New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman apparently did not enjoy watching the majority of NFL fans and media make fun of him for selecting Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. He’s responded to the criticism by going on a media campaign of his own, sitting down for interviews with both NBC’s Peter King and Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, so that he could tell the world that, actually, he’s not crazy, and that the only reason anyone thinks he’s crazy is because there’s no room in society for polite discourse.
Gettleman came off downright combative in both interviews, telling King, “In three years, we’ll find out how crazy I am,” and laying this beauty on Breer:
“Listen, I’ve been to seven Super Bowls, kiddo. And I’ve seen what it smells like, looks like and tastes like. And that’s what those teams had. They were well-constructed rosters, and the culture was there, and obviously the talent level was there. It’s gotta be a match of both. So Daniel for us was the guy, plain and simple.”
That quote followed Gettleman reciting a paragraph from a USA Today story about college basketball recruiting that apparently demonstrated why it was wise for Gettleman to take a quarterback that most people rated as a mid-round talent with the sixth overall pick. I promise that reading the actual article will not make Gettleman’s point any easier to understand.
Elsewhere in the interviews, Gettleman said he believes that Jones can get the Giants to the “promised land,” and that he knows “for a fact” that two other teams were planning on taking Jones before the Giants would have had a chance to get him with the 17th pick. He blamed the criticism he’s been receiving on The Way Things Are Now in both interviews, but the quote he gave to King on the subject is the funniest:
“The bottom line is, I have confidence in what I do and who I am,” he said. “I’ve been a part of organizations that had pretty good quarterbacks—Jim Kelly, John Elway, Kerry Collins, Eli Manning, Cam Newton. I’ve led a charmed life with the quarterbacks on the teams I’ve worked for. I know what good ones look like. The other thing is, résumés matter. Every once in a while, I wish the people taking the shots would take a minute to look at my résumé. I’ve been a part of teams that went to seven Super Bowls. I had a hand in some of them. But today, there’s no patience. And there’s no room for civil discourse in our society, which I find sad.”
Beyond being evidence that Gettleman was truly bothered by everyone clowning on him for taking Jones, these interviews have officially tied the fate of Gettleman’s tenure in New York to Jones’s performance. It’s one thing to make a risky draft pick, but it’s another thing entirely to come right out and say how sure you are that the player you picked is going to lead you to the promised land, and how everyone who disagrees with that assessment will end up eating their words.
Gettleman has made sure that Jones can never be just a project player, or a guy who will satisfy fans with a few seasons of competent quarterback play. Now he has to be the franchise savior, the guy who is not only going to bring the Giants back to glory, but prove to everyone what a genius Gettleman is. That seems like an inordinate amount of pressure to heap upon a guy who was not exactly a highly rated prospect, but Gettleman apparently knows what he’s doing. He knows what the Super Bowl “smells like,” remember?