The question of whether Giants G.M. Dave Gettleman sits on the hot seat has become one of the questions that hovers over the 2021 season. Two different items from Sunday’s New York Daily News (one by Mike Lupica and one by Pat Leonard) focus on that question. If Gettleman is in trouble — and if he gets fired during or after the season — the Giants will have a problem.
The problem is a simple one. The new G.M. will inherit a coach. The new G.M. will have compiled over the course of his career a short list of coaches that he’d want to hire if/when he gets a G.M. job. Unless the new New York Giants G.M. has current Giants coach Joe Judge at the top of that short list, the new New York Giants G.M. may want to hire his own coach.
That’s how it works, and it’s an item that most fans (and many in the media) often overlook.
But the articles nudging Gettleman toward pink-slip territory abound. It’s important to acknowledge that firing Gettleman and keeping Judge would make it more likely that Judge will be fired after 2022 or 2023 so that the new G.M. can hire the coach he wants.
Have the Giants struggled? Yes. Should they have used the second overall pick in 2018 on running back Saquon Barkley? No. Is the offensive line not what it needs to be? It definitely isn’t.
But if Gettleman will be paying for it with his job if/when the 2021 season implodes for the Giants, it’s important to remember that changing General Managers without changing coaches will further delay the process of getting the team where it needs to be, because the new G.M. will want to change coaches.
The best teams realize that coach and G.M. operate like a team in a three-legged race. They both succeed or they fall flat on their faces. If the G.M. goes and the coach stays, the coach likely will be the next to go. So either both stay or both go. That’s the way to do it.
So, in other words, the right answer for the Giants is to have both guys on the hot seat or neither on the hot seat. And if it makes no sense for Judge to be on the hot seat in only his second year with the team, it makes no sense for Gettleman to be on the hot seat, either.
That doesn’t mean the Giants will be unwilling to fire Gettleman and keep Judge. The Giants are commemorating the 10-year anniversary of their last postseason win for a reason.