Sorry to bother you at such a turbulent, painful time in your New York Giants football life, but you are about to make arguably the franchise’s most critical hire since Dad Wellington was so thrilled to welcome Tom Coughlin as your head coach in 2004.
You spent the last four years hoping against hope that former GM Dave Gettleman, one of your own, could help get you back to the Super Bowl, and it was a fait accompli when he drove away from 1925 Giants Drive with a 19-46 record, and nary a Giants voter chanting “Four More Years.”
John, you cannot afford to get this next GM hire wrong.
Because right now, your fans — and even your own players for crying out loud — wait to hear definitely whether or not Joe Judge will still be your head coach — there is indeed a perception from the outside that this is a “clown show” organization. A 22-59 record over the last five seasons doesn’t help, John.
You hired Judge two years ago to be your head coach because you were convinced he was the CEO/leader you craved.
Now, with Judge sitting at 10-23, you need a CEO/leader of the entire operation.
You stayed with Jerry Reese when you said goodbye to Coughlin, and trusted him and Ben McAdoo to get it right. I was there that day when you said: “Let’s be honest, we have lost some credibility as an organization. … And it is up to us now to turn that around and get back to where I think we should be.”
We’re still waiting, John.
And then only last August, you said: “We’re all on the hot seat, with our fans in particular.”
No disrespect intended, John, but the free medium Pepsi giveaway didn’t exactly help with the credibility or cool your seat any.
I can only imagine what it felt like getting drowned in boos when you spoke at Eli Manning’s jersey retirement ceremony, and then what it felt like to make the prudent decision not to speak at Michael Strahan’s jersey retirement ceremony. If this keeps up, you’ll be the one needing a brown paper bag over your head.
Hate to put any more pressure on you, but this is your Super Bowl.
Of course it is asking the impossible for you to identify The Next George Young, because that would be asking your next GM to draft The Next Lawrence Taylor. Yes, Ernie Accorsi got you and Coughlin Eli Manning in 2004, but that was then and this is now.
Now you desperately need a visionary from the outside, a fresh face and a fresh voice who is not steeped in The Giants Way. Because, no disrespect intended, your Giants have lost their way.
Who cannot be hamstrung in any way, shape or form with any edict to keep Joe Judge. Which of course is the swiftest way to narrow your field of attractive blue-chip candidates.
It is an encouraging sign that you and partner Steve Tisch have quickly reached out to Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen, who is highly respected in many league circles as Brandon Beane’s right-hand man, and Chiefs assistant director of player personnel Ryan Poles, who is Brett Veach’s right-hand man.
And it appears you have indeed looked in the mirror, John. I see that you are casting a wide net of prospective rising front office stars, adding Titans executives Ryan Cowden and Monti Ossenfort to the GM Sweepstakes, which will be music to your fan base’s ears.
Now just because I’ve stressed how important it is to venture outside of the Giants family, it hardly means that Schoen once working under one Bill Parcells in Miami is a non-starter. Au contraire.
“Coach Parcells told me one time, ‘Coaches are going to come and go, so you’d better find out what type of players you like and go get those type of players,’ ” Schoen said in a 2019 interview with the Buffalo News.
In an interview with the Athletic months later, Parcells said: “I was impressed with Joe because he was a sharp guy, he had a good thought process when it came to evaluating players.”
If you want to hear it with your own ears, John, pick up the phone and call Bill. You have his cell.
Poles was a finalist last year for the Panthers GM job that went to Scott Fitterer. Asked what he has learned from Veach, Poles told Buffalo Plus before Super Bowl 2021: “Anticipation, by far. Looking down the road and talking about the things that could happen. What’s our Plan A, B and C and D? and moving accordingly. So just thinking ahead and anticipating moves that are on the horizon has been probably No. 1 … His aggression. There’s pros and cons of being aggressive in the front office, but it’s all about timing, where your roster is and what you’re going for.”
Now your current assistant GM Kevin Abrams is highly regarded in your building, and there should be a place for him. But you have smartly realized this is not the time for Same Old Same Old.
Your statement on Monday is promising: “This will be a comprehensive search for our next general manager. We are looking for a person who demonstrates exceptional leadership and communication abilities, somebody who will oversee all aspects of our football operations, including player personnel, college scouting and coaching.”
I don’t need to remind you that you have not won a playoff game since Super Bowl XLVI, so I won’t.
But this is not the time for lip service either, John.
Think of it like this: It is time for GM to stand for Go Modern. Or, here’s one for some extra motivation, not that you need any: Genius Mara.
Instead of Giant Mess.
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