We know that Dave Gettleman is asking for trust as he tries to build the New York Giants back into the winning franchise they were not that long ago. During his media availability on Friday, Gettleman discussed a wide variety of topics. Among them were Odell Bedkham Jr., Daniel Jones and the idea of having to say goodbye to Eli Manning.
Here are some takeaways.
On Odell Beckham Jr. feeling “disrespected” by the Giants
“How I respond is Odell plays for the Cleveland Browns now, and we’re moving on. We wish him the best. It’s over.”
On Beckham claim of being the Giants’ “brand”
Gettleman had said “no more Odell questions” when asked a follow-up about Beckham. This, though, was of course a Beckham question asked without using the receiver’s name.
“We all know that this is an iconic franchise that’s won four Super Bowls and other world championships, and that’s the brand. That’s the brand.”
On Daniel Jones
When will he play, and who will decide?
“It’s a Pat [Shurmur] decision. Pat and I talk all the time. We talk a lot, every day. And we talk about the whole schmear. The ganze megillah. We talk about every position, we go through it. Listen, I really believe this, it doesn’t make a difference who you’re talking about, at the end of the day, it’s going to be clear.”
Is he content with Jones as his ‘legacy’ quarterback?
“In my heart of hearts, yup.
“The amount of film we watched on Daniel, the amount of background work we did on him, the interviewing of him, the personal contact time we had with him. All of that in one spot. All of the work that he’s done out here since his feet have hit the ground here, starting with rookie minicamp. You guys have seen rookie minicamps, and it doesn’t even resemble football. Well, our offense, it looked like football, the rookie minicamp. When you look at all of that stuff, and I look at the way he has handled you guys and the difficult questions you’ve asked, and the tough things he’s encountered since he got here. I look at all of that stuff and I know he’s got the talent. He’s got edge.
“Think about the great quarterbacks you’ve seen, think about it. Not the guy who had a great season, the all-time great quarterbacks. Think about those guys and think about all of the things that made them great, all of the qualities that they had. It wasn’t just physical qualities, it’s was the mental qualities. The ability to take responsibility.”
Does Jones have “greatness” in him?
“I think he’s got tremendous upside. How’s that?”
On not pre-determining what it would take for Jones to replace Manning this season.
“You can’t do that, you really can’t do that because everything is fluid. You can’t do that to yourself because now you’ve put yourself in a box. You can’t do that.”
On concerns about how young the defense is
“It excites me. This is professional football. One of the things we talk to the kids about, the rookies, is, you’re expected to be a pro now. Those guys out there, those veterans out there, when you walk into the locker room, they’re looking at you and saying, ‘Okay, how’s this guy going to help us win?’ It’s all about responsibilities to grow these guys, quickly. That’s part of the drafting process. Who’s going to have the maturity to handle that? Because this is a different world. ... So yeah, they’ll make youthful mistakes, but if they’re smart, they’ll only make them once. If they play with youthful exuberance, we’ll be fine.”
On parting with key veterans
This, of course, is an area in which Gettleman has been criticized during his years as GM in both Carolina and New York.
“It’s really hard. It’s not easy. There were a couple guys down in Carolina that had been good Panther players, and it was just time to go for whatever reason. So no, it’s not easy. Listen, I don’t take any of this lightly. None of it. I may kid around a little bit, but when you’re dealing with people, you don’t take one part of that lightly because if there is anything that I’ve learned, when you’re saying something difficult to somebody, you have got to make sure that you give them their dignity.
“In life, it’s not so much the message, it’s the delivery. These guys have put their heart and soul on the line for you, blood, sweat, and tears and all those clichés and you have to respect that. I feel very strongly about that, and I know that I’ve done the right thing with these longtime players.”
On preparing to part with Manning
The 38-year-old quarterback is in his 16th season with the Giants, the longest-tenured player in franchise history. There is an heir apparent in place. The time is say goodbye is coming. Is Gettleman ready for that?
“That’s a really hard question. Why did you ask me that question? Again, as long as you do everything the right way, that’s how you prepare yourself. You, in your mind, go through the things you need to go through, and you do it like a pro, you do it like a pro. But there is always the human piece of this that makes it difficult.”
On his health
Gettleman, of course, went through a battle with lymphoma a year ago.
“A year ago, I was fighting for my life,” said Gettleman, who then took a lengthy pause and sipped some water before continuing. “But I’m here, and I’m healthy, and I’m feisty and, like I said in my opening presser, I come in here every day to kick some ass. I feel great, I really do.”
What would a successful 2019 season look like?
This is a topic I have shared my own views on. Gettleman’s sound a lot like mine.
“Improvement. You would like to think that guys like Saquon (Barkley), and Will (Hernandez), and B.J. (Hill), and Lorenzo (Carter), and RJ McIntosh are going to make a significant jump. That old saying from ‘year one to year two.’ You’d like to think that those three first-rounders are the next man, and Julian (Love) and Corey (Ballentine) can come in to make us better. It’s about just to continue improvement. I’m not going to put a record on it. It’s not fair, and it’s not fair to the kids.”