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GM Reese to blame for Giant struggles

New York's brass owns responsibility for team's lackluster roster
10/08/2013 4:18 PM ET
By Doug Williams

Giants general manager Jerry Reese addresses the media during the offseason.(AP)
When a team doesn't make the playoffs in any sport, a general manager's job is to make the team better so as to improve the next season and increase the likelihood of postseason play. Every Sunday, we're discovering more and more that Jerry Reese really didn't do that this offseason.

For a team that was already not good enough, he let Ahmad Bradshaw, Martellus Bennett and Osi Umenyiora go, among others. Because of how much they would have cost the Giants, I had no problem with their departures. What I do have a problem with is the lack of replacements.

The Giants' running game was already poor, and yet they didn't consider signing somebody like Steven Jackson? I know he's hurt with Atlanta now, but if he had stayed healthy it's very possible that things would be different in the running game. David Wilson did nothing last season to display his ability to be a number one running back, and his inconsistency has continued this season.

And Bennett's replacement, Brandon Myers, has done very little and has had some important drops and missteps. Believe it or not, Bennett was a big part of the offense last season and his loss has just made it harder on Eli Manning than it already is with nobody blocking for him.

Most importantly, the lack of additions on defense is astounding. The Giants MO is their pass rush. How is that supposed to get better when you lose Osi and add ... nobody? Jason Pierre Paul is coming off of surgery, Justin Tuck is getting old, and suddenly the deep list of pass rushers has completely dwindled. At linebacker, the Giants are soft and inexperienced. Dan Connor is already on IR, and now they are looking to guys like Spencer Paysinger, Keith Rivers and Mark Herzlich to stop the run. When you watch a team like the 49ers play defense, it really hits you just how inept the Giants are compared to the competition.

The bottom line: the Giants are 0-5 and have given up 30 or more points in every game this season. They are turning the ball over and unable to run the football. Blaming it on Eli and Tom Coughlin makes little to no sense considering they are, in my opinion, the only proven commodities that this team has.

What the Giants season tells me thus far is that football is, and always will be, about the tough guys. The offensive line's struggles can make a two-time Super Bowl MVP QB look terrible. And when he looks terrible, so will Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, arguably the team's two best players. And when there is no pass rush or linebacking corps, that's going to put the Giants in holes, meaning they have no time to run the football because they're already playing from behind. Eli Manning has no choice but to throw the football too frequently and defenses can get to him with three or four guys because the O-line is so poor. Recipe for disaster ... and interceptions.

The problem is the tough guys. And the problem is that Jerry Reese has put a team on the field that has none. They're missing guys like Shaun O'Hara and Kareem McKenzie on offense and Chris Canty and Chase Blackburn on defense. Blaming the skill position players and figureheads is a lazy way to put the blame on those that are doing their best with the hand they are dealt. 

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