*The Giants introduced Dave Gettleman as the new general manager Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center: *
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – He didn't promise the Giants would win a Super Bowl, a division title, or even a single game under his watch. But Dave Gettleman offered one guarantee at his introductory news conference as the team's general manager.
"My plan is to come in here every day and kick ass," Gettleman said. "That's my plan, okay? And I'm going to keep doing it until they either take my key card or the Lord calls me home."
Until then, Gettleman has plenty of work to do. The Giants are 2-13 entering their season finale Sunday against the Washington Redskins. Gettleman has to find a head coach and numerous talented players. But his message to Giants fans is he will work tirelessly and relentlessly to rebuild the roster into a championship-caliber team.
"I want them to know that we're going to use every avenue to get this thing fixed," Gettleman said. "There are some very good players on this team. It's not crash and burn, it's not torch the whole place and dump 63 (players) and bring another new 63 in. There's some darn good players on this team. There's always hope and I'd like to think that you look at my resume, you think I've got a chance. And there's some great people up in that front office. So just hang in there with us, and we're going to get it fixed."
Gettleman has the pedigree to make that claim. In his four seasons (2013-16) as Carolina's general manager, the Panthers won 40 games and three NFC South titles, and advanced to Super Bowl 50 after finishing an NFL-best 15-1 in 2015, when Gettleman was named The Sporting News' NFL Executive of the Year.
Prior to joining the Panthers, Gettleman was a Giants personnel executive for 15 years. He was on the staff when the team won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, two of the seven Super Bowls Gettleman has been a part of in his 30-year NFL career.
"I've said before that his knowledge of the personnel in the National Football League is second to none," team president John Marta said. "I think he has excellent evaluation skills. He's a great communicator. He's got strong leadership qualities and most importantly, he's a man of integrity. Dave has been with four different NFL organizations. He's had a lot of success with each one of them and he's had some great mentors throughout his career.
"Given the state of our team at the moment and with all of the difficult and important decisions that we have facing us, we believed it was important to bring in somebody who had experience as a general manager. Somebody with a proven track record. We followed very closely with what Dave did in Carolina and after conducting these interviews and doing our research and after much discussion, the three of us – myself, (team chairman) Steve Tisch and Ernie Accorsi (the former general manager who was hired by the team to help evaluate candidates) – had a conviction that Dave was the right man for the job."
Though he largely avoided specifics, Gettleman delved into numerous topics in his meeting with reporters today. Perhaps most significantly, he said, "Well, as of now, yeah," when asked if he "intend(s) to move forward with Eli Manning as the starting quarterback next year."
"Eli has won a lot of games," Gettleman said. "He's a great competitor. He's very intelligent and he and I are going to talk. And if what I saw in Philadelphia (Manning passed for 434 yards against the Eagles two weeks ago) was not a mirage, and I don't believe it was, then we'll just keep moving."
Gettleman discussed numerous other topics:
On the qualities he looks for in a head coach:*
"I really believe that the head coaching job is a CEO position," Gettleman said. "It really is. You look at the great head coaches and I'll tell you right now, there ain't a dumb one in the group. They're all leaders. They all know how to lead men. And, that's what you need. You need intelligence. You need leadership and on the assumption that you hire an intelligent guy, you're going to have a guy with vision. Those are critical components you're looking for. There's a million pieces to it because it is, you think about a head coach, you think of all the things he's got to juggle. There's a ton of stuff going on. I'm sure that they all once a week probably say, 'Gosh, I wish I could be the offensive coordinator.' Whatever it is. Just pick the position he loves to coach. 'Man, I'd just love to get with my linebackers. Just for a week.' It's a load. It's a load. You got to be able to handle that load."
On whether he has "preconceived ideas" about a head coach:*
"My idea is, toughness is important," Gettleman said. "Every successful head coach I've been around has been tough. Now, maybe the delivery was different, but they were tough."
On team building:*
"In terms of team building, I'm old fashioned. Offense scores points. Defense wins championships. There's been six matchups, I believe, in the Super Bowl of No. 1 offenses versus No. 1 defenses, and the defenses have won five of the six. So I truly believe in that. I'm going to say this right now. Style of offense has changed, obviously - there's that college influence, so obviously the style of defense has changed to a certain degree. But at the end of the day, it's the same three things you've had to do in '35 that you got to do now in 2018. You got to run the ball. You got to stop the run. You got to pressure the passer. Everywhere I've been and with the great teams that I've been associated with – those were three very big staples.
"Another philosophy about team building Tom (Coughlin) said it to me when he (first) came in here. He said big men allow you to compete, and that's really just so true. The O-line and the D-line, I believe in the hog-mollies. We've had some great groups here, had great groups everywhere I've been and we're going to get back to that. They do allow you to compete."
On the possibility of having the second overall selection in the NFL Draft: *
"I don't care what position it is, you can never have too many great players at one position," Gettleman said. "I mean, you think about us – we got (Michael) Strahan and Osi (Umenyiora), and we're drafting (Justin) Tuck and we're drafting (Mathias) Kiwanuka and people are looking at us like we have brain damage. You can never have too many great players at one position. I'll get into that much, much later, but let's see where we end up and which pick we have and we'll go from there."
His thoughts on Odell Beckham, Jr's future:*
"Well, No. 1, who doesn't want a lot of money?" Gettleman said. "Anybody in here not want a lot of money? Everybody wants a lot of money guys. I don't know Odell. I never met him. I'm looking forward to it. Obviously, he's an extremely talented kid and makes stuff happen. We'll have that, what's that song? 'Getting to know you, getting to know you.' We'll do that and we'll get to know each other and we'll go from there. He's rehabbing an injury (a fractured ankle) and we'll get to know each other and we'll go from there. He's rehabbing an injury. I haven't had an opportunity to talk (senior vice president of medical services) Ronnie (Barnes) about how far along he is. So, we'll see."
On whether it makes sense to have Beckham as part of the solution, given his impressive talent:*
"It makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?" Gettleman said. "Ernie taught me something a long time ago: don't quit on talent. Don't quit on talent. … There's two kinds of players in this league, folks. There are guys that play professional football and there are professional football players. And the professional football players are the guys we want. I don't want guys that want to win. I want guys that hate to lose. That's the professional football player. That's what you want. So, it's important."
On the importance of rebuilding the offensive line:*
"Again, you can't put a timeframe on anything, you really can't," Gettleman said. "I'm not going to sit up here and tell you I'm going to fix it in two years, because John's going to run me out of the building. The bottom line is, you go to work. You go to work, it's that simple. You have no idea what's going to happen. You have no idea who's going to be available. People get cut all the time, you say, 'Woah!' The bottom line is, there are people available on the street that – the bad habit that people have is, well what's wrong with him? Wait a minute, don't look at the negative. What's right with him? Can he help us? Now let's see if we can dig around, find out why he got dumped. But no. you can't put a timetable on it. We're going to work our fannies off and we're going to get it fixed."