Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese professional careers are intertwined. The connection began when Reese drafted the raw Pierre- Paul out of South Florida in 2010 with the Giants first round pick. While at the time the pick of Pierre-Paul was not addressing a dire need as Big Blue already had established defensive end Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora on the roster. Yet the gamble by Reese payed dividends for the Giants.
In the 2011 season JPP’s play validated Jerry Reese reputation to select talent at the time. JPP was not only able to break through and start for Big Blue but Pierre-Paul became the leader of the Giants dynamic pass rush by accumulating 16.5 sacks in the 2011 season. And the unit Pierre-Paul was the main catalysts for was crucial in the Giants winning their fourth Super Bowl title in the organizations history.
Yet since the Super Bowl XLVI appearance neither the Giants, Jerry Reese nor JPP has had a successful season. The G-men have failed to make the playoffs for four consecutive seasons since winning Super Bowl XLVI. The Giants also had a 19-29 combined record in the 2013-2015 seasons and the main casualty of the G-men’s futility was Tom Coughlin. The same man who guided the Giants to two Super Bowl titles stepped down from his position.
While Coughlin was leaving his position as Giants head coach Jerry Reese was put under intense scrutiny. Giants President and CEO John Mara made it clear through several media outlets that Big Blue’s roster does not have the talent to succeed in the NFL. With that statement an argument can be made that the individual responsible for assembling the talent should have been relieved of his duties not the head coach.
Pierre-Paul’s career has been on a roller coaster that has been filled with a drop in production and injuries since that Super Bowl win in February 2012. The following season JPP’s production dropped to 6.5 sacks as many offensive schemes were developed to neutralize the production of the young stalwart. 2013 the sack total dropped again to 2.5 sacks for the entire season with Pierre-Paul only playing 11 games due to injury. JPP’s production did rise in 2014 by getting 12.5 sacks but a well-documented firework accident robbed Pierre-Paul of half of the 2015 season and millions of dollars.
Entering the 2016 season Jerry Reese and Pierre-Paul’s careers are on the same trajectory. Both of these men had early success with Big Blue but the dismal 2015 season has tarnished their legacies. If the Giants have a successful 2016 season both Pierre-Paul and Reese will be the model tale of redemption in the NFL. Conversely if Big Blue continues to tumble both Pierre-Paul’s and Reese’s tenure with the Giants could come to an unceremonious end.