The Giants won’t be telling you what their plan is (but thanks for your money and time)

AP

Of all the teams in the NFL, the New York Football Giants stand out in one way. And it’s not a good way.

There’s a not-so-subtle attitude that permeates the organization. And it seems to be directed at everyone — opponents, media, neutral parties, paying customers.

The media is, regardless of periodic efforts to undermine this reality by those on the wrong side of negative coverage, the conduit between team and fan. So when a member of the team is available to be questioned and when a reporter asks a question, the reporter is (or at least should be) asking the question on behalf of the fans.

For Giants fans, the biggest question in the aftermath of the decision to keep Eli Manning and to trade Odell Beckham Jr. is this: What is the team’s plan? It was obvious that G.M. Dave Gettleman would be asked that question on a Monday conference call, so he should have had an answer ready. Presumably, he did.

Here’s the question that was asked: “Can you best articulate what the plan is, and how letting Landon Collins go, trading Odell Beckham, trading Olivier Vernon, but bringing back Eli Manning factors into your plan, and what that plan is?”

Here’s the answer from Gettleman: “Really and truly, very honestly, it’s not my responsibility to tell you guys what I’m doing. Just like it’s not my responsibility to respond to every rumor that comes down the pike. That’s not my job. It’s not my responsibility. Trust me, we’ve got a plan. Over time, you’ve got to be patient. Everybody wants answers now in this instant-gratification society, instant-gratification world, and everybody wants answers now. Over time, you’ll see it. You’ve got to trust it.”

Presumably, someone came up with that “instant-gratification” talking point. Presumably, it was deemed to be a good approach.

It wasn’t. It isn’t. It comes off as smug and arrogant. It comes off as tone deaf to the fact that, at the end of the day, the Giants are in an entertainment business, requiring them to continuously persuade fans to part with their money and their time.

The Giants surely know that. Why else would they be clinging to Eli Manning a year and a half after the fans launched a near-mutiny after Ben McAdoo clumsily tried to bench the best quarterback in franchise history? But when it comes to explaining to these same fans why the team has done what it’s done and where it’s all leading, the answer is, basically, “None of your damn business.”

There’s a better way to answer questions like this, without tipping the hand or otherwise spilling the secrets. Gettleman could have said something like this: “In today’s NFL, there’s a constant effort to win as many games as possible in the next season, with an eye toward the seasons that will follow it. So when putting a roster together, we have to think about how to get the best 53 players on the roster now and in the future, and ultimately how to get the best 11 on the field at any given time. Along the way, we’ll have opportunities to acquire other players, through free agency, trades, and the draft. Every decision we make has in mind the goal of winning now, and winning later. Ultimately, though, everything we do is about winning.”

It’s easy. It’s simple. It sounds like he’s saying something while ultimately saying nothing — and while also not saying something that could be regarded as disrespectful to those who are reasonably curious about what the Giants are doing. The Giants, and every team, should embrace that curiosity, not brush it off as nosiness or meddling. That curiosity helps pay the bills, because people care enough to pay attention.

And when the team says “don’t pay attention,” the team ignores the basic reality of what it takes to fill a stadium and drive ratings.

This isn’t a knock on Gettleman, who I’ve interviewed during his time as G.M. of the Panthers. But there’s something about being G.M. of the Giants that has made him act and talk a certain way, and it’s really not the best way for the Giants to connect with the fans, or with the people who essentially represent the fans when the opportunity arises to ask specific questions about what the Giants are doing.

33 responses to “The Giants won’t be telling you what their plan is (but thanks for your money and time)

  1. What’s arrogant about it? I am still skeptical of Gettleman, but he’s right on this. The media will write whatever, and he only gets a pass if they win. Belichick has practiced this mercilessly since Cleveland media ripped him when he was there but has tried to find the next one of him in the 24 years since. Being friends with the media never won anybody anything.

