One month isn’t a lot of time to evaluate someone, but Dave Gettleman gets mostly good grades for his early tenure with the New York Giants.
Dave Gettleman was hired as the general manager of the New York Giants on Dec. 28 to replace Jerry Reese. The first month is crucial for a general manager, as they have a chance to set their staff, change the culture and begin scouting to build the roster.
ESNY’s Jason Leach broke down what Gettleman’s offseason priorities should be, and he’s working towards doing most of them. It’s early in his tenure, but here are the grades for Gettleman’s first month with Big Blue so far.
Pat Shurmur is considered a quarterback guru, and his results back that up. He oversaw Sam Bradford’s impressive rookie season with the Rams and coaxed career years out of Nick Foles with the Eagles and Case Keenum with the Vikings.
He was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2011-12, producing a 9-23 in his two seasons. He also won his only game as interim head coach of the Eagles in 2015, giving him a 10-23 career record.
Shurmur is a good fit with the Giants, who have an aging Eli Manning on the roster, as well as third-round pick Davis Webb, who did not play last year. There’s also a very real possibility the team uses the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to take a quarterback.
Shurmur’s past success with quarterbacks gives hope that he will be able to get one or two final good years out of Manning, who will be the quarterback for 2018, as well as accelerate the development of either Webb or a quarterback the Giants draft in the upcoming draft.
While Shurmur is a good hire, Gettleman was reportedly higher on Matt Patricia than Shurmur. Patricia is expected to accept the Detroit Lions head coaching opening once the Patriots season is concluded, according to Adam Schefter at ESPN.
Shurmur should have more success than he did with the Browns. However, Gettleman’s reported failure to land his number one choice is a concern and hurts his grade in this category.
Final grade: B+
The early-round busts have set the team back when building their roster, and it resulted in the Giants having to spend big in free agency entering 2016. Although it worked at first, last season was a disaster and the team would no doubt like to have more youth to build around.
While dumping Ross was important for changing the way the team evaluates talent, releasing Hart was important for another reason—establishing a new attitude in the locker room.
Hart was such a problem in the locker room that, according to Paul Schwartz at the New York Post, Damon Harrison almost came to blows with him, and it sounds like teammates would have been perfectly fine had that happened.
“They should have let Snacks fight him, then we wouldn’t have had to play with him all year long,’’ the source told Schwartz. “He was being a punk and he was called out by Snacks and Snacks had to be held back by four big human beings not to beat the living life out of him.’’
Schwartz also pointed out that Hart didn’t attempt to practice on his injured ankle, while many in the organization felt he could have gutted it out.
One player that Gettleman didn’t cut, however, was Apple. Despite the second-year cornerback having a rough year both on and off the field, including being called a cancer by teammate Landon Collins, Gettleman is giving him a fresh start with the team.
Hart had to go, both due to his attitude and his play, but releasing him because he didn’t play through an injury may not have been the best strategy. His inconsistency in dealing with Apple as opposed to Hart is also a concern, but he’s starting to change the culture.
Final grade: B
Quarterback decision for 2018
As mentioned earlier, Gettleman elected to go with Eli Manning as his quarterback for 2018. This is the right decision, as Manning still has something left in the tank.
He managed to throw for 3,468 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, putting up a quarterback rating of 80.4. While those numbers don’t jump off the page, he did it with a struggling offensive line, missing Odell Beckham Jr. for most of the year, and a rushing game that ranked only 26 in the league.
The Giants need to look to the future at quarterback, but they will still look to compete next year, as their struggles last season were a manifestation of a weak offensive line, injuries, and bad coaching.
Gettleman is likely to draft a quarterback with the second pick and give that player a season to learn behind Eli Manning.
Final grade: A
Gettleman won’t be able to make his biggest impact until free agency and the draft. However, he has done what he can to improve the team so far, changing the culture and bringing in a strong head coach.