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John Mara on Giants' plan: What part of this don't you understand?

Giants president and CEO John Mara watches training

Giants president and CEO John Mara watches training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Aug. 2, 2018. Credit: Brad Penner

PHOENIX – The Giants are trying to build a better team for the long haul.

They’re also trying to win now.

John Mara doesn’t understand why that’s so hard to reconcile.

“You’re trying to build the team and still remain as competitive as possible,” the Giants’ co-owner said on Sunday at the NFL’s league meetings. “The plan is to build the team and make it better. I don’t know why that’s such an issue with you [in the media] or with fans, to be honest. That’s the plan.”

Ah, the plan. The one that general manager Dave Gettleman said about a week ago he was under no obligation to divulge. Mara gave it some definition on Sunday.

“We obviously have a lot of holes to fill. We think we have the draft capital to at least start to address that,” he said. “Whenever you are building a team, you have to have the right combination of veterans and young players. You want the right veterans to teach the young players how to be professionals, how to be a Giant, what it takes to win in this league. You’ve got to have that combination in the locker room if you are going to be successful… It’s get the right mix in the locker room, and that’s been Dave’s philosophy from Day One, and that’s what he’s trying to accomplish.”

Mara said the specifics of the plan aren’t available for open discussion.

“We’re not going to get into, ‘Yes, we like this player at No. 6 [in the upcoming draft] and we’re probably thinking about these two or three players at No. 17 or, yes, we’re definitely going to address the quarterback in this year’s draft,’ ” he said.

The Giants don’t even have in-house answers to those topics of discussion, never mind public ones. Eventually, though, those details will come out.

“There is a plan,” co-owner Steve Tisch said. “Over the next six weeks, pieces of that plan are going to start coming together.”

Mara said he wants the Giants to be competitive in 2019.

“We’re never going to go into a season saying no, we don’t want to [make the playoffs],” he said.

He also wants smart decisions made to help the team be competitive beyond that.

“The direction from ownership to Dave and Pat [Shurmur] is to build the team,” he said.

Two different orders?

“For me,” Mara said, “it’s not a conflict.”

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