By Jason Keidel
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Despite Giants assistants asserting that Tom Coughlin and his staff were coaching with their hands tied behind their backs …READ MORE: NYCHA Residents In The Bronx Say Complaints About Lack Of Hot Water Are Falling On Deaf Ears
Despite John Mara asserting that Big Blue has “lost some credibility” and that the team was “obviously lacking some talent” …
Despite myriad assertions that the roster was hardly robust …
Coughlin was escorted to the back door of retirement, under the aegis of resignation. Yet the man who built his roster, general manager Jerry Reese, is quite happily employed.
If we are to ride with the kitchen/culinary metaphors from Bill Parcells, then Coughlin was cooking with rotten food. No chef works without fresh produce, and Coughlin could not win with the rotten roster spread before him the last few seasons.
Mike Francesa said it Tuesday: beyond his recent failures, Coughlin’s fatal flaw was his age. If Coughlin were 49 instead of 69, he’d be back.
In fairness, maybe Coughlin had overstayed his welcome on the sideline. No coach captures his team’s heart forever. So if your premise is that four years sans January football represents a lack of imagination or motivation, then Coughlin should be gone. The Big Apple begins to rot without playoff sunlight.
But according to an article in the Daily News, everyone from Mara on down conceded that the there was more than one rusty link in the chain of command. And if football is the ultimate team endeavor, then you can’t blame the man who leads the players if you won’t also blame the man who procures the players.READ MORE: Suspect In Texas Hostage Situation Called New York City Rabbi Twice During Standoff
Tuesday’s press conference was a corporate spin class. Reese admitted that the club was lacking, and accepted full responsibility for it. But he also took a few nuanced shots at Coughlin, hurling the future Hall-of-Fame coach under the team bus.
“Nobody has a perfect roster,” Reese said. “But you have to manufacture wins in different ways. You got to play the hand you’re dealt and you got to win with it.”
To brand Big Blue an imperfect roster is a humorous understatement, especially on defense, where the Giants were the only NFL team to yield 300-plus passing yards per game. And if your best defensive player literally plays with one hand, then your personnel has taken on fun-house distortion.
Maybe Odell Beckham Jr. rescued Reese. If anyone knew Beckham would be this gifted — his epic, public meltdown aside — he would not have lasted until the 12th pick of the draft. Beckham has been the NFL equivalent of hitting the Powerball.
If Reese shines for Beckham, Jason Pierre-Paul and Prince Amukamara, then what’s his grade for Jayron Hosley, Adrien Robinson, Marvin Austin, Clint Sintum, and James Brewer? Those are just a few of the duds Reese has plucked from the first four rounds of the draft.
Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Antonio Brown, Charles Clay, and Jason Kelce were gems bagged after the fourth round. (Sherman and Chancellor were found in the fifth round; Brown, Clay, and Kelce were picked in the sixth round.) You build your roster well after Roger Goodell leaves the auditorium. The dearth of dominant players on Big Blue speaks directly to scouting, which is Reese’s baby.
It says here the miserable product was a joint endeavor, a confluence of timing and talent that added up to a team that was dubiously constructed and coached. And if the latter cost one man his job, then the former should follow him out the door.MORE NEWS: Mayor Eric Adams Backs Bills Providing More Funding To Improve Maternal Mortality
Follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonKeidel