John Mara: “I don’t fear that I’ve lost the touch”

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Since winning their last Super Bowl, the Giants have been in a steady decline.

But the man in charge maintains that he has the ability to reverse the course he charted, as the team enters an overdue rebuilding phase with a new coach and a new quarterback.

As the face of the franchise, co-owner John Mara has the final say on those decisions, and he insists he’s still capable of making them effectively.

I don’t fear that I’ve lost the touch,” Mara told Darryl Slater of NJ.com. “But I certainly understand our fans’ lack of trust in what we’re doing right now. And the only way to win that back is to start winning games. I get that. The record is what it is, and I can’t defend that. I don’t feel any differently about myself and my judgment now than I did in February of 2012. Certainly, the record doesn’t bear that out. But I have just as much confidence in myself now as I did in 2012.”

In 2012, the Giants were coming off a dramatic Super Bowl win over the Patriots. Flush with that success, they stuck with a familiar formula, even as the results waned.

But even coach Tom Coughlin was let go, and even as General Manager Jerry Reese was let go, they held onto quarterback Eli Manning until the early stages of last season, before finally letting first-rounder Daniel Jones assume leadership.

Now, new coach Joe Judge — himself a bit of a risk — takes over for Pat Shurmur, who took over for Ben McAdoo, who took over for Coughlin. And as he looked back over their past problems, it’s hard not to see a pattern.

In a 2000 interview with the Newark Star-Ledger, Mara said he often worried about his father — Hall of Famer Wellington Mara — and his willingness to hold on too long.

“Loyalty is a wonderful trait, but you have to know when to be loyal and when to do what’s best for the organization,” Mara said then. “I don’t ever want to go back to those days. They were painful decades.”

Now, looking at the mess the Giants have become, it’s hard to not see those lessons unlearned, or only partially learned.

Whether they’re able to bounce back now depends on some new faces like Judge and Jones, but the Giants still aren’t what you’d describe as a young team. Mara is 65. One of his most trusted advisors is 78-year-old former G.M. Ernie Accorsi. Current G.M. Dave Gettleman’s a spry 68.

The old ways haven’t gotten them far since 2012. Now we’ll see if Mara is able to change his, enough to help them improve.

14 responses to “John Mara: “I don’t fear that I’ve lost the touch”

  1. When you have control over everything, you cannot and or refuse to, see your are the one holding the Giants back.

  2. He doesn’t fear that he has lost touch but that is no real admission or indication that he hasn’t lost touch. Most people have no self-awareness of that.

  3. Only 6 teams have won it all since the Giants beat the Patriots in 2012 –

    I don’t think he should 2nd guess himself – unless we’re saying that all teams outside of NE, Kansas City should doubt themselves.

    Denver won it – but not since 2016.

    Philly won it – but that’s so 2018.

    The misery of being one of the 31 teams that didn’t win this year must be awful –

  4. This goes back to the question of which is better, to be consistently good but never win, or to be mercurial, but occasionally win a title? The Giants seem to be the latter over the past few decades. Sure, you’d love to be the Patriots over the last 15 years, but only one team has been that. The Giants are the only NFL team to win a Super Bowl in each of the last 4 decades (’86, ’90, ’07 and ’11). It shouldn’t surprise anyone if they win one in the 2020’s, but don’t expect them to be perennial favorites either.

  5. To all you Giants fans who moan Mara is out of touch and holding your team back:
    You’ve won two beautiful trophies in the last dozen (or so) years. Be proud, you deserve congratulations for this.

    Just wait until “He-who-has-lost-touch” has mismanaged so profoundly that your team has gone a quarter of a century without a trophy. Then you’ll have something to cry about.

    Sincerely, Cowboys Fans Everywhere.

  6. zappa73 says:
    February 5, 2020 at 9:38 am
    Only 6 teams have won it all since the Giants beat the Patriots in 2012 –

    I don’t think he should 2nd guess himself – unless we’re saying that all teams outside of NE, Kansas City should doubt themselves.

    ———————

    Since 2012 – 6 non-playoff years, 1 season of 8-8 or better, no play-off wins, never finished higher than 2nd in division, finished in last place in the NFC East 2 out of the last 3 years, on 3rd coach in 4 years.

    I can’t figure out why people are complaining either.

  7. Let’s be honest. They weren’t even that good in 2007 or 2011. They were 9-7 in 2011 and lost games to the Vince Young led Eagles, and 2 games to the 5-11 Redskins. In 2007 they didn’t win the division, but were 10-6. This was when people were questioning if Eli should be benched. His numbers weren’t good all year until he turned into vintage Playoff Joe Flacco in the post-season.

    Here’s some facts for you:
    Based on regular season performance, the 2007 New York Giants were the worst team to ever reach a Super Bowl,[3] a curiosity later surpassed when the 2011 New York Giants won Super Bowl XLVI to become the first team with a negative point differential to win a Super Bowl.

  8. The Touch? Asante Samuel and Wes Welker having butterfingers isn’t Mara having had “the touch”.

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