His was the loudest voice of dissatisfaction after the 2009 season, but as the 2010 season dawns, John Mara is looking forward to moving forward. The president and CEO of the Giants said that coming off an 8-8 season without a playoff berth does not change his expectations for the upcoming year.
"I think each year is different, and we have high expectations every year going into the season," Mara said. "I haven't quite gotten the bad taste out of my mouth from last year, so maybe that makes it a little bit different, but I like our team, I like our coaching staff and I think we have every reason to be optimistic this season."
Optimism wasn't a word Mara exuded in January when, a day after the season ended in Minnesota, he verbally strafed the entire organization and noted that "the status quo" would not be good enough. Is he pleased with the changes?
"I think we needed to shake some things up, and obviously we did with a couple of defensive coaches," he said (coordinator Bill Sheridan and defensive line coach Mike Waufle left the staff). "And we needed to add something on defense, so that was the focus of our draft and in bringing in Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant."
Giants sign top picks
The Giants finalized deals with their first two picks in the draft. First-rounder Jason Pierre-Paul agreed to a five-year deal reportedly worth a little over $20 million that includes $11.6 million guaranteed. Second-rounder Linval Joseph signed his four-year contract, the terms of which were not immediately available. The Giants also added veteran free agent safety John Busing.