As for his own emotions amid this shockingly bad season, Reese remained the stoic personality he allows the public to see.
Jerry Reese wasn't even two minutes into his bye week press conference when he made a revelation that has to alarm the Giants, from ownership on down. The Giants right now are learning that lesson the hard way. Reese believes that paying attention to those expectations is part of the problem as he said too many people in the organization "bought into the hype" about how good they could be in 2017. "But in this business, the 11 games we won past year, that's over with". You have to start over every time and you have to earn wins and you have to do it the right way. We won 11 games, and we won 11 games with a rookie head coach.' So you come back and think, 'Well, we've already got 11 wins.' And that's just not how it works.
"You guys want me to get up here and have a tantrum, I'm not going to do that, " he said. This year, they are 0-3 in such games and have been outscored by 24 points in the fourth quarter for the entire season. "So it's a combination of a lot of things and we're going to take these last nine games and we're going to give it everything we got". "Offense could have closed a game or two out late in the game when we've been ahead". So, you have to do the little things. We've beat ourselves, not taking anything from anyone that beat us, but a lot of things are self-inflicted that happened to us and we have to clean those things up. You have to start over every time, and you have to earn your wins. You have to prepare during the week. "You win the game during the week when you practice".
From general manager down through backup left guard, the Giants are aware of the scrutiny the offensive line has been under.
As the Giants fell to 1-6 this past weekend, the Eagles and Cowboys both posted impressive victories. This season, however, the team is 27 in yards and 30 in scoring. "I'm the reason we're 1-6", Reese said at his annual bye week news conference. "This roster - it's my roster".
Reese may have taken "ownership" for constructing the roster that has the Giants where they are, and he may have declared himself the reason they are 1-6. And he elaborated further, adding he thinks the Giants "didn't go out and strain as hard as you have to strain to play in this league every Sunday", have suffered some losses due to "self-inflicted" issues, and "just didn't come out with that fight that I saw from us past year". I believe everyone is accountable here for what goes on. "I do believe we have to play better, though". Do we want to upgrade our offensive line?
"It's the National Football League". They flashed some good play at times, but obviously if you're not winning, a lot of things get pointed at.
It is no secret the Giants have been compromised by an offensive line that has been shaky, at best. People like to point at the offensive line, and it's totally not all on the offensive line. We win as a team. We lose as a team. "It's a whole team effort that's caused us to be where we are right now". The question is just a matter of when that becomes the case. "He can say a lot of things, but as a team, we have to come together and we have to fight". It's just what the facts are and we've lost a bunch of games and that hurts. "I'm going to keep fighting, keep finding ways to get completions and see if we can move the ball and score some more points".
But does it bother him when he hears talk that the Giants should think about the future? "You have to protect against winning, you have to start over, you have to put in the work, you've got to play with some passion out there". "So, I'm going to worry about my job - going out there and playing at a high level". The Giants finished at 11-5 in 2016, returned to the playoffs and opened the season with what appeared like a competitive roster - at least on paper.
"I'm not really complacent", Engram said. So, that's what I'm getting at. I'm always aiming for improvement. "I'm not going to do that". Manning and rookie tight end Evan Engram are headed to Ole Miss to catch its game against Arkansas.