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Valentine’s Views: Thoughts on Dave Gettleman, Eli Manning, Kyle Lauletta, more

Things I think about the 1-5 Giants

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NFL: Cleveland Browns at New York Giants
Kyle Lauletta
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

There is so much to talk about with the 1-5 New York Giants these days. Most of it, of course, isn’t fun. Still, lots to think about and debate. So, let’s get to this week’s ‘Valentine’s Views’ and let you debate some of it.

This mess is not Dave Gettleman’s fault

I find the results of this poll from Monday on Sirius XM NFL Radio to be laughable.

The mess that the Giants are in, and it is a mess, is an accumulation of half a decade or more of poor decisions. The Giants have been mostly bad ever since they won the Super Bowl in 2011. Gettleman just got here. That’s not his fault. It’s not the quarterback’s fault, either.

This mess lies at the feet of ownership, at the feet of John Mara and Steve Tisch. They are the ones who pushed perhaps the best coach the franchise ever had out the door. They are the ones who who kept a GM who wasn’t providing winning talent too long, siding with him over the coach.

They are the ones who chose Ben McAdoo.

The accumulation of playing behind poor offensive lines and on losing teams for so many seasons has had an obviously detrimental effect on the quarterback.

As for Eli Manning, if you think keeping Manning was a Gettleman decision you’re being naive. Decisions of that much importance, decisions about the future of a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback who has been the face of your franchise for 15 seasons, are ownership decisions. Plain and simple. Gettleman certainly had a recommendation, and we know he supports Manning. Pat Shurmur certainly had a recommendation. It had to, however, be Mara and Tisch who ultimately decided whether or not the Giants were going forward with Manning.

Don’t like where the franchise is or the idea that Manning is still the quarterback? Put that on ownership.

Now, has Gettleman been perfect since he became general manager in December? Absolutely not. The offensive line rebuild still has a long way to go, and mistakes have been made there. The defense still doesn’t have enough talent. Some of the free-agent acquisitions aren’t panning out. Some of the players the Giants moves on from are playing well in other places.

Still, reality is that a roster that decayed for six years or so wasn’t going to suddenly get fixed in one offseason.

The draft was a success. Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, Lorenzo Carter and B.J. Hill all look like cornerstone pieces. If Kyle Lauletta turns out to be a starting-caliber quarterback the draft isn’t just a home run, it’s a grand slam.

Will Gettleman ultimately be able to pull the Giants up from the depths, ultimately be able to rebuild the Giants into what they want to be — an annual contender? I have no idea. He may fail spectacularly.

I just think there is no way you can lay the current mess at his feet. Too many of the decisions that put the Giants in their current plight were not his to make.

1-5 seasons not created equal?

Record-wise, the Giants are exactly where they were a season ago after six games. Linebacker Olivier Vernon said after Thursday’s loss to the Eagles that the two seasons are “totally different.”

A year ago at this point, the Giants were beset by injuries, including losing Odell Beckham Jr., and the seeds of dissension had taken root in the locker room. With a new coach, more than 30 different players, and a healthier team overall, the Giants do believe the two seasons are not created equal.

“It’s tough, it’s very tough being in this situation, but I think it’s different from last year because last year we were banged up and lost a bunch of players, and it was hard to kind of see the bright side of it where this year you see a bright side,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “You see that it can get better. We have good players, we have good character guys that are going to work. I think there’s a great opportunity for us to improve and win a bunch of football games and that’s what we believe, so I think that’s the mindset going into it.”

Will it get better?

I think the Giants are right that it can. I think there were signs that it was getting better before Thursday’s awful performance vs. the Philadelphia Eagles. There is, however, drama. There is speculation about the quarterback’s future and about whether or not some in the locker room have lost faith in him.

Shurmur and Gettleman have done everything they can to change the culture of the locker room from what it was a year ago. If they have succeeded in that endeavor then, yes, I think things do have a chance to get better.

Quarterback thoughts

I have so many conflicting thoughts about the Giants’ quarterback situation these days. Long-time readers know I have always supported Manning, I have always believed that Manning, while flawed, has never truly been appreciated. Not even by large segments of the Giants fan base, for whom he delivered two unlikely Super Bowl titles.

I will always believe that over the past six or seven years it is the organization that has let Manning down, and not the other way around.

Still, I’m not blind. I recognize that it’s time for the Giants to lay the groundwork to move on from Manning. I recognize that the many analysts who have indicated Manning is “skittish” in the pocket at times or looking at the pass rush too much are correct. I think Manning is also right that he still has the physical skills to make the throws. Mostly I think, and this is a position I have taken before, that the years of playing behind porous offensive lines and losing more games than he’s won have taken a toll on Manning’s confidence. To be honest, at this point I think that’s a bigger issue with his play than any erosion of physical skills.

All of that aside, Louis Riddick isn’t the only one curious to see what happens when Kyle Lauletta gets a chance to play later on this season. Which he almost certainly will.

It’s a tall order to expect a fourth-round pick from Richmond who played in the Colonia Athletic Association against the likes of Albany, Fordham, St. Francis and William & Mary to come in and play efficient, mistake-free football right away at the NFL level.

Still, I think Riddick is right. I think a big part of the reason why the Giants drafted Lauletta — and moved on from Davis Webb — is that Lauletta possesses many of the traits Shurmur likes in a quarterback. I’m anxious to see if he can show signs of being able to translate those into success on the field.

Go read Adam Schefter’s book

I was fortunate to be sent a review copy of NFL insider Adam Schefter’s book “The Man I Never Met.” All I can say is, go read this book. I did in an afternoon. In fact, I did in the space of one Notre Dame football game that was on in the background.

This is not a football book. It’s a story about 9/11. It’s an incredibly personal story from Schefter, one that gives me a deep respect for the man because I’m not sure I could have either put myself through this or shared it with the world.

Just go read the book.

Podcasts, podcasts everywhere

If you haven’t checked out the twice-weekly podcasts BBV contributors Dan Pizzuta and Chris Pflum are producing, you really should. You can find them on our Big Blue View Radio Hub Page or on the show’s home page. You can download and subscribe to the shows from all of your favorite podcast apps. Those include:

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS

Also, don’t forget that Patricia Traina and yours truly are co-hosting “Locked on Giants.” LOG is also available on all of your favorite podcast apps. Those include:

RSS | ITunes | Spotify | Google Play | Player FM | Podtail | PodBean | Podbay