REESE SAYS NOTHING PERSONAL WITH UMENYIORA OR ANY PLAYER
"On Monday, listeners sat through Mike Francesa's long interview with Jerry
Reese on WFAN only to come away having heard zero questions about Osi Umenyiora,
who claimed on Sunday night Reese and the Giants offered him half of the guarantees
they gave Mathias Kiwanuka and were making
him look like a "greedy pig."
Today, in an interview with Ryan Ruocco and Stephen A. Smith on 98.7 ESPN
Radio, the subject of Umenyiora's situation finally came up. And while he wasn't
asked about the specifics, such as the guaranteed money, Reese did address the
reiterating many of the same things he said on Saturday in his post-draft
"Iím not going to discuss Osiís contract situation with you guys. I can say
this to you, though: the New York Giants are a better football team with Osi
Umenyiora on our team," Reese said when Ruocco asked him if he has the urge to
"throw (Umenyiora) a bone" for his years of production. "We respect him as a
football player. Our goal is to have Osi play football with the New York Giants
and retire as a Giant. That is what we would like to do first. All of our
options are open as I have said before but Osi makes us a better football team,
I do know that."
At that point, Smith interjected by serving less as questioner and more as
judge and jury in asking Reese how he responded to "some of the erroneous things
that came out of his mouth" about Reese.
(Pauses to remind everyone none of the accusations Umenyiora has made, including those in
the affidavit, have been proven or disproven. Continuing...)
"I donít carry grudges. That is the offseason, that is part of the job,"
Reese said. "In the offseason there is always some controversy about contracts.
It is not just one person, it can be several different people with contract
situations. That is part of my job, it is never personal, I donít think it is
personal with respect to players and it definitely is not personal with respect
to me. It is just part of the business."
Reese continued, "We will get through this and we will see what happens
moving forward. It is part of the business. It is not a big problem for me to
have guys say some things. I think sometimes some people say things that they
obviously really donít mean. Everybody is trying to make as much money as they
can for themselves and their families and everybody understands that and it is
* * * *
A few other quotes from Reese from the interview:
On WR Victor Cruz possibly on "Dancing with the Stars" one
day: "Victor looks like he is a pretty good dancer. Funny you should
say that, I was kind of buzzing through the TV last night and I saw some of that
and I saw Donald Driver, Donald is pretty good. I think Victor would be good on
that. Victor is a smart guy. I think Victor wants to focus on football more than
anything else right now. He had one good year. One good year donít make you a
great football player. It means you had one good year. And he is a smart young
man and I think he wants to focus on what is most important and that is
football. I think he is doing the right thing. Maybe at some point later on his
career he may be able to do that but right now I think he is focusing on trying
to be a good football player."
On QB Eli Manning hosting Saturday Night Live this
week: "Yeah, I think I have to tune into that. I donít ever watch that
show but I think I am going to tune in to check this out. He is a funny guy. You
guys are not around him that much but he can be pretty funny."
On whether the running game will be better this year: "I
hope so. People say this is a passing league. I still think you have to run the
ball in this league. We ran the ball pretty good at times. But we are the
giants, I donít think we are ever going to go all the way from [running to] we
are a passing team. I think we like to run the ball first and play-action pass,
that is who we are but it is really nice to have a quarterback who if you have
to throw 40 times, the guy can do it and do a good job. That is a good product
to have in your system."