  2. Good Grief … they weren’t winning having Beckham, and its a lot easier to replace a WR than a QB.

  3. Gettleman was great with the media in Carolina. But now that he has been absorbed by the cesspool that is a “New York way of thinking” his reputation has taken a major hit. This is just another example of that.

  4. realfootballfan says:
    March 19, 2019 at 11:16 am
    What’s arrogant about it? I am still skeptical of Gettleman, but he’s right on this. The media will write whatever, and he only gets a pass if they win. Belichick has practiced this mercilessly since Cleveland media ripped him when he was there but has tried to find the next one of him in the 24 years since. Being friends with the media never won anybody anything.

    I think your BB reference is key. He gets to do what he wants when he wants tells no one of his plans yet where’s the whats BB doing? Nope ya just trust the process. Why can’t he just do what he feels like he needs to do to build a winner. Time will tell if he’s right or wrong but he inherited a mess and he’s trying to fix it by using the draft. Many GM’s have done it that way why is this any different.

  5. Awwww……how cute….a reporter being miffed because a GM told him to eff off.

    Note to Mr Florio…….he’s not supposed to tell you what he’s going to do. It makes any future trades tough to do. Why tip his hand to you?

  6. “Ever notice how no one panicks as long as there’s a plan? No matter how bad the plan is?” Gettleman taking GM lessons from the Joker

  7. realfootballfan says:
    March 19, 2019 at 11:16 am

    What’s arrogant about it? I am still skeptical of Gettleman, but he’s right on this. The media will write whatever, and he only gets a pass if they win. Belichick has practiced this mercilessly since Cleveland media ripped him when he was there but has tried to find the next one of him in the 24 years since. Being friends with the media never won anybody anything.

    You are absolutely correct, but the main point that Florio was trying to make was that there is a huge disconnect with their fans currently. They deserve some better answer than this, so it gives them motivation to wake up and put on a Giants t-shirt and have faith in their team.

  8. When Belichick does it, it’s savvy and amusing. Gettleman pulls, essentially, the same crap, and he’s “smug” and “arrogant”. Weird!

  9. In Belichick’s case – the reporter asks a stupid question, receives a stupid answer or non-answer and gets all upset. Ask him a football question and BB won’t stop talking.

  10. He could have gone with Belichick’s “would you like our playbook as well?”.

    The media serves themselves, not the fans. That’s why other media members get upset about this stuff. I doubt one Giants fan got their feelings hurt.

  11. Actually I think Florio is 100% wrong and Gettleman has a point. This millenial generation of always feeling entitled to be informed and part of the process is the real problem. For anyone looking at the big picture it’s blatantly clear what he’s doing. He’s completely overhauling the locker room culture, getting rid of the big contracts to less important positions, and rebuilding from the trenches (so far the o-line and presumably the d-line in the upcoming draft). He had a fantastic draft last year and he has stockpiled draft picks to help build a new core for the Giants.

    It’s not his responsibility to connect the dots for those that need it explained to them. It’s also not his responsibility to throw any of his former players under the bus by saying they were part of the poor locker room culture. He’s doing what needs to be done. From a cap perspective he’s also being smart by eating all the dead money this year so the the Giants have a ton of cap space and resources in the future. And by letting Eli play out his contract and bringing in a rookie ot start next yr (on a rookie deal) he’s making it easier on the new QB by having the right foundation to surround him.

    So if you really need ot askg what Gettleman is doing, you’re simply not paying close enough attention. Because he’s finally building the Giants the right way which is the first time it’s happened since he last left the team for Carolina.

  12. It sucks for his fans, but from a purely business side this was a no-brainer. Big-name (and big money) wide receivers don’t win games on their own. The Giants aren’t contenders and don’t even have the heir apparent QB on hand. They could easily use up Beckham’s prime years and never contend. Moving him now saves a ton of money, some considerable headache, and gave them some additional draft picks to fuel their rebuild.

