I was not at the christening of MetLife Stadium today. Neil Best was. And he had a chance to speak with and write down some of the things that Giants president and owner John Mara had to say. Mara spoke on a number of topics, such as:
Terrell Thomas' injury - "I think we’ll be OK there. Obviously it happens all the time in the NFL where you get an injury at one position, then you get a few more guys hurt at that position. Certainly it’s a concern but it’s just time for other guys on the roster to just step up and play.
"He’s one of our main guys. Not only one of our best players, he’s one of our smartest players. He’s got a lot of leadership skills. We’re certainly going to miss him. But we’ve got other guys on the roster who are going to get an opportunity now, and they have to step up and play."
The Giants' stronger performance in Game 2 - "I try not to get overly excited one way or the other about preseason games, but obviously it was a better performance last night. Hopefully that will spark us into playing better the rest of the preseason. But I learned a long time ago that preseason records have very little correlation to how you’re going to do in the regular season."
The lack of offseason “flash” from the Giants - "Certain teams spent a little bit more in free agency this year, but a lot of teams did not. We’ve always felt that you don’t win the Super Bowl in March or April. You have to draft well and try to re-sign your own guys at the right value and build your team. But signing the big name free agents has not proven to be the key to success in the NFL."
Salary cap flexibility - "There’s always flexibility if you want to re-work contracts and whatnot. We’ll do that under certain circumstances, but we’re not going to create room just for the sake of creating it. When you do that you have to pay for it in the future. I think we have a pretty solid roster right now. I like our team. Obviously the injuries at cornerback are a concern, but we have a very good defensive front and we’ve got other guys on the roster now who will get an opportunity to play."
Preseason injuries in general - "It’s unfortunate. You hold your breath every preseason game, every practice. But injuries happen in this league, and you have to have depth. I think we have depth. Unfortunately we’ve had a lot of injuries at the same position so that’s going to be a challenge for us. But we think we have guys on the roster who can step up and do the job and we’re obviously going to keep our eyes open for other opportunities."
Criticism of Jerry Reese for inaction - "I think a lot of it is unfair and I think people need to calm down about it a little bit. We had a plan for this offseason going in, and the No. 1 priority was to sign a new center, which we did. Other priorities were to get Bradshaw and Kiwanuka done, which we did. I’d like to have the guys back that we lost but as I said last week we place certain values on those contracts and we made a determination if their numbers exceeded those values by a significant amount we were going to have to say good-bye, and that’s what happened."
Allegedly having a lot of unspent cap money - "That’s not the case. The worst thing you can do when you do have some cap space is to just go and spend it, because things will always happen. If we have an opportunity to sign a player to a long-term contract we’ll do that. We’ll use that space. But we don’t have a lot of space right now."
Plaxico Burress - "I hope he does well this season. Everything he’s been through, he deserves it. His family deserves it. I’d like to have him on this team, but again, we made a value judgment on that and we wish him well. He accomplished great things when he was here and he’s been through a lot, so I hope he does well."
Whether he found timing of Osi surgery odd - "No, it wasn’t at all. He spoke with our trainers about that. He practiced for three days. The knee swelled up. So that wasn’t he decided unilaterally to do it without our support. I think the medical decision was get it fixed now and hopefully he’ll be stronger the rest of the season, or he’d have to continue to manage it and worry about whether the swelling would come back. Based on what I understood, it was certainly the right decision."
Whether it was related to contract spat - "No, I don’t think so. He wants to play and he wants to play as close to 100 percent as he can . . . I think it was the right decision. I don’t think it had anything to do with the contract."