Ok, some big doings in Giant-land since the last time I posted, so let’s talk about some of those.

I.

But first, to rehash, the retaining of Colonel Tom was absolutely senseless, indicative of an out of touch, paralyzed ownership that appears to have neither the desire nor balls to move forward from the unmitigated disaster that was the last nine games of this past year.

The explanations proffered – that retaining Coughlin was necessary to preserve a sense of stability, or that he was merely the victim of unfortunate injuries, or that he had the right idea going forward, or that the players actually wanted him back (this last one seems like the most ridiculous) – are fatuous. Sorry to say, but it appears that the Giants brass is unwilling to take a chance, any chance, that might reverse the rapidly deteriorating state of affairs of this once proud franchise.

Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of the developments of this young off-season is that most of Coughlin’s assistants are getting fired, most notably the offensive and defensive coordinators. If you think about it, this really makes no sense – not the decision to part ways with the coordinators, but the decision to part ways with the coordinators and retain Tom.

I mean, from a logical standpoint, how can we say that the coordinators are at fault, but the guy that both hired them and supervised them is not?

Michael Waxenberg, the proprietor of NJ.com’s excellent Big Blue Blog, puts it perfectly in one of his recent posts:

“The upheaval suggests that ownership considers Coughlin’s entire program a failure…. Coughlin hired all of the guys who are now facing the consequences of his failure. So why is Coughlin still here? Leadership? No. Game management? No. Ability to attract talent? Obviously not. Unless there’s a plan in place for 2008, very little of what’s going on at the Meadowlands makes any sense.”

Exactly. And even if there is a plan in place for 2008, it’s completely unconscionable to wait that long to enact it. We have some talent and it’s not getting any younger. Fuck, I want to win in 2007.

Furthermore, if the Giants expect to assemble a new staff, are we really in any position to do this? Waxenberg hits it on the head when he describes the Meadowlands as “a singularly unattractive destination for new hires.”

His reasoning? The team’s best offensive player is retiring. The team’s best defensive player has an alarming recent injury history and is 35 years old. The organization is ensconced in negative vibes as much as George Costanza was once ensconced in velvet. And lastly, Colonel Tom, in the words of Waxenberg, is “the lamest of lame ducks.” Why would any good coordinator prospect put himself in this situation? (Oh, and Tom’s also a dick. I mean, would youITAL want to work for him?)

II.

A couple of quick notes related to the coordinator situation. First of all, it seems that, for a brief little while, we were all supposed to get excited about Dom Capers as our next defensive coordinator… before he was retained by the Dolphins (who don’t even have a head coach, for Christ’s sake!), who gave him a record-setting deal for a coordinator. Alas, no Capers, and we’ll have to search elsewhere.

A couple of names mentioned for the job since then have been Miami’s linebackers coach George Edwards, former Falcons head coach Jim Mora, Jr. (until he replaces Ty Willingham at the University of Washington [speaking of Ty Willingham, that ref Mike Carey, who takes so much pride is explaining every call, like “However, the runner’s elbow was down, which by definition means that the play is blown dead. Therefore, it is a first down for Baltimore.”]) and… are you ready… Pepper Johnson, who now serves as the Patriots defensive line coach.

Also, it appears that Kevin Gilbride is taking over as the new offensive coordinator, yet another recent uninspired move by the G-Men brass. I mean, first of all, it’s Kevin Gilbride – the guy’s a serial retread whose most famous moment was getting decked by fellow-coordinator Buddy Ryan on the sideline of a Houston Oilers game.

Second of all, how does Gilbride get a reprieve from the underachieving mediocrity that has become of the high-priced Giants offense? He was the quarterbacks coach, for Christ’s sake, and last I checked, it was the quarterback who was the sloppiest, most clueless player on the offense, the single biggest reason for the underachieving!

(What’s so disturbing about Eli is that his fragile psyche and inconsistent mechanics run so counter to everything we heard about him coming out of Ole Miss. Was his pre-draft reputation a mirage? Or has he been poorly coached? It has to be one of these things, but the Giants don’t seem to want to acknowledge either one as a possibility.)

III.

Finally, the biggest news: NYGMen wishes a hearty welcome to the Giants new GM, Jerry Reese. Reese, a native of Tiptonville, TN, has the biography of a classic football junkie. He was a star safety at the University of Tennessee-Martin, and stayed on as a graduate assistant and then as an assistant coach after his playing days were over.

In 1994, he joined the Giants scouting department, and for the past four years, he has supervised the draft for under Ernie Accorsi as Director of Player Personnel. His draft results have been mixed. For every Osi Umenyiora and Chris Snee, there has been a Tim Carter or a Will Allen/Will Petersen.

It’s tough to judge Reese’s draft record because you can’t separate Reese’s input from the final decisions made by his boss, Ernie Accorsi. Plus, the jury is still out on Accorsi’s draft and his signature draft strategy of trading later and future picks for the player he is sure he wants, whether that’s Jeremy Shockey, Will Allen, Sinorice Moss, and, of course, Eli Manning. Time will tell…

Around G-Men nation, you can sense the people’s reluctance to get excited about this move. To some, it must seem like just a safe continuation of the status quo in the same way that retaining Colonel Tom was. That’s certainly one way to look at it: We’re continuing with the same brain-trust of an organization that presided over the most frustrating season in recent Giants memory.
But, to make a corny New York Post back-page pun, All I am Saying is Give Reese a Chance. The guy is young (43), which is a change of pace for an organization that usually tends toward the old and stodgy, and has certainly earned his stripes.

So a Big Blue welcome to the new GM. Your charge is simple: bring us a Super Bowl. Make it happen, Jerry!