He reiterated that, while he has the final say, personnel decisions are a collaborative effort between the front office and coaching staff.
“Everybody has been part of the process,” Reese said Wednesday while watching some of this year’s draft prospects at a Senior Bowl practice. “We come to a consensus on who we like, and ultimately if we don’t pick a guy that works out, it’s my fault; it’s the general manager’s fault. But everybody is part of the process, and I’m not going to back off that. It’s the truth.”
Reese brought up two players he drafted who had character concerns entering the league: defensive tackle Marvin Austin, a second-round pick in 2011; and wide receiver Mario Manningham, a third-round pick in 2008. Austin proved to be a bust, but Manningham helped the Giants win Super Bowl XLVI.READ MORE: New Jersey Officials Warn Storm Will Bring Dangerous Mix Of Snow, Freezing Rain And Strong Winds
“There’s plenty of Marvin Austins around the National Football League,” Reese said. “I can give you an example of how we talked about him. Marvin Austin, we’re kind of like, ‘This guy’s going to be a hit or this guy’s going to be a miss.’ We missed on him. We said, ‘It’s probably not going to be anything in between.’ Take Mario Manningham, we said, ‘This guy is going to be a hit or a miss. Nothing in between.’ We hit on him.’’
Reese also got defensive about any insinuation that running back David Wilson, the team’s 2012 first-round pick, was a bust.
“How can you call a guy a bust when he breaks his neck?’’ Reese asked. ” … His name gets thrown right into the pot when you guys are trying to say how bulls–t the Giants’ personnel is.’’
At Coughlin’s farewell news conference earlier this month, team co-owner John Mara said he still believes Reese is the right man to lead a Giants turnaround.MORE NEWS: Bronx High-Rise Victims Remembered With Public Funeral, Officials Pledge To Keep Up Support For Survivors
“We’ve lost some credibility as an organization,” Mara said, but added, “I still believe that Jerry Reese is the right guy to lead us going forward. Why do I believe that? Jerry put together two Super Bowl-winning teams. I would venture to say that if we were to poll all of you in this room two years ago about who the top general managers in the league are, every one of you in here would have him on your list. So now, two years later, after another bad season, do we want to throw all that out? I still think he’s capable of putting a great team together.”