INDIANAPOLIS — Giants GM Jerry Reese spoke Saturday, presumably as a gesture to the assembled media in town, but offered little of substance on the state of the team.
Reese deflected questions about the contract status of WR Victor Cruz, the team’s recent salary-cap-related cuts, whether they might use the franchise tag and the 2013 draft class as a whole.
But his most interesting comments came on DE Justin Tuck, who is coming off a disappointing season. Tuck had 11.5 sacks and six forced fumbles in 2010, and he slipped to five sacks and one forced fumble (in 12 games) in 2011. But Tuck’s performance — especially down the stretch — took an even further dive in 2012, with four sacks and no forced fumbles in 15 games.
“Obviously, Justin hasn’t played as well as we think he could play in the past, and he knows that,” Reese said. “We recently had a really long conversation, and we talked about those things. He wants to get back to the old Justin Tuck and the player we know him to be.”
Tuck has suffered a number of injuries the past two seasons, including a shoulder that hindered him in December, which Reese said contributed to his downtick in production.
“Hopefully, he can get healthy and get back to his old form,” Reese said.
The Giants always seek DE help in the draft, and the position could see a bit of a makeover in the offseason. But asked if Osi Umenyiora's career with the team was over, Reese certainly didn't close the door.
"No, we keep all of our options open," he said.
Although Reese was vague and non-specific on most other issues, he did touch on a few offseason subjects:
- On injured CB Terrell Thomas, who reportedly has considered retiring during his back-to-back seasons with ACL injuries, Reese said he doesn’t think Thomas rushed his comeback attempt a year ago following his initial knee surgery. “I am not a doctor, it’s hard to say,” Reese said. “I think he thought he was ready to go, and he still was on a pitch count in training camp. Hopefully, this time, we’ll take more precaution. He knows his body better than anybody, so hopefully this time he can be able to contribute.”
- On RB David Wilson perhaps taking the lead role with Ahmad Bradshaw being released: “It’s competition. It’s what we do with the Giants: we try to create competition at the running back spot, just like the other positions. We have David, Andre Brown and Da’Rel Scott. We’ll keep looking to add a fourth or fifth guy.”
- On the use of advanced statistical analytics to supplement scouting players: “We always try to get an edge. But just old-fashioned scouting is what we try to hang our hats on. We put the numbers in and see what the numbers say and then put our eyes on players and see what our eyes say. I think that’s most important. But we don’t put our head in the sand and ignore it as well. We try to put it all together on what we think players are and challenge our scouts, kind of the unsung heroes of what we try to do.”