Found February 01, 2012 on Fox Sports Southwest:
Bush_meets_with_b594
Contrary to popular belief, Jerry Jones isn't the only owner in the NFL who attends draft meetings. New York Giants co-owner John Mara likes to check in with his scouting department on a regular basis and he's always in the "war room" on draft day. The difference of course is that he's there to show support for the people he's empowered to make football decisions. Mara's also fiercely loyal to head coach Tom Coughlin, and wouldn't dare show up on the sideline to offer him advice DURING A GAME. The Giants only finished with one more win in the regular season than the Cowboys, but they were able to make this improbable run to the Super Bowl, in part because they have a clearly defined structure. General manager Jerry Reese took over the reins from Ernie Accorsi in 2007 and promptly had to deal with a very public holdout by defensive end Michael Strahan. Reese allowed Strahan to sound off in the media and never lost his cool. In fact, it's that calm demeanor that can drive players nuts when they're attempting to pick a fight (see Osi Umenyiora). "The most important thing Ernie taught me is to make solid football decisions," said Reese via text Wednesday. "It has nothing to do with emotionjust everything that encompasses good, solid football decisions." Unlike Jones, Reese doesn't work hard at creating friendships with players. And once he and his scouting department deliver the players, he steps out of the way and lets Coughlin do his job. He serves as a sounding board for the head coach, but you won't catch Reese offering unsolicited advice. He did feel strongly after the '06 season that quarterback Eli Manning needed to make some changes to his body language on the field. The Giants didn't want to change Manning's personality, but they realized that his slumped shoulders and hang-dog expressions after negative plays were affecting his teammates. Running back Tiki Barber used to chide Manning for this during games. But Manning set the tone for the '07 season when he fired back at Barber, who was criticizing him in the media. His teammates saw the quotes, and it helped him gain more credibility in the locker room. The Giants don't leave any doubt when it comes to their overall hierarchy. Mara, who played a leading role in negotiating a new collective labor agreement, avoids the spotlight. And you don't see him in a suite during road games because he's sitting on the same row as reporters in the main press box, normally next to Reese. Mara has a great admiration for the Rooney family in Pittsburgh and that's why he's stayed with Coughlin through some rocky seasons, just like the Steelers did with Bill Cowher. Reese was widely criticized before the season for allowing free-agent wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Kevin Boss end up on other rosters. Smith, who was coming off major knee surgery, didn't do much of anything for the Eagles and Boss didn't light it up for the Raiders. The Giants continue to stock their roster with long-armed pass-rushers and they struck gold last year by signing free-agent rookie wide receiver Victor Cruz out of UMass. The Cowboys' hierarchy is so muddled it's hard to explain. The assistant director of player personnel Tom Ciskowski and his staff do a nice job putting together a draft board, but they can be undermined by Jones at any minute. Jones talks to a handful of his old pals from outside the organization, including former Cowboys director of scouting Larry Lacewell and even Barry Switzer at times. He seems to listen to whomever he's been on the phone with last, which is a strange way of doing business. Jones' son, Stephen, is actually the voice of reason at Valley Ranch. If the scouts or coaches feel strongly about a player, they know it's wise to inform Stephen. He's someone that Jerry talks to on a daily basis and has great trust in. If not for Stephen, you may have seen Terrell Owens remain on the Cowboys roster for another season. Jones promised that nothing would happen on the Cowboys roster or coaching staff without the approval of Jason Garret, but a lot of us were skeptical. When an owner's willing to advise his head coach during live action, it's hard to believe he's giving him free reign over football operations. Jones will probably watch Sunday's game and think about how close the Cowboys were to beating the Giants in their first meeting this season. He'll continue to convince himself that nothing's wrong with the core talent with his team. Meanwhile, the Cowboys' most bitter rival (for now) will be going for its second Super Bowl title in five years.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Super Bowl Footballs Will Give Sentimental Advantage To NY Giants

Every time a New York Giants or New England Patriots player looks at one of the 120 footballs used on the field during Super Bowl XLVI he will see the name "The Duke" embossed on the ball and might wonder 'Who the hell is that?' It's more of a mystery for Patriots players than the Giants side because "The Duke" was the beloved Giants owner Wellington...

