“He’s your problem now,” Williams said while appearing on WFAN’s ‘Boomer & Gio’ show.
Williams and Gettleman have history, and it’s not pleasant. After nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Williams was dumped by Gettleman following the 2014 season. When Gettleman was fired by the Panthers last season, Wiliams rejoiced, tweeting that Gettleman was a “snake.”
“I did not like him. Correction, I do not like him,” Williams said.
Williams did not like the blunt way Gettleman told him Carolina was letting him go.
“If I’m friends with you or I’m a family member of yours, when I call you in the office to release you, I handle it in a family member-type way. Like ‘Hey, I really appreciate everything you’ve done for this organization. We really loved everything you was doin…’ “ Williams said. “Well, when you come into the office with somebody that’s handling business, ‘Hey man, you’re gone.’
”You give everything that you possibly can for an organization and the way that they let you go is like ‘Hey man, you outta here.’ ”
When the Giants hired him, Gettleman did not want to discuss his ouster in Carolina, saying ”give Mr. Richardson a call.”
In terms of his relationship with players, Gettleman certainly did not sound remorseful during his introductory press conference.
“It’s really kind of interesting. You talk to players – it’s funny – when players first come into your building as young kids and you talk to them about becoming a pro and you’ve got a finite career and you talk about those things and they develop and then all of the sudden, they’re ready to hit their, you know, they want the big contract and they throw it right back in your face. ‘Well, Dave, I got a finite career, Jack, I got to make it now.’ So, you get that. At the end of the day, that’s something I got to do. You got to manage a (salary) cap,” Gettleman said. “But, really and truly before that, it’s what players don’t want to hear. They don’t want to hear the value you put on them because it hurts their feelings. They’re sad. This is a big boy league. You got to put your big boy pants on now. Nobody feels sorry for you. Nobody cares about your injuries. Nobody cares what you make, what you don’t make. So, I’ve learned that you have to be consistent. You got to be fair and if the player is upset, so be it. So be it.”
Williams left Giants’ players with a warning:
“For the guys that are there now, for the vet players that are there now, be very cautious. Because he’s one of those guys once he gets his guys in there, then he develops that relationship with them,” Williams said. “He’s not trying to develop a relationship with the guys that are already there because he doesn’t know them.”
I get the fact that Gettleman is gruff. After spending his entire career as a scout and personnel man, maybe he doesn’t have the soft touch when it comes to dealing directly with players. Maybe he could have handled moving on from some players in a more genteel fashion. Whatever. The job is to field the best team you can and win football games, not to make sure everyone loves you. Let’s see if Gettleman changes his approach somewhat after the Carolina experience. For now, I’m taking Williams’ words, the words of a bitter former player, with a grain of salt.