Dave Gettleman was impressive in his first press conference as general manager of the New York Giants on Friday. The 66-year-old was relaxed, telling some stories, but he also made it clear he has only one agenda.
“I’ve been hired to win,” Gettleman said. “The only promise I can make is I’m going to do everything in my power to lead this organization back where it belongs.”
Gettleman was passed over for the job in 2007 when he was Pro Personnel Director and the Giants chose Jerry Reese. Introduced as Reese’s replacement on Friday, Gettleman said that “Up until now I’d only dreamed about” being Giants’ GM.
Here are more takeaways from Gettleman’s press conference.
Quote of the day
Because he is 66, Gettleman was asked about his long-term plan. He cut off talk of him being a short-timer with this remark:
“My plan is to come in here every day and kick ass. I’m gonna keep doing it until they either take my key card or the Lord calls me home.”
New “Hog Mollies” are coming
Gettleman famously calls the big guys who man the offensive and defensive lines “Hog Mollies.” He made no secret of that on Friday.
“Offense scores points, defense wins championships,” he said. “Big men allow you to compete. That’s really just so true. I believe in the Hog Mollies, and we’re going to get back to that.”
He was direct in his assessment of the offensive line, and what he said will be music to the ears of Giants fans.
“We gotta fix the oline let’s be honest, let’s not kid each other,” Gettleman said. “Big men allow you to compete, and that’s what we’ve gotta fix.”
Plan on Eli Manning at QB in 2018
Gettleman didn’t want to get into a lot of personnel discussions, but the one he had to comment on was quarterback. He said he has to study the film, but made it clear that off what he knows now Eli Manning will remain at quarterback next season.
“Eli’s won a lot of games. If what I saw in Philadelphia was not a mirage, and I don’t believe it was, then we’re just gonna keep moving,” Gettleman said.
Gettleman added that “yeah,” as of now Manning is the QB next season.
He added that would not stop him from taking a quarterback in the first round of the draft. Gettleman also said he wouldn’t interfere in the decision on whether or not rookie Davis Webb gets any playing time in Sunday’s season finale.
What he wants in a new head coach
Gettleman, of course, wasn’t going to name names. So, no one asked him to. He did, however, say he views the head coaching job as a “CEO position.”
“I really believe that the head coaching job is a CEO position,” Gettleman said. “It really is. You look at the great head coaches and I’ll tell you right now, there ain’t a dumb one in the group. They’re all leaders. They all know how to lead men. And, that’s what you need. You need intelligence. You need leadership and on the assumption that you hire an intelligent guy, you’re going to have a guy with vision. Those are critical components you’re looking for. There’s a million pieces to it because it is, you think about a head coach, you think of all the things he’s got to juggle. There’s a ton of stuff going on. I’m sure that they all once a week probably say, ‘Gosh, I wish I could be the offensive coordinator.’ Whatever it is. Just pick the position he loves to coach. ‘Man, I’d just love to get with my linebackers. Just for a week.’ It’s a load. It’s a load. You got to be able to handle that load.”
Odell Beckham Jr.
Gettleman knows the superstar wide receiver will be looking for a big contract.
“Well, No. 1, who doesn’t want a lot of money?” Gettleman said. “Anybody in here not want a lot of money? Everybody wants a lot of money guys. I don’t know Odell. I never met him. I’m looking forward to it. Obviously, he’s an extremely talented kid and makes stuff happen. We’ll have that, what’s that song? ‘Getting to know you, getting to know you.’ We’ll do that and we’ll get to know each other and we’ll go from there. He’s rehabbing an injury (a fractured ankle) and we’ll get to know each other and we’ll go from there. He’s rehabbing an injury. I haven’t had an opportunity to talk (senior vice president of medical services) Ronnie (Barnes) about how far along he is. So, we’ll see.”
He also said it “would make a lot of sense” for Beckham to be part of the solution going forward.
“It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?” Gettleman said. “Ernie taught me something a long time ago: don’t quit on talent. Don’t quit on talent. … There’s two kinds of players in this league, folks. There are guys that play professional football and there are professional football players. And the professional football players are the guys we want. I don’t want guys that want to win. I want guys that hate to lose. That’s the professional football player. That’s what you want. So, it’s important.”
On what happened in Carolina
Gettleman was fired last summer by the Carolina Panthers and said “give Mr. Richardson a call” for an explanation.
What did he learn while GM in Carolina for four years? His answer was interesting.
“I learned how critical culture was,” he said, adding that winning is hard and players have to have each other’s backs.
“It’s my responsibility to protect this franchise. I’ll make the tough decisions and I’ll stand by them, And we’ll see what happens. You’ve gotta be consistent, you have to be fair. If the player’s upset, so be it.”
A few more one-liners
On possible front-office changes ...
“I haven’t been here for five years. People change. Let me get in here, let me get to work, let me talk to people, let me find out what’s cooking.”
On a quick turnaround ...
“You can’t make promises. There’s some really good players on this roster. I’ve gotta figure it out. I know from watching there are some quality players on this roster.
“You can’t put a timetable. We’re gonna work our fannies off and we’re gonna get it fixed.”
On Jerry Reese ...
“Very classy guy. He’s a dear friend and I hated what happened.” He added that Reese “sent me a text yesterday that was really special.”
On the current coaching staff ...
Gettleman said he would never force an assistant coach on a head coach, but that “there are good coaches” on the Giants’ staff.
“I certainly would encourage whoever becomes the next coach to talk to these guys.”