John Mara, New York Giants (December 20, 2015)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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New York Giants President and CEO John Mara spoke with reporters on Sunday at the NFL Annual meeting and addressed the following issues:

  • On offensive lineman Ereck Flowers: “I’m not giving up on Ereck Flowers yet. I know that seems to be the popular sentiment around, but this is a young kid who’s been in our weight room every day in the offseason — he wants to be good. He wants to be a top left tackle in this game. There’s a spot for him on our team. Hopefully it will continue to be at left tackle, but I’m not giving up on him yet, and I don’t think anyone on our staff is… I think he’s a very prideful guy, I think he was probably stung by some of the criticism and I think that will serve to motivate him next year He’s a good kid, he really is. He wants to be a top player in this league, and I think when you have a guy that’s going to work as hard as he does and is as big and strong as he is, I think you have a chance… I know he believes that he can play better, and we believe he can play better too. And we believe he will.”
  • On his team’s offensive decline: “Well, there were a lot of things. Our running game was not very good last year and I think that was the result of a lot of things. We tried to address that this offseason, I mean, bringing in (Rhett) Ellison, who’s a really good blocking tight end, that’s something we really haven’t had here for a while, that will help us. I think we still need to add another running back at some point in time. (Offensive lineman D.J.) Fluker will certainly help us as far as running the ball. There are a lot of guys who can play better than they did. I think adding (wide receiver) Brandon Marshall will help us too, because now it gives us that other threat out there. I certainly expect to see a better offense next year.”
  • On signing wide receiver Brandon Marshall: “…a spark to the entire organization, getting a player of that caliber. We were talking once the season ended about how it would really be nice to have a big receiver in here to complement our offense, and then all of a sudden he becomes available. I think that’s really going to help us. He’s got a great attitude and he wants to win, and I think he’ll be a good influence in the receiver room.”
  • On if Head Coach Ben McAdoo will continue to call the offensive plays: “That’s up to him, it really is. We’ve questioned him about it a couple of times, he’s still comfortable doing it. I think he still thinks about passing it off to Mike Sullivan, but I think he’s still — (Packers coach) Mike McCarthy still does it, and that was kind of his mentor. If he’s comfortable doing it, it’s fine with us, as long as he feels like he can manage the game properly.”
  • On McAdoo’s first year as a head coach: “You never know when you have a new coach. I think he adapted to it very well. I still think he’s still young, he still has more that he has to learn, as I’m sure he would be the first to tell you. But we were certainly very pleased with his first year. He hit the ground running and he did very well.”
  • On defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul’s 4-year, $62 million contract: “If we didn’t know him at all, I’d be a little more nervous, but I know how prideful he is and how hard he plays and how much he wants to win, so I feel comfortable with that. It’s always a risk when you pay that much money, but he always plays hard and wants to win so badly. I think he’s well worth it.”
  • On unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins: “There’s still one more piece out there that we’d like to keep, but we wanted to try to do that if possible without being irresponsible. I don’t know what’s going to happen. We certainly want him back, but it’s got to make sense for us. He’s an important part of our team, he’s a great kid, he’s young and he fits in very well with us.”
  • On his team’s overall status: “On the field, (2016) was partially successful. You’re never fully happy unless you get to the Super Bowl, but having not been in the playoffs four years in a row, you start to feel that pressure. And when you spend all that money (in free agency in 2016), you really feel that pressure. I was happy to be back in the playoffs. I was disappointed with how we played in Green Bay, but I think it gives us something to build on. We still have a pretty good young nucleus. We still have a quarterback who can play at a high level. I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants “continue to offer (unrestricted free agent defensive tackle) Johnathan Hankins a multi-year deal that stacks up well in this free agent market.” Hankins is the team’s last high profile free agent.