  13. Does anyone think that the Giants are finished dealing? I personally believe that they will end up with Rosen but I also think that they like the QB class next year more. That said, being that there is no way to guarantee(obviously) that they could end up with a high pick next year, they will have to “settle” for Rosen and hope that he is a player.

  14. He clearly has not mastered the art of talking without saying anything of substance thus causing him discomfort and coming off as a prick….

  15. Sure thing, tell that too the Ravens.

    dcbilly says:
    March 19, 2019 at 11:28 am
    Good Grief … they weren’t winning having Beckham, and its a lot easier to replace a WR than a QB.

  16. If the Giants were winning and Gettleman was drafting well no one would be complaining.

    Belichick isn’t teh nicest guy in the world and doesn’t communicate with the fans.
    And I’d love for him to come ot my tea,m.

  17. I could care less about the NY football Giants.

    But who the heck are these bozos in the media to say that the Giants don’t have a plan…it’s coming across by many of these writers at NBC or CBS, etc as very petty if not ignorant on football matters.

    Is there one GM in the league, just one, that tells you what their plan is? No!

    It’s been 20 years and no one has a clue what Belichick’s plan is year to year but every year they’re at or near the top of the league.

    All this noise about Gettleman and “no plan” allegedly comes off to me as extremely petty by writers who are crying to try to get their way in the NYC media market.

  18. I really think Giants have misread their fans. The botching of the Eli thing by McAdoo freaked them out so they are now afraid to get rid of him though I honestly believe most fans would have supported that after last season. Bunch of, uh, wimps.

  19. A GM is not beholden to the press, who bend everything anymore, nor is h beholden to the fans. He’s the employee of the owners and if they didn’t agree with what he was doing – he’d be unemployed. As for the fans, all of whom were screaming to get rid of OBJ, you’ve proven yourselves a bunch of hypocrites. We got a way better deal than Pittsburgh did. Talent or not, he was a cancer. So many of you cried about Collins. Now you get to see if the defensive staff were morons or he was a one trick pony. Have a little patience.

  20. I don’t really understand Florio’s take or PFT’s take here, and I am 50/50 on Gettelman at best, OK?

    But why should Dave be open and honest about all of the bits and bytes about what went down or how it went down?

    I have to be honest, I don;t want the media knowing too much.

    If they jettisoned Odell because he was a Bad Apple, do you want him to tell of themedia he was a bad guy? What does that buy? You are going to bad mouth a 25 Year Old guy on the way out?

    An explanation is demanded about Landon Collins not being retained? Use your head! Landon is a great Guy, and a great in the box safety. He can’t cover, the Redskins over paid him.

    He was giving honest guidance here. He may not be as smooth or as polished as others in the business, but I kind of like his bluntness. He is not disrespectful to the press either.

    Anyway… Let’s see what they do in the draft.

  21. Hphinsfankent ,

    And the thing is that no one cares unless you win anyway. Cleveland, for example, has had 30 different 10-point plans from all kinds of different voices, sometimes guys who have succeeded greatly at other stops, and it hasn’t mattered until now because they’ve stunk on the field all of the other times through those plans. Just get good players and win. That’s all that matters. That’s his only job. You start winning, and your fans will start saying stupid stuff like in X we trust.

  22. The media have a job to do it’s just most of them don’t do it well. Of course the Giants have a plan but when you keep having losing seasons people will become unemployed. Win and all will be good so we’ll see.

  23. As a season ticket holder I do not expect these answers predraft
    I expect to see a team on the turf that can play to win when the season starts

  24. Belichick’s response is simple but truthful – every thing he does as gm is an attempt to improve the team, win more games and be competitive every year. Clearly he has proven over 18 years that he absolutely knows what he is doing. But that has never ever stopped the media from acting like they know better – e.g. this week karen gugenhiem (whatever) opined in the herald that he has failed again in free agency. Unbelievable! So gettleman can forget about trying to win press conferences, but he better win games.

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