Mara, Kraft share mutual respect

They will be rooting like crazy against one another, hopeful their respective teams will win Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. But if it wasn't for John Mara and Robert Kraft standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a tension-filled offseason of arduous labor negotiations, there might not be a Giants-Patriots Super Bowl.

Climbing our way through the Mara family tree

Years before Super Bowl XLVI or even Super Bowl I, the story goes that Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney met New York football Giants founder Tim Mara at Moore's Restaurant in New York. Mara, a licensed bookie (according to his grandson, current Giants CEO and president John Mara) was selling Rooney on a horse.

Bears spared Giants, Pats by picking Phil Emery as GM

INDIANAPOLIS — A day after the Bears introduced Phil Emery as their general manager, executives from the two Super Bowl teams were relieved two of their staff members aren’t headed to Halas Hall. New York Giants owner John Mara said Tuesday he had a ‘‘long conversation’’ with Bears president...

Jerry Reese’s key to building a Super Bowl team: Never stop scouting

Giants General Manager Jerry Reese says there’s no secret to constructing a roster good enough to get to the Super Bowl. It’s just a matter of hard work from the scouting department. Asked about the process of scouting players, Reese said, “We never stop that.” Getting to the Super Bowl didn’t change much about the…

Kraft, Mara started season, now they'll finish it

The NFL season began on time largely because of Robert Kraft and John Mara. So there's no more fitting way to end it than the two of them facing off for the game's biggest prize. The owners of the New England Patriots and New York Giants were instrumental in ending a long labor war that threatened to cancel what turned out to be, by nearly every measure, the NFL's most...

Jerry Reese is smart again

Luck remains the most overlooked factor in what decides a champion. Giants G.M. Jerry Reese had a great quote this week that spoke to how things outside of a team’s control can often make all the difference in deciding public perception. Or even a season. “Last year we win 10 games and we don’t qualify…

Owners have forged bond

Bob Kraft and John Mara worked together last summer to salvage a football season, so it's only fitting the owners of the New England Patriots and the New York Giants are here to revel in their clubs' Super accomplishments.

Reese has built a foundation as Giants GM

Jerry Reese was unconvinced. Sure, the chance that Ernie Accorsi was offering him could be a steppingstone to huge opportunities. Sure, it meant that the then-Giants general manager believed in him.

Reese builds the real Dream Team

The hate mail came often during the summer, and the voicemails sometimes were worse. Everyone was so angry at Jerry Reese for the job he was doing back in August because it looked as if his team was falling apart.

Kraft, Mara started season, now they'll finish it

The NFL season began on time largely because of Robert Kraft and John Mara. So there's no more fitting way to end it than the two of them facing off for the game's biggest prize.

Mara likes Coughlin because he’s focused on winning, not his image

In eight seasons as head coach of the Giants, Tom Coughlin has spent enough time on the hot seat to get burned on his backside. But Giants owner John Mara has always stood by Coughlin, and Coughlin has rewarded that with one Vince Lombardi Trophy and a chance at another on Sunday. Today mara said…

Popular owners reach the Bowl

By Paul KenyonThe NFL is happy having two major markets like New York and Boston in the Super Bowl and the NFL union is equally pleased because of the people involved. DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players' Association, broke his usual stance of not rooting for anyone. He said it is fitting that the Giants and Patriots have reached the Super Bowl because...

Giants notebook: Path to Super Bowl isn't sexy, but effective

The Giants went 10-6 a year ago and wound up sitting at home. Now they're 9-7 and one win away from their second Super Bowl title in four seasons. Alex Raskin says to chalk it up to unsexy, but effective moves by GM Jerry Reese.
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.