When Jerry Reese was general manager of the New York Giants, one of my favorite pastimes was pre-writing Reese’s press conferences. Year after year, presser after presser, the same cliches would get recycled. You knew what he was going to say. It was too easy. You could make a list of Reese’s favorite lines, then check them off as he used them.
Well, Reese is no longer the GM. Dave Gettleman is. That, though, doesn’t mean we have to quit playing our little “what will the GM say?” prediction game. Gettleman will speak to the media Thursday afternoon at Giants’ headquarters, his first pre-draft press conference as Giants’ GM.
A Boston native, Gettleman has been away from his roots since entering the NFL as a scouting intern with the Buffalo Bills in 1986. He’s had stops with the Bills, Giants, Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
Yet, the thick New England accent remains. It’s part of what makes Gettleman’s press conferences entertaining. So, too, is the fact that Gettleman sounds like a politician who has been on the road too long and has given far too many speeches. He speaks in a rasp, with every sentence sounding like it might be the last he utters before his voice gives out completely.
The GM probably won’t tell us much on Thursday, at least intentionally. That’s no surprise, and no big deal. He isn’t supposed to give away his draft intentions. He is supposed to answer questions from the media in ways that give us all quotes we can use, quotes that will be analyzed and interpreted for clues to what the Giants will do. He will do that.
Gettleman will probably also leave us just as confused about what the Giants will do with the No. 2 pick as we already are. That, honestly, is what he’s supposed to do. No one outside 1925 Giants Drive should be certain what the Giants will do until the card gets turned in next Thursday.
Gettleman enjoys the chats with reporters. At least, he appears to. He will certainly spend lots of time Thursday talking about Saquon “Bahkley” and Sam “Dahnold.” There are sure to be lots of questions about both.
Gettleman is certain to speak a little about lessons learned from his time in the NFL, especially from ex-Giants GM “Ehnie Accohsi.”
There will be talk about shopping, since Gettleman always talks about not shopping hungry in the draft. He is almost certain to say he feels like the Giants are in a good spot and don’t have to do that.
There will be jokes. If he stumbles over something he tries to say, Gettleman might even drop a “cheese and crackers” reference.
He will talk about Hog Mollies and probably won’t get through the 2 p.m. ET press briefing without at least one “big men allow you to compete” reference. The phrase “quawteback hell” is likely to come up.
In the end, we will be entertained. We will have quotes we can use. We will be able to pour through the transcript to look for clues to the Giants’ intentions, and real or imagined we will find some of those clues.
We won’t, though, know a whole lot more when he leaves the podium than before the GM starts to talk.
Which is OK, because no one outside the Giants’ brain trust is supposed to know their true intentions before draft night.