Since being named General Manager of the New York Giants in 2007, Jerry Reese has helped his team win two Super Bowl championships. During his tenure the Giants have won two NFC East championships, earned three postseason berths and have finished .50 or better in every season.
With a keen eye for talent, players he helped sign made pivotal plays in each of those Super Bowl victories and Reese remains the only African American General Manager in the NFL to ever win a Super Bowl. BLACK ENTERPRISE Editorial Director Alan Hughes caught up with the 48-year-old Reese at the team’s offices to get his tips on what it takes to win.
Whenever a team wins a championship, there’s always a hemorrhaging of talent—both players and coaches are lured away by other teams. What measures do you have in place to keep the team highly competitive, despite that reality?
Jerry Reese: We believe that you develop players. You can fix a few things through free agency, but we believe in drafting players and developing players. That’s kind of what our philosophy has been. We don’t have a template. Every year is different, so we use free agency. We use the draft. We use trades. We use all different types of ways to get our personnel to where we want it to be and we never stop trying to upgrade the personnel as the year goes along. You can’t keep them all. With the salary cap as it is now, you can’t keep all the players and you know you’re going to lose some players, but you have to try to keep a good core of the players on the offense and defense and special teams. If you can keep good core players, then you can fill in around them with draft picks and free agency, and I think we’ve been able to follow that a little bit and make it work for us.