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New York Giants’ Jerry Reese Regrets How Team Handled Hakeem Nicks’ Injury

January 5th, 2013 at 3:44 PM
By Paul Tierney

New York Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks is one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL, but we didn't get to see him realize that potential in 2012. After injuring his knee in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Nicks was never able to get back to full strength for the rest of the season. Nicks would finish 2012 with 23 less catches, 500 less receiving yards, four fewer touchdowns and 19 fewer first downs than he did just a year ago.

'Eli Manning Warms Up with Hakeem Nicks' photo (c) 2011, Rajiv Patel (Rajiv's View) - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

On Friday, general manager Jerry Reese said that he regrets not having Nicks sit out more games so that the star wideout could play at 100 percent for the stretch run of the season.

"Hakeem Nicks has been one of the linchpins in our offense. He was banged up, and I really think it took its toll on our offense and what we are trying to do," Reese said on ESPN Radio today. "He was trying to fight through it. But in hindsight, I think if we had to think about it again, maybe we would have taken him out a little quicker than we did. But that is neither here or there at this point. But I do think it affected the quarterback's play some."

Obviously, hindsight is 20/20. However, Nicks is the Giants best all-around wide receiver and he was completely incapable of making plays this season that we have grown accustomed to him making in years past. He was a step slower to the football, which inhibited his ability to make plays down the field. He was not as explosive off the line of scrimmage, which made catching balls in traffic an issue. Reese is correct that the team should have sat Nicks if he was not going to be effective anyway.

However, Nicks' injury is not the only instance in which the Giants medical staff mishandled a banged up player. Earlier in the season, Kenny Phillips expressed his dissatisfaction with how the team handled his own knee injury.

“When we started our rehab we didn’t go about it the right way, and now here we are, we’re dealing with it right now,” Phillips said. “I don’t want to get into (specifics). It just didn’t work out the way we wanted it to. I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m mad about it. It is what it is. No one’s perfect. I just think we both felt that something needed to change. We needed to change up the rehab. We just felt like we weren’t doing the right things. So we just switched up and it immediately starting feeling better. So I’m here now. I’m not worried about the games that I missed.”

Mishandling injuries to two key playerss on the roster is completely unacceptable by the training staff of a professional sports franchise. The Giants season could have played out differently with a healthy Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Phillips, as the wide receivers and secondary players went dormant at times this season. Both of those players have tremendous impacts on football games and it's a shame that the team was unable to correctly handle their injuries.

Jerry Reese recently said that this team will look different in 2013. It's still too early to say how different, because the evaluation process is still ongoing and free agency has yet to begin. However, perhaps one aspect that should be examined is how the medical staff performed this season. It's hard say if handling the injuries to Nicks and Phillips would have definitively changed the outcome of the Giants season, but it sure could have helped. The Giants had enough issues on the field this season, the last thing they needed were their own hired hands failing them off of it.

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Tags: ESPN, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jerry Reese, Kenny Phillips, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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37 Responses to “New York Giants’ Jerry Reese Regrets How Team Handled Hakeem Nicks’ Injury”

  1.  Hardcharger says:

    Here’s a thought/question, does anyone think the Giants decided not to go back to Albany as a cost saver so we can go over the cap a little? Have we ever been over the cap? I’m just wondering out loud, why are we breaking tradition, is there a financial reason? I think there may be surprises in FA signings this offseason. I think JR may be planning on spening a few bucks this offseason.

    •  Begiant says:

      Are you even allowed to go over the cap?

    •  Begiant says:

      Maybe we don’t want to go to Albany because our players soft backs would get hurt from the brutal, devil beds of the Albany dorms

    •  Dirt says:

      The Giants aren’t coming back to Albany because there aren’t sufficient indoor facilities, and with precious few practices due to the new CBA, they can’t have weather shutting down their camp.

      Also, the Giants purchased the beds.

  2.  Begiant says:

    In response to FF55 post last thread about Marty B I have to say I agree. The man has all the talent in the world and is a two way player. He never had a consistent oppurtunity in Dallas and is getting it here. Eli seems to trust him and he has said every thing that a fan could ever want to hear. It sounds like his mission is to become for Eli what Witten is for Romo. Now I do not think he could ever be that good or consistent but he can come close. I have a feeling if he sticks around he will be a very underrated part of our offense for years to come.

    I think the focus of the offseason needs to be DEFENSE. We have the pieces on offense and can add some players but last year we had people on here saying this defense would be historic…clearly not and in fact this defense was very dissappointing. We need more production from our linebackers and corners and the defensive line needs to play much better.

    A healthy Boley could be a big step in the right direction for next year and IMO I think Kiwi should be move to DE when Osi leaves and Herzlich should be given a chance to play SAM because that is what he is, a SAM. T2 needs to be cut and then resigned to a cheap deal as a safety who can give us some depth. Phillips is likely gone but with Hill, Brown and Sash I am confident we can replace him. Then we need to find another corner. This will be hard because of our lack of cap space. a cheap veteran (like Newman last year) would be ideal however having a healthy Witherspoon or Bruce Johnson and an improving Hosely would be nice. I think Webster sticks around for his last year and will probably improve but we can not count on that.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Yeah, I was the one who thought our defense would be truly great. It hurt that KP was injured because he’s one of the critical pieces, but every defensive lineman had a poor year and the linebackers (with the exception of Boley) weren’t much better. And, of course, Webster was absolutely horrid.

