The 2013 New York Giants are one of the NFL's biggest disappointments of all-time. A franchise which stood at the pinnacle of the football world just 20 months ago now epitomizes what it means to be bad. If you're wondering how a team could fall so far, so fast, look no further than general manager Jerry Reese.
The process of digesting the ugly product put on the field by the New York Giants is finally under way.
Reese's personnel have been outscored by an unthinkable average of 20 points through five games. What once seemed to be rudimentary tasks are evidently like pulling teeth these days. Things like moving the chains, making opposing quarterbacks feel pressure and focusing.
Aside from a very small handful of promising pieces, the Giants are a poor team across the board. This is a group punching so far above its weight that a reload this summer is out of the question. Due to Reese's negligence, New York is resigned to rebuilding when the 2013 season mercilessly comes to an end.
The disappointment and despair engulfing this storied franchise stems from the fact that for nearly a decade, the Giants have had a blueprint for success.
Former GM Ernie Accorsi never shied away from the occasional bold move, surrounding young talent with a solid veteran presence from the free-agent market. Accorsi resolutely executed the blockbuster trade for Eli Manning in 2004, signed the likes of Antonio Pierce and Plaxico Burress and drafted future stars Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck.
Prior to his retirement in early 2007, Accorsi laid the foundation for what would eventually be two Super Bowl teams.
New York had an identity which it confidently maintained through two separate championship runs in a five year span. Any genuine swagger or moxy during those campaigns came from the remnants of what Accorsi had left the franchise.
An unspoken aura and confidence has been replaced by utter embarrassment for New York. Self-containment and respect is at an all-time low with veterans conjecturing over the possibility of a 12-0 run.
Even the coaches have succumbed to the frustrations of being terrible.
What we're left with is the petulant bi-product of a grossly mismanaged team, bombing the ball down-field insufferably like a ten-year-old playing Madden.
Reese ignored one too many warning signs this past offseason. His greatest blunder will irrevocably be his complete disregard for the linebacker position. It is reasonable at this point to believe Reese shops for linebackers while picking up orange juice at the supermarket.
New York's offensive and defensive lines quite obviously showed signs of decay in 2012. Rather than systematically bolster these units, Reese decided to release several key veterans.
With the release of Ahmad Bradshaw and departure of Martellus Bennett in free agency, the Giants' offensive line effectively lost its only lifeline. These were the only two men capable of saving Manning when things went array last season. In their place Reese entrusted Brandon Myers, the worst blocking tight end in 2012, and an inexperienced David Wilson.
The Giants would be right to give their general manager a pass even after the calamity of 2013.
But Reese's own words from late-July could be used against him. According to ESPN, New York's GM told reporters "We want to put everybody on notice, myself, everybody is on notice that that's not our standard."
The standard Reese is referring to would be the legacy and expectations set forth by Accorsi.
This is a soon-to-be embattled GM chasing a ghost. A man with two Super Bowl rings striving to be like a man with none. Reese bought his own hype. "In Reese We Trust" was the slogan handed to him by adoring fans.
At first, this was a sign of faith in a man's ability to construct a team. Now, it's looking more like a false hope that the brilliant blueprint of Ernie Accorsi won't be completely destroyed.