EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Making it abundantly clear that the New York Giants have been underachieving, general manager Jerry Reese said everybody is "on notice" this coming season.
Reese typically doesn't offer much to reporters but on Saturday he held nothing back when talking about his disappointment in the team missing the playoffs last season for the third time in four years.
"All I know is that we've been in the playoffs one time in the last four years and that's really not acceptable for us," Reese said before the team's first practice of camp. "That's not our standards. That's not what we shoot for. We want to put everybody on notice, myself, everybody is on notice that that's not our standard."
Reese opened his news conference with a clear message. He pointed out two numbers -- the number one for the amount of playoff appearances the team has had in the last four years and the number 190 for the amount of days between now and the upcoming Super Bowl held at MetLife Stadium.
Reese said he wants the Giants to feel the urgency of getting back to the Super Bowl so much so that the organization is installing a countdown to the game in the locker room.
"When you look at it and you see that number jump out at you, 190 days, that's really not that far away," Reese said. "The sense of urgency really jumps out at me. We're going to put up in the locker room a countdown just so guys can see how urgent it is to be ready to go every week. You can't let games get away from you and expect to make it to the playoffs. We have to have a sense of urgency going into this season."
Reese has won two Super Bowls since taking over as general manager in 2007. During the one playoff appearance the team had in the past four seasons, the Giants turned that into a Super Bowl victory in 2011. But last season, the Giants' title defense ended with a whimper as they lost three of their final five games and were routed by a combined total of 67-14 in back-to-back games at Atlanta and Baltimore.
This offseason, Reese slashed salary and jettisoned key veterans like Ahmad Bradshaw, Michael Boley, Chase Blackburn, Osi Umenyiora and Kenny Phillips. The general manager locked up left tackle Will Beatty and wide receiver Victor Cruz to long-term extensions and signed several free agents to one-year deals.
The Giants also have numerous veterans like Justin Tuck, Corey Webster and David Diehl playing in what could be their last year with the Giants. So the Giants hope several veterans play motivated this season.
"I think when guys are on one-year deals there is definitely a sense of urgency for them as well," Reese said. "If you want to continue to play in this league you have to play well. It's a high-performance business. So those guys on the one-year deals, I think there's a sense of urgency for them for sure."
"[But] we're always motivated," Reese added. "I don't think we have to throw somebody's contract up against them to be motivated. We have guys on this football team and we expect guys to be motivated when they come out here and give us their all."
One player the Giants are counting on being motivated this season is Hakeem Nicks. The wide receiver struggled through injuries last season and is entering a contract year. Reese wouldn't say much about trying to come to terms on a long-term deal with Nicks.
"It's inappropriate to talk about contracts or anything like that," Reese said when asked about Nicks' future. "But obviously we want him to be a Giant for a long time."
Reese knows there are things that have been out of his control, such as injuries or even off-the-field issues -- such as the Plaxico Burress shooting -- that have derailed the Giants' title hopes in the recent past.
But the one thing he believes the team can control is playing consistently and being motivated. That's why the GM let everybody know that they are on notice.
"We've had different things that have happened to us that have knocked us off kilter a little bit," Reese said. "But all I know is that we've been in the playoffs one time in the last four years and that's really not acceptable for us."