Dave Gettleman knows what he thinks about Eli Manning.
How can he not? He saw him play for the past five months, from the first training camp practices to Sunday’s regular-season finale.
So what’s the holdup? Why won’t he act on his instincts?
He wants to be sure.
He was there watching just about every snap the quarterback took this season, and observing him in practices, too. That’s a far cry from the kind of exposure Gettleman had to Manning a year ago at this time, when he was new to the job of Giants general manager.
Back then, he had to rely on breaking down video of Manning’s 2017 season. He determined that Manning still could play and decided to keep him around for 2018.
This year, despite the up-close and in-person view of Manning, he’s going to re-watch the season before he announces any decisions on the quarterback’s future with the Giants.
So how long will that take?
Probably not very, if last year’s timeline holds true.
Gettleman was introduced as GM on Dec. 29, 2017, when he said he’d be diving headlong into Manning’s video library from that season. He had seen only one game on TV, he said, a 434- yard, three-touchdown performance against the Eagles (which the Giants lost). He wanted to know if it was a “mirage.”
Less than a month later, he announced that he was sticking with Manning and that he thought he still had years left to play at a high level.
So in roughly four weeks, Gettleman went from ignorance to decision. And that was while restructuring the front office, interviewing coaching candidates (and hiring Pat Shurmur) and getting resettled in New Jersey.
This year he has none of those distractions. And he already has an opinion on Manning from having watched the season that just unfolded.
An answer to the Giants’ biggest question of the offseason, in other words, should be coming quickly (at least internally).
As for why he will re-watch Manning, Gettleman said it was so he could confirm his initial suspicions (whatever they are), or maybe even alter them.
“I always want to be right,” he said Wednesday. “I’m a film junkie. That’s me. Methodical. I’ve been that way my whole career in the NFL. Yes, I watched every snap, but I want to watch the film and I want to have time to breathe.”
Gettleman knows the outcome of every play. Just as he probably knows the outcome of what he’ll find at the end of his analysis. But he’ll watch anyway.