New York Giants: Dave Gettleman – Perception is reality

Dave Gettleman, New York Giants. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Dave Gettleman, New York Giants. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman has the reputation he’s difficult to work with. Whether it’s true or not, people believe it. That’s a big problem.

As the New York Giants search for their next head coach, there is an elephant in the room. Their General Manager Dave Gettleman is labeled as a dinosaur and stuck in his belief that he’s the smartest guy in any room. Maybe, more importantly, he’s on the hot seat after Monday’s press conference to announce Pat Shurmur’s firing.

It’s no secret that I’m not a Dave Gettleman fan. His vision of winning in the NFL has everything to do with running and stopping the run between the tackles. Maybe that was true 25 years ago, but today’s game is much more wide open. Additionally, his public anti-analytics stance is counter to modern scouting techniques. While I’m personally a big fan of the “eye test,” where is the harm in listening to someone who can give good information and taking them seriously?

It’s bad enough that he wants to play an outdated brand of football. But his “my way or the highway” approach with players (Landon Collins, OBJ, etc.) wears thin. Additionally, I find him to be arrogant, as well as condescending with anyone who dares to question him. The latter part drives me absolutely nuts.

That brings us back to the coaching search. In Tuesday’s presser, he addressed the idea that he is hard to work with.

"“I don’t understand the notion that I’m tough to work with,” Gettleman said. “I think it would be from people who don’t know me.” – Dave Gettleman from Ryan Dunleavy, New York Post."

What was Gettleman supposed to say, “yeah, I know I am.” Of course not. Whether he is or isn’t difficult to work with is irrelevant at the moment. Those outside the organization, most importantly, head coaching candidates, believe it to be true. That is a real problem.

In any workplace bosses or workers don’t get reputations based on a whim. People talk. Think about anyplace you have worked. The employees know who is good/bad, kind/rude, quick to anger/even-tempered. Why? Because they see what’s going on and they talk to each other. If one person on the job tells you Supervisor Phil is a good guy to work for, but everyone else hates him, odds are you will go out of your way to avoid Supervisor Phil.

Once someone has earned a reputation, it’s very hard to change it. For a New York Giants example, go back to when Tom Coughlin had to change from a disciplinarian to a players coach. It took a while for the transition to happen, then much longer for people to believe it really did happen.

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With Gettleman already on the hot seat, his reputation, true or false, fair or not, will make it much harder for the New York Giants to find a new head coach.

Not as many quality candidates want to take a job where their boss could get canned and his replacement will want to bring in their own people. Throw in the fact there aren’t many want work for Supervisor Phil or more accurately General Manager Dave, to begin with, and the scope of the problem comes more into focus. Perception is reality. Something New York Giants ownership might have considered more strongly before the decision to dump Shurmur and keep GMDG.

Here’s to hoping Big Blue finds the right coach to turn the ship around.

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