      It just seemed like they all went bad at once. They never really played very well except in short stretches the entire season. It still bewilders me because there IS talent on that side of the ball. Part of it HAS to be scheme, but a large part was players just not playing well. Other than Prince, Rolle, Boley, Hill, Brown and Phillips when he was in, who among them had a decent season? I think the answer is no one.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    Amen to this piece. It is well past time to take a very careful look at the medical staff. When posters on this site have a better take on how the injuries should be handled (and a good number did) than does the team, something’s very wrong.

    I hope everyone is noting that the entire Giants’ organization is now saying what I’ve been saying for quite sometime: this offense goes through, and depends upon, Hakeem Nicks. People fell in love with Cruz (for good reason) but we have a HOF-bound receiver on this team and there’s no question who is the guy we MUST keep at all costs.

    I’d also like to point out that the Tampa Bay game cost us a healthy Nicks this season and cost us some weeks of Hixon’s service and that the plays made by a team trying to prove how tough they were to a creepy coach went over the line on more plays than just the end-of-game jump at O-linemen’s legs.

    •  Begiant says:

      Agreed we had a chance to capitlize on the bye week and try to get Nicks healthy for the end of the season and we messed it up…hindsight’s a B****

  4.  Hardcharger says:

    Nope, according to ehow.com a team can’t go over the cap or they may have to forfeit drafts or player contracts as a penalty for going over. Well, if that website is creditable, there goes that idea, lol. Is fun to dream about big FA signings.

    •  Begiant says:

      We could get under with cuts and restructures…dropping T2′s 6 million option is a start

      •  jb322 says:

        Everyone keeps forgetting that Eli’s cap number goes to $20 mil this year. That’s a $10 mil increase over last year. Unless he renegotiates, there will be no free agent signings of note after we deal with our own. Just as it does on the field, everything goes through Eli. And if you look at the numbers in my last post, you will see that the Giants have significant caps space tied up in signing bonuses. I believe that if we cut someone the signing bonuses are accorded to this years cap. So to keep TT this year will cost us 3 million, while cutting him will accelerate his next year’s bonus into the 2013 cap resulting in a $4 mil hit. From that point of view the only ones we could cut to clear room would be CWeb and Bradshaw.

  5.  rlhjr says:

    Outside of the players that the Giants signed to FA deals (like Rivers and Canty)
    the team has plenty of “phantom” injuries. This physical training staff is a suspect bunch in my view.

    Two players with such dramatic effect on what the team does on each side of the ball should have been managed way better. In fact ANY Giant player presenting himself for treatment deserves top care. I really hope neither has Nicks or Phillips has lingering effects from their mishandling.

    This is nothing new about the Giants or it’s being mentioned on this site for the last 5 years. Overall I can say I’ve seen the Giants try to do the right thing.
    I.E. Steve Smith and Terrell Thomas.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I agree. I think we at least have to examine our practices. Part of the problem with inconsistency is our injuries every year. Every team has injuries but I think we suffer too many of them. While it could just be bad luck and not having durable players it might not be. This year for us was a healthy year and still 2 of our best players in Nicks and KP were severely hampered. With all the things we discussed if those 2 were even 95% for the last 6 games we are playing this weekend. I think we have the best medical intentions but the results have been troubling in too many cases.

  6.  GOAT56 says:

    Repost:

    GOAT56 says:
    January 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM
    Like I said the other day. These JR TT safety comments spell bad news for KP returning. But as someone mentioned TT must redo his beal because no way he makes 8 mil as scheduled in 2013.

    I saw soem talk a free agent CBs and the success the bengals had. Terrence Newman and Pac man Jones? Really? Yes, those have worked out but those were a lot risker bets than Webster was this year. And Clements was moved to safety. Vet CBs are a lot like relief pitching in baseball, total crap shoots. I rather bet on Webster if we can get him down to the 5 mil range. Now we still need CB help but that will come via the draft and Coe level free agents.

    •  Begiant says:

      I do not think Webster will take a pay cut…Bengals lost Joseph when he signed big money and survived when Leon Hall was hurt with the mix of young drafted Cbs and cheap vet signings..I know there is risk involved however these are cheap deals and Reese is a good GM…If we can get strong production from a cheap vet corner we would istantly improve our defense

  7.  Chad Eldred says:

    Going back to an earlier subject, Rex Ryan is not a good head coach. Defending him is ridiculous. Tannenbaum was absolutely a train wreck, but Ryan was an integral part of the trade and decision to draft Sanchez. Ryan is becoming a carbon copy of his dad when he took a spin as a head coach. This will not end well for the Jets or for Ryan. Just like it did not end well for his father. Count on it.

    •  Begiant says:

      Sanchez has nothing around him…Eli would struggle with that offense

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think you are making the same mistake I have heard from others. Head coach and personnel guy are two different attributes. The Jets both Tannenbaum and Rex have made porr personnel decisions are for that they both should be reliived of their duties. But killing Rex’s personnel power doesn’t mean he can’t still serve as head coach. I think overall Rex has done a good job. He has some offensive issues in how he has formed that side of the ball. But much more of the issue has been personnel. The Jets made the mistake by giving Rex too my personnel say. Let the man just coach. Most coaches are not good at both. I believe KC just made a mistake by giving Reid final say. Even TC doesn’t have final say. And while Rex maybe didn’t offically, it seem Tannenbaum was poor at putting his foot down.

  8.  Begiant says:

    I wonder if we could sign the Cowboys Mike Jenkins for a reasonable contract or a “show me” deal like Bennetts…

  9.  fanfor55years says:

    Too bad Carrot Top didn’t play like this against us. We might have done okay.

  10.  kujo says:

    There are more white guys on the Texans than on any NFL team. Nosh must be angry!

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