Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 11 May 2012 00:00When Ernie Accorsi retired as New York Giants general manager in January 2007, fans were clamoring for the Mara and Tisch families to go after big-ticket names like Bill Parcells and current Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli to take the reigns of one of the NFL’s most storied franchises. Yet, in true Giants fashion, they stayed in-house and filled the void with an up and coming front office nobody: Jerry Reese.
Accorsi was credited with pinpointing sure fire NFL stars like John Elway and most recently, eight years ago with Eli Manning. It was a safe bet to say no one could make a mark like Accorsi in New York.
Boy were they wrong.
After starting off as an assistant in the pro personnel department for the Giants, Reese made his way up the ranks to being the right-hand man of Accorsi. When he accepted the job as point man for the GMEN, media outlets questioned the move, citing front-office types like Pioli, who was with the New England Patriots at the time, as a better fit.
They were wrong once again.
In Reese’s first NFL draft as GM in 2007, he selected in order: Aaron Ross, Steve Smith, Jay Alford, Zak DeOssie, Kevin Boss, Adam Koets, Michael Johnson and Ahmad Bradshaw. “Experts” projected most of these rookies to contribute somewhere down the road, sans Smith and Ross. Little did they know Reese caught lightning in seven of eight bottles with these draft selections.
Ross was a standout rookie, holding his own at cornerback, Smith became Manning’s go to target as a slot receiver while Johnson saw much time at safety with a depleted Giants secondary for most of the season and made a season saving slap at the the pigskin on a fumble in the 2007 NFC Championship Game.
DeOssie is now a Pro Bowl special teams player and long snapper, while Boss, who is now a free agent after one-year with the Oakland Raiders, made clutch catch after clutch catch at tight end, including a long reception during Super Bowl XLII setting up a Giants touchdown. Jay Alford? Well, he just essentially sealed a third Super Bowl win for the Giants with a sack on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and was a standout reserve until departing the team two years ago.
Bradshaw tops them all of this draft class. He punched the Giants ticket to the postseason in 2007 with a monster game on a snowy day in Orchard Park against the Buffalo Bills and is currently the featured running back for New York. The Marshall alum was the 250th player drafted in 2007, after high-profile, now draft busts like quarterbacks JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn and running backs Kenny Irons, Chris Henry and Brian Leonard.
Case in point: Reese was and always will be the most logical choice as GM. He knew Accorsi’s thinking, he had the organizations philosophy on player development from his days as an assistant down pat and knows when to stand his ground to hold the fort (see the departures of Steve Smith and Kevin Boss in 2011) and realize when to pay (see Bradshaw’s contract extension last year).
This year was no different. At the beginning of 2011, the Giants lost key players from the previous season, prompting fans to call for Reese to spend big on free agents…He didn’t.
No worries, the Reese will wheel and deal during the draft right?
When Plaxico Burress was fresh out of jail, NFL know-it-alls called for him to return to the Giants. Burress went to the New York Jets and stated he never really felt “wanted” by Reese and his former team.
Message boards, comment forums, blogs, radio shows, water coolers and local watering holes exploded with opinions that Reese was a fool for not trying to make his team better and will be canned after the Giants flop in 2011. He maintained that the Giants were prepared for a season that would see a deep playoff run with, as always, staying in-house with talent currently available, with their only “big splash” in free agency signing center David Baas.
He hoisted another Vince Lombardi Trophy in February.
With fire starters like wide receiver Victor Cruz surprisingly taking the league by storm and tight end Jake Ballard serviceably filling in for Kevin Boss and a breakout season for defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants showcased the reason that spending big doesn’t always necessarily mean that you’ll win big….just look at the Washington Redskins.
With another Super Bowl victory under Reese’s belt in 2012, the homegrown mentality seems to be a permanent fixture on a franchise based on tradition, loyalty and consistency.
Reese is content to let the Redskins of the NFL throw money at big name players, hire popular head coaches and front-office personalities, while he continues stay in one place: in-house.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.
East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.
Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.
“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”
Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.
The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.