When another season ends, when they bravely face the music, the power brokers who see the world through Big Blue-colored glasses perform the same song and dance.
They talk about progress, and ask their loyal fan base for patience. One more time.
Make it the last time.
Progress and patience have fallen on deaf ears.
It is time for the men in charge to change their tune to playoffs. Or bust.
“I’d like to see us getting back in the playoffs. … We need to win more games,” co-owner John Mara said.
Mara, as a young man, endured the lost Wilderness Years that reached their nadir with that “15 Years of Lousy Football We’ve Had Enough” banner streaming over Giants Stadium.
Then George Young arrived.
And in truth, Young’s record was 10-22 his first two years, a 9-7 playoff berth in Year 3, and a 26-46 record after five seasons, before a march to Super Bowl XXI began in earnest.
Dave Gettleman’s record is 15-33. The Giants have missed the playoffs for four consecutive seasons. He has been the general manager for three of those seasons.
Much to the chagrin of some Giants fans, Mara has given him another chance to do for him, and for Giants fans, what Young did for his father, and for Giants fans.
Now, no one should be expecting Gettleman’s ongoing rebuild to transform the 6-10 Giants overnight into an elite power knocking loudly on the Super Bowl door.
But Gettleman is convinced, as is Mara, that Joe Judge, their unflappable leader who has built the right culture, is the right head coach, their Bill Parcells or their Tom Coughlin if they are good and lucky, that Daniel Jones is their Phil Simms or their Eli Manning, if they are good and lucky.
It is now on Gettleman, with free agency and the NFL draft looming in the offseason, to get the Giants over the hump, and now.
To get Jones the No. 1 receiver he needs to score enough points to join the modern NFL party.
“He has what it takes to lead us to where we want to go,” Mara said.
He needs more help.
“We need to find playmakers, that’s all there is to it,” Gettleman said. “We’re gonna find the right guys to help Daniel get us over that hump.”
Because Gettleman’s legacy, and the 2021 season and beyond, will rest on whether Daniel Jones can take that next step.
“He’s made of the right stuff mentally and physically,” Gettleman said.
His critics who eagerly point to the record, who won’t forgive him for trying to win with a faded Eli Manning and then change philosophy midstream, for failing to fix the offensive line, for trading Odell Beckham Jr. less than a year after signing him to a $90 million deal, for letting Landon Collins walk, for drafting a generational running back with the second-overall pick instead of, let’s say Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson, given the benefit of 20/20 or 2020 hindsight, for the hiring of Pat Shurmur, for trading up for DeAndre Baker.
“We made some miscalculations in 2018 with some of our personnel decisions,” Mara said.
“We’ve learned from our mistakes,” Gettleman said.
But those same Giants fans now ought to give the devil his due:
During a season when Mara put him on notice that his batting average had to improve, or else, Gettleman had a DJ LeMahieu season:
- The offensive line (LT Andrew Thomas, C Nick Gates) appears on its way to being fixed.
- His free-agent signings were home runs: Pro Bowl CB James Bradberry … S Logan Ryan … ILB Blake Martinez … PK Graham Gano … OLB Kyler Fackrell.
- He was right when he told us that the juice was worth the squeeze on Leonard Williams.
- Jabrill Peppers and Dexter Lawrence have changed my opinion about the Beckham trade.
- His 2020 draft has infused the team with promising young talent.
- Most critically, he and Judge are philosophically aligned and enjoy a healthy, collaborative relationship.
“They work really well together,” Mara said. “I’m really pleased with the players that they brought in here and I think that gives us a chance going forward.”
- If you blame him for the Shurmur hiring, you should praise him for the Judge hiring.
“We’re gonna fix this,” Gettleman said.
Same thing he said when he was hired.
“I think we’ve established a basis for a foundation that can have continued success going forward,” Mara said.
No more continued failure.
“I’m tired of sitting up here at the end of the year trying to explain what went wrong and why I feel optimistic about the future,” Mara said. “I want to do it after a winning season.”
“I do believe we’re making progress,” Mara said. “I am going to ask them to be patient again. I know it’s a tough ask, I know they’re tired of hearing me saying that. But I am sincere in the belief that we are making progress here.”
Don’t be asking them again.