Dave Gettleman has one simple objective.
“My plan is to come in here every day and kick [expletive],” he said Friday as he was introduced as the Giants’ new general manager. “I’ve been hired to win. The only promise I will make is I’m going to do everything in my power to lead this organization back to where it belongs. That’s my goal. That’s my intention. It’s going to get done.”
How he’ll accomplish that and how long it will take remain topics for another day, although Gettleman did provide a bit of an outline in his first media conference.
There are myriad issues facing a team that has fired its head coach and general manager within the month, has gone 2-13 this year and has a number of key players whose futures with the franchise are ambiguous at best.
But that’s exactly why Gettleman is here.
“Given the state of our team at the moment and with all the difficult and important decisions we have facing us, we believe it was important to bring in somebody who had experience as a general manager, somebody with a proven track record,” Giants co-owner John Mara said. “We have conviction that Dave is the right man for the job.”
Gettleman, 66, spent 15 seasons in the Giants’ personnel department before leaving for the GM job with the Panthers in 2013. He even interviewed for the Giants’ job the last time it was vacant, before the 2007 season. The position went to Jerry Reese at the time; now Gettleman will replace Reese. He is the Giants’ fourth general manager since 1979.
Gettleman thanked the Mara and Tisch families, former boss Ernie Accorsi, who served as a consultant in this search, and his family for helping him earn a job that “up until now, I had only dreamed about.”
“At the end of the day, I guess this is home,” Gettleman said. “This is home. I mean, I’ve been with four teams, I was here a long time and loved every minute of it, and we had a lot of success here and it’s important to me. It’s important to me to get this place back.”
Gettleman said he does not want to put a timeline on his plan to bring the Giants back from their 2017 depths.
“I’m not going to stand up here and tell you I’m going to fix it in two years, because then John [Mara] is going to run me out of the building,” he said.
Mara seems to have his own timetable, though.
“I expect us to be a good team in 2018,” he said. “You go from last to first or first to last, teams do that every year. We do have some talent on this roster. We obviously have a lot of holes to fill as well, but I don’t see any reason why we can’t have a successful team next year.”
They also could look and feel very different. That’s one of the things Gettleman wants to change — not just the roster but the environment.
“Culture is critical,” he said. “These guys have to know when they step on the field that the guy right, the guy left, the guy behind, the guy in front has got their back, and we’re going to build that kind of a culture.”
For a team that had to suspend three players this season, has a star wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr. who often runs afoul of the way the organization would prefer him to act, and has had its overall effort and passion called into question during this two-win season, that would seem to be a necessity.
“There’s two kinds of players in this league, folks,” Gettleman said. “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.”
The Giants got their man. Now it’s up to Gettleman to get his.