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SportsColumnistsBob Glauber

Giants fans should trust in Reese

Virginia Tech running back David Wilson (4) carries

Virginia Tech running back David Wilson (4) carries against Michigan. (Jan. 3, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

It is the one-word question Giants fans have asked so often since Jerry Reese took over as general manager in 2007: Who?

Or the one-word alternative reaction: Really?

Ahmad Bradshaw and Kevin Boss in 2007.

Mario Manningham a year later.

Jason Pierre-Paul in 2010.

Jacquian Williams in 2011.

And now we add David Wilson to the list.



But if Reese's track record is any indication, those two questions usually are answered in very definitive -- and very positive -- terms. He may not pick players with household names, but the ones he picks have done plenty to help the Giants win two Super Bowl championships in Reese's five seasons on the job.

His latest move: taking a running back from Virginia Tech who didn't get a sniff of first-round buzz in the weeks leading up to the draft. But Reese's past performance should tell you enough about Wilson's promise, even if only well-schooled draft geeks knew much about the tailback coming into the draft.

"Terrific football player. This guy loves to play football," Reese said of Wilson. "He can do anything you want him to do. He can catch the ball. He can return kicks. He's a good piece to put in our running back stable and we're happy to have a player of his caliber."

Wilson comes off a brilliant 2011 season in which he ran 290 times for 1,709 yards and nine touchdowns, good enough to win ACC Player of the Year honors. He figures to be a fine addition to a Giants backfield that had an opening with the departure of Brandon Jacobs to the 49ers.

Wilson joins starter Bradshaw on a team that comes off a dramatic run to the Super Bowl title after barely sneaking into the playoffs in the final week of the season. And if he performs the way the Giants expect, they'll have a running attack that no longer will be considered the team's weak link. Last season, the Giants won in fairly unconventional fashion, overcoming a rushing attack that finished dead last at 32nd.

"This kid's a hard-nosed player," Reese said. "He can run inside. He can run outside. Ahmad is going to be our lead dog, and this guy is going to be a nice piece in our running back stable."

By now, there shouldn't be anyone left to second-guess these kinds of decisions from Reese, whose astute moves have set the stage for their two recent championship seasons. Whether it's making solid picks in the draft or making the tough choices in free agency and other roster moves, Reese's steady hand in guiding the team has been essential to the Giants' success.

He held firm in the Osi Umenyiora contract drama last year and won the staredown before Umenyiora backed off.

He extended Mathias Kiwanuka's contract this week, keeping his options open in the event Umenyiora is traded or leaves after next season.

Remember how he wouldn't go too far in negotiations with wide receivers Steve Smith and Plaxico Burress last year? There was plenty of criticism for not signing either of them, but it was Reese who got the last laugh.

And look what happened Friday night: Reese drafted LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle with the final pick of the second round. The 6-2, 208-pound receiver will replace Manningham, who signed a free-agent deal with the 49ers.

Wilson was a stunner in the first round, but so was Randle. With the final pick of the second round, the Giants got a player they had assigned a first-round grade.

Another solid move for an organization that has made plenty of them in the Reese era.

New York Sports