EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants fans are restless. The team has missed the playoffs six of the last seven years, and fans old enough to recall them have visions of the Wilderness Years of the 1960s and 1970s dancing around the edges of their brains.
Since becoming general manager in December of 2017, Dave Gettleman has made any number of unpopular, widely questioned, decisions. Odell Beckham Jr., Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison, Olivier Vernon, Landon Collins and other popular players are gone.
The drafting of Daniel Jones at No. 6 drew a mixed reaction. Free agent signings like Jonathan Stewart and Patrick Omameh a year ago didn’t work out, and the addition of Golden Tate this year has drawn scrutiny.
Yet, when Gettleman met the media on Friday for a preseason press conference, he asked the fan base for the one thing many don’t have right now — trust.
“Give us some credit for the experience in our resumes,” Gettleman said. “They’ve just gotta trust.
“Pat (Shurmur) has been coaching a long time. I’ve been doing this a long time. Kevin Abrams (assistant GM), Mark, Koncz (director of player personnel), Kennie Sternfeld (director of pro personnel), Chris Pettit (director of college scouting). We’ve all been doing this a long time. We’re professionals.”
Gettleman has always rejected the notion that he is rebuilding the Giants. He came as close on Friday to admitting that the organization is undergoing a rebuild as he probably ever has.
“Unfortunately, you can’t turn this thing on a dime,” he said. “It’s impossible. I appreciate their (fans) passion and their concern. We want to win just as badly as they do, there’s no doubt about it. If we don’t win, we’re looking for a new address.”
Gettleman believes the franchise, staggering to the conclusion of an embarrassing 3-13 season when he took over, has made progress.
“I think we have gotten more depth in a few spots where we didn’t have a lot of depth last year. Obviously, we have completely remade the back end. With the addition of (Kevin) Zeitler, and that piece in the offensive line, getting Pio (Jon Halapio) back and Spencer (Pulley) did a great job, so we feel great about that situation. We’re feeling better about the O-line,” Gettleman said. “The D-line, we are feeling better, feel much better about the linebacker position. We feel better about a lot of things. We feel like we’ve gotten a lot done in a year and a half in that respect, in terms of the personnel piece. We just got to keep going.”
Gettleman has, indeed, done a lot. The roster has been turned over in almost its entirety. An heir apparent to Eli Manning is in place with the selection of Daniel Jones. Star players have been jettisoned. Draft capital has been collected and utilized. A significant amount of salary cap space has been created for the 2020 offseason.
There is more to do. Much more. The Giants don’t have nearly enough pieces yet to contend for a Super Bowl title. Gettleman knows that. The GM is asking for patience — and trust — from a fan base that has burned through most of its reserves in those categories over the past few seasons.
“Listen, we want to win just as badly as they do. There is no doubt about it, because if we don’t win, we’re looking for a new address,” Gettleman said. “So, I would just say, trust that we are working our fannies off.”
So, I ask you. After all that you have seen since December of 2017 when Gettleman became the GM do you trust that Gettleman, his personnel department and his coaching staff will get this right?