New York Giants

While you can point fingers at multiple people, whose really to blame for the New York Giants’ struggles?

By Justin Weiss

There seems to be only a few things Giant fans on social media want to speak about. For anyone who has not yet experienced this overplayed and over-reactionary discussion, brace yourselves: it’s about to get crazy.

However, there’s no reason, for fans to feel this way about general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin, two men who have helped Big Blue reach the pinnacle of the league twice.

Sure, it’s quite infuriating that New York has failed to qualify for the playoffs for three consecutive seasons (and that it seems like 2015 will be the fourth straight playoff-less campaign). It’s also disconcerting to see how the G-Men have managed to collapse down-the-stretch in so many important games this season.

While Reese and Coughlin may be at fault — too an extent — at the end of the day it’s up to the players to make the neccesary plays and ensure that the Giants end up with a greater total than their opponents.

The way I see it, and correct me if I’m wrong, is that this team is lacking talent, yet has enough talent to compete in every game; while they have bad coaching, yet would be 11-2 if not for a couple of key dropped balls, clock mismanagement, and late-game defensive implosions.

Because let’s face it: a general managers job is to draft players, scout potential fits, sign free agents and handle the salary cap. A coach’s job is pretty straightforward as well: make game plans, assemble game day rosters, motivate players, and make in-game adjustments.

Reese has done a respectable job drafting (see the OBJ draft), signing free agents (does generally well, as he has done with guys like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Dwayne Harris, Rashad Jennings, Cullen Jenkins and Robert Ayers) and handling the salary cap. A general manager is supposed to assemble a competitive football team, and the Giants have contended with teams such as the Patriots and Panthers this season.

While there are still holes to be found (see Uani Unga, Craig Dahl and Jayron Hosley) and players who have suffered injuries (speaking to you Geoff Schwartz, Jon Beason, Larry Donnell, Johnathan Hankins, Will Beatty, Victor Cruz and Owamagbe Odighizuwa), Coughlin has done a solid job maximizing on a lack of depth and keeping New York in games they shouldn’t have ever been in.

With the exception of the Eagles and Redskins massacres, Big Blue has been adequately prepared for every game this season. Additionally, Coughlin can’t secure two feet in bounds for Beckham in the Patriots game. He can’t ensure a Rodgers-Cromartie interception against Carolina. He can’t split the uprights for Josh Brown in overtime against the Jets.

The unfortunate reality of football is that those who win are those who make all the neccesary plays. Reese (even with a less than ideal roster) and Coughlin (even with some questionable decisions) have put this team in a position to succeed.

At the end of the day, it’s up to the players to secure the W.

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.