Head Ball Coach Pat Shurmur and General Manager Dave Gettleman held Press Conferences today at the NFL Combine. These press conferences are basically “State of the Union” pressers that fill fans in on a couple of thoughts that they may have with Free Agency around the corner and the Franchise Tag period coming to an end next week. It is also a brief look into what the team may be thinking going into the upcoming NFL Draft.
So, what did we learn from today’s pressers from Shurmur and Gettleman? Well, not a ton. That is a good thing folks. We all hated Reese for being obvious about all of his plans and then we yelled from the roof tops when other teams took advantage of this.
Pat Shurmur stepped up to the plate first. He seemed to commit to Eli Manning stating that he “fully expects” Manning to be the starting QB in 2019. Shurmur mentioned that when the team and offensive line started coming around in the 2nd Half of last year, Eli Manning’s play elevated. Shurmur also stated that he thinks a rookie Quarterback would greatly benefit from sitting behind Manning and learning. This was the first tidbit that got the anti-Eli crowd’s attention.
Shurmur also seemed to embrace the idea of a new young QB being brought in as he mentioned spending countless hours scouting Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray. Lastly, Shurmur mentioned how he likes his Quarterbacks having the mobility to extend plays and move around the pocket (eyes emoji) and that Quarterbacks come in all shapes and sizes (referring to Murray) (more eye emojis). Again, the “Eli Manning is done” crowd got moist.
Shurmur also went on to mention that the Offensive Line was still going to be a focus this offseason and that the team needed to get better on the defensive side of the ball. This is par for the course, and while its not as sexy as the QB position, it is just as important. The team’s overall talent is for shit right now.
Up next, Dave Gettleman. The old man came out swinging! He reiterated his previous quote “We did not sign Odell to trade him”. That settles that for now, so all of you can stop getting your panties in a bunch.
Gettleman also commented again on the need for big bodies, which implied that the trenches are still going to be worked on in this offseason. Refreshing!
Then, things got interesting. Gettleman was asked about Eli Manning and he seemed FAR less committal that Eli Manning was going to be THE guy in 2019. He stated that he was still in the “evaluation process” (its been 2 months since Eli’s last game. Helluva eval period), and while he would like for Eli to pass the proverbial “torch” to the next quarterback of the future, nothing is given. Gettleman also made a point to say that you can’t plan on getting your QB in the First Round next year (prefers to take the future franchise QB in the 1st Round) and that if he needs to move up to get “his” guy, he will do so. “No guts, no glory”. I am not sure what else we expected him to say on this front. He is not going to lay out his plan for the QB position in a presser 2 months before the draft people.
These are all things you like to see from a GM. He seems to be going about this the right way. This indicates, to me at least, that both the Head Coach, and the GM acknowledge that the end is VERY near for Eli Manning. In a perfect scenario, the torch passing happens easily and maybe the Giants draft a Haskins this year. They also don’t want to seem to eager to step all over Manning’s corpse and would like him to be the one to pass the torch.
The last thing that I found interesting from Gettleman’s presser was that he didn’t seem to indicate either way what the Giants were going to do with Landon Collins. After the whole “Locker Gate” charade that Collins pulled last week, I am sure Gettleman was not too thrilled with him. What people need to grasp is that even if LC leaves and the Giants do not choose to tag him, the Giants can get a decent compensation pick the following year.
All in all, both guys came up with a bunch of cliches and and didn’t really commit to anyone or anything specific. Gettleman and Shurmur seem to be very careful about their words and don’t seem to want to give the media much of anything to work with. This is not something the previous regime excelled at.
Mr. Glass-Half-Full Take:
Gettleman and Shurmur’s tenure will be determined by the next QB that they choose to be the franchise QB of the Giants moving forward. They are both on board with making this happen and seem to be willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen…..when the opportunity presents itself.
Gettleman has been around the block and knows what he is doing. He has seen it all folks. If he loves Haskins, he will make the push to get him. He will not be hindered by not wanting to trade up. If the price is too rich, DG as we saw last year, will not budge from his current slot. Maybe Murray or Haskins falls to the Giants at #6, maybe they don’t.
The situation is very fluid and if you have a team(s) that jumps up to the #1-#4 spot, things will change for the Giants regarding drafting a Quarterback. They would love to take care of this position in this draft, but don’t seem eager to force it. Have to respect this point of view and we, as Giant fans, have to have faith in their evaluation process that they will make the right choice.
The Giants will not lack options during the Draft and in Free Agency. One thing Shurmur and Gettleman stuck with is stating that they need to improve the Offensive Line and Defense. Those are two constants that need to be upgraded regardless of who is playing Quarterback.
In the end, as I mentioned before, this regime seems to play things close to the vest. Let’s not read too much into what was said today. We will circle back in 2 weeks when Free Agency starts. In the meantime, can we stop jumping to conclusions about thinking that we know where the Giants thinking is? We dont know shit. Buckle up, because its going to be a fun ride for the next 2 months.
Go Big Blue