one of the top GM's in the league over the last six years, getting shown the door. Reese is one of a handful of current NFL general manager's who have not only won a Super Bowl, but won multiple in his tenure; Ozzie Newsome of the Baltimore Ravens has won two like Reese; Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots has won three and if not for the Giants, would have five and Jerry Jones of the Cowboys also has three.
But how much of missing the postseason can both co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch really stand for; much less the potential losing season and being near the bottom of the rankings in the NFL in both offense and defense. Would the Giants owners really consider firing Reese after this season given the circumstances? If the losing continues, and the Giants don't start finding a way to win a football game in 2013, the idea will get brought up more often.
If a 6-10 or worse season were to happen, at that point, all bets are off on who would stay and who would go.
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