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GM Jerry Reese: Giants Can Bounce Back In 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (CBSNewYork)Giants general manager Jerry Reese said Thursday he'll look to improve the roster this offseason, but added the team is not in dire straits despite its 6-10 finish last year.

At a news conference at the NFL Scouting Combine, Reese cited the several close games the Giants lost in 2015 as evidence that they are not that far away from being a serious playoff contender again. Six of Big Blue's losses came in the final 75 seconds of regulation or in overtime.

"We had the lead going in late in the fourth quarter in a few games, and we just didn't close them out," Reese said. "And it's for a number of reasons: It's personnel, we made some bad decisions, we couldn't run the ball like we wanted to at the end of some games, and we've just got to make some plays sometimes at the end of games to close games out. But a few plays here and there and we could be 10-6 instead of 6-10.

"We have work to do obviously, but I think we're close enough to believe that we can compete for the NFC East."

The Giants will have plenty of money to spend when free agency opens next month. The team is expected to be nearly $60 million under the salary cap after opting to carry over more than $11 million that went unspent in 2015.

"We have a little bit of money to spend this time, and we'll try to spend it wisely on the players that make it to the market," Reese said. "I'm sure there will be plenty of players that don't make it. People try to keep their best players, but whoever's out there, we'll try our best to get some of the best players available.

"You can get well pretty quickly in the National Football League. You can get players in free agency. You can get players in the draft. You can get players in trades."

Reese was asked about one of his own players who is set to become a free agent: defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

Pierre-Paul lost his index finger and the tip of his thumb following a July 4 fireworks accident in Florida. He returned Nov. 8 and played in eight games, recording just one sack.

"I think it's a miracle that he was able to walk out there and play for eight games for us," Reese said. "It's really unbelievable after you really see what happened to his hand."

Pierre-Paul underwent surgery on the hand after the season, hoping to improve its flexibility.

Reese didn't say what the Giants' plans are for Pierre-Paul, but on Wednesday new coach Ben McAdoo said he still believes JPP can contribute on the field.

"I just think when you look at him and his ability to get off the ball and get after the quarterback, it's easy to see," McAdoo said. "And that's something that comes natural for him. You don't think that's going to change anytime soon? I don't either."

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