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Former GM Bill Poilan Ranks New York Giants’ Jerry Reese One of Top Six NFL Talent Evaluators

April 4th, 2013 at 6:30 AM
By Paul Tierney

The New York Giants do not win Lombardi Trophy's through gaudy free-agent signings or by focusing their attention on "big name" stars. Sure, Plaxico Burress was an instrumental aspect of the 2007 championship team. Chris Canty anchored the middle of the defense during the Giants 2012 championship run and even Lawrence Tynes can be credited for a significant amount of Big Blue's success over the last decade. However, the Giants pride themselves on building through the draft and acquiring complementary pieces off the open market. Every once in a while, the team hits it big in free agency. But that's the exception, not the norm.

Behind the hours upon hours it takes to scout and thoroughly evaluate the hundreds of prospects who declare for the draft every year, there is one man- Jerry Reese. Reese was fortunate enough to inherit the golden ages of the Eli Manning era from Ernie Accorsi, his predecessor. He was just as fortunate to have a head coach in Tom Coughlin that was willing to adjust his style to the players on the roster. Without the foundation built by Accorsi, the Giants would have never been able to go on win two Super Bowl's during Reese's tenure as general manager.

However, to characterize Reese's efforts as a stroke of luck or good fortune would be ludicrous. Reese has established himself as a top talent evaluator in the game, as he has brought in a core of young players that will be productive around Eli Manning for years to come. Perhaps former Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Polian said it best in this column he wrote for ESPN.com. Polian writes:

"Not only is Jerry a terrific judge of talent, he's also an excellent manager in the way he includes his staff and the coaches in the process. Throughout the organization, every scout is working from the same script and knows that their voice will be heard in the player-evaluation process," he said.

Unlike the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins or several other teams around the league,  Reese does not run the player-evaluation process like a dictatorship. He brings in people around him that he trusts to make good decisions, and values their opinions, even if they do not coincide with his own. The mark of a true leader is one who understands that he or she may not always be right and that it's important to take a variety of viewpoints into account when making decisions that will alter the future of the organization.

The Giants are blessed with a general manager in Jerry Reese that is not out to grab headlines or garner media attention. He just loves winning, and he doesn't need to be heralded as a heroic figure when the team succeeds. There are no limits to how far Reese can take the Giants in the future, as his team building methods a tried and true. With the core of talent Reese has acquired, the Giants will hold up another Lombardi Trophy in the near future. It's just a matter of when.

Also…

Tags: Bill Polian, Chris Canty, Football, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Colts, Jerry Reese, Lawrence Tynes, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Plaxico Burress, Super Bowl, Tom Coughlin, Washington Redskins

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6 Responses to “Former GM Bill Poilan Ranks New York Giants’ Jerry Reese One of Top Six NFL Talent Evaluators”

  1.  rlhjr says:

    “The mark of a true leader is one who understands that he or she may not always be right and that it’s important to take a variety of viewpoints into account when making decisions that will alter the future of the organization.”

    Yes, but you had better believe that every leader initially thinks he’s right.
    Sans a strong opinion of where to go and how to get there, you’re not really a leader.

    That said, being strong enough to deal with and even value opinions counter to your own is really the mark of a special individual. No administrator, player or coach stands alone. If they think they do, they soon find out just how hard a landing that mind set set’s them up for. (Ya hear me `Jurra`)

    But it’s the final decision and being accountable for that decision that in the end defines a leader and his legacy. Reese learned from one of the best, and has not wavered.

  2.  F0XLIN says:

    Late to the party but count me in as one who loves the Mike Patterson signing. He was one of the best run defenders in the league prior to his injury.

    In the dreaded lull’s of the off season we touched base on exactly what the Giants need to do to stop the pistol/option offense (outside of simply stopping the run). Stanford vs Oregon was the best example I have seen of this in college ball, it also helps that it was vs Chip Kelly…but Stanford’s tackles continually pushed the pocked back and disrupted the timing of the option.

    Love what JR is doing adding 2 big run defenders in Rodgers and Patterson (even if only one makes the team) and Jenkins as a pass rusher.

  3.  GIANTT says:

    Trying to keep up with the articles – But one thing I have to say – I disagree with Norm about whether the Giants will or will not draft a DT early on and point to what ff55y said – The signing of Patterson gives Reese more of an option in the draft .Mike Patterson is a one year deal and I dont think any of us would be unhappy if the group of DTs that starts the season comes from the players on the roster already . This being said , if a top flight DT falls to the Giants then the Giants have the option of drafting him and sayonara to any one of the one year deals that works out the worst during preseason .This is where Reese does his best work . He gives the Giants so many options at draft time that he is able to do what he does best , take advantage of other teams drafting mistakes .Think someone like Amukamara .
    This also applies to someone like Edelman . He is going to be down the list as a WR so Im more concerned with his ST skills . If he is signed , he will bring a veteran savvy that the Giants lost from Hixon maybe a similar skill set at a lesser price than Hixon got .
    Let me say that I feel uncomfortable having to disagree with Norm – I dont want to be the target of one of his scathing ripostes but sometimes he is wrong

  4.  rlhjr says:

    Quoting Norm:
    “Unless Marc Ross and Jerry Reese are 100%, no-doubt-about-it convinced that Sheldon Richardson – or any of the other top ranked DTs – will be able to step in and play a significant number of snaps this season, they’re not going to waste a high pick on him.”

    Norm is a hundred percent right. I’m pretty sure that neither Patterson, Jenkins nor Rodgers represents the Giants future at defensive tackle. We don’t even know if one hard hit to the head might render Patterson a spectator for the remainder of the season. So remember, the Giants need to strengthen the offensive line and the defensive front seven. The rest is smoke.

    However, if the scouts and Reese are not 100% on any DT/OL player at 19, no player at those positions will be selected. The selection will be the player with the best combination of upside and impact available. And that is where one of the top defensive backs or (God forbid) a linebacker could come into view.
    And as always, a player like Ziggy Ansa is not out of the question. The Giants need young powerful offensive and defensive lineman. But they will not reach for either.

    The second and third rounds can yield players capable of starting or at the very least contributing year one. But the Giants will not reach for a player in the first three rounds. And depending on the depth of talent in a particular draft class, the Giants won’t even reach in rounds 4 and 5.

    For the record, my guy is Jonathan Cooper from North Carolina I think he’s a 10 year starter from day one. My next choice is Chance Warmack who again can be put at left or right guard and play from training camp until ten years from now. Both kids are worthy of being the 19th pick.

    I feel Barrett Jones could be the next Giant center. And he can be had on day two. Jones like Cooper and Warmack is a tough guy who will hang around for years. My fifth round selection is Lamar Mady. I think he’s a big time player who will develop rapidly with quality coaching.

    If the Giants were to land a combination of either Cooper and Jones, or Warmack and Jones offensive line issues would suddenly be a thing of the past.

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