Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Big Blue Aiming Very High

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Big Blue Aiming Very High

Article excerpt

EAST RUTHERFORD - Jerry Reese stepped to the microphone with an agenda to present just minutes before the first practice of training camp Saturday.

The Giants general manager provided the assembled media with two numbers -- 190, the number of days before Super Bowl XLVIII would be played at MetLife Stadium; and 1, the number of playoff trips his team has taken over the last four seasons.

Then Reese issued the challenge that resonated, undoubtedly making its way one way or the other to the locker room, the coaching staff and the man in the mirror.

"All I know is that we've been in the playoffs one time in the last four years and really that's not acceptable for us," Reese said. "That's not our standard. That's not what we shoot for. We want to put everybody on notice, myself [included] -- everybody's on notice. That's not our standard."

Reese promised the Giants would appreciate the urgency of returning to the playoffs, not to mention the Super Bowl that will be played in their back yard Feb. 2.

The Giants will practice with MetLife Stadium as their constant backdrop, but also a daily countdown to Super Bowl XLVIII that will soon hang in the locker room for all to see.

"When you look at it and you see that number jump out at you, 190 days, that's really not that far away," Reese said. "The sense of urgency really jumps out at me. We're going to put up in the locker room a countdown just so guys can see how urgent it is to be ready to go every week. You can't let games get away from you and expect to make it to the playoffs. We have to have a sense of urgency going into this season."

Reese has won two Super Bowls since taking over as general manager in 2007.

The Giants talked dynasty after winning the second of those in Indianapolis 17 months ago. But a title defense proved elusive, and in the most frustrating of ways, a purported contender left outside of the postseason after losing three of its final five games, including back-to-back games at Atlanta and Baltimore in which they lost by a combined score of 67-14. …

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