Speaking the day after the Giants fired head coach Pat Shurmur, GM Dave Gettleman had a press availability for the first time in months, addressing a wide range of topics during an at-times awkward 30 or so minutes.
In addition to Gettleman's odd rationale for trading for Leonard Williams, here are the takeaways...
Why is he still here while Pat Shurmur isn't?
"There has been much speculation over the futures of Pat Shurmur and myself," Gettleman said as he began his remarks. "Every day is a job interview in this industry and we accept that. So I understand the question of why was Pat dismissed and I was not. Just to be clear: There were substantive discussions between myself and ownership regarding my job performance and vision moving forward over the past two weeks. So John (Mara) and Steve (Tisch) made their decisions and here I stand."
Gettleman then added that Shurmur was one of the finest men he has ever worked with.
On his tenure so far
"I have had misses. Given where we started in December of 2017, we have made progress on and off the field that we are encouraged by and see as a sound foundation for the team to come."
As far as his main goals, Gettleman said he has achieved one of them by finding his quarterback. He also noted that the Giants have made advances analytically, including hiring "computer people."
"I feel good about the direction we're headed," Gettleman said, later adding that he'll "learn from his mistakes."
Regarding how close the team is to being a contender, Gettleman -- while talking about the progress of the young players on the team -- said "it all depends upon how quickly the puppies come along."
On the potential of hiring a college coach to replace Shurmur
"To take a college coach right now, I think you'd have that advantage of having him be connected to these college kids for so long, understanding the culture and what they're about and where they're at. I appreciate that."
What about the potential of the new coach also assuming GM duties?
"It's a collaborative process," Gettleman said. "Everything is a collaborative process. ... any college coach that we talk to, I'm here to help him. One of the things I'll tell you is we're all support staff. We really, truly are."
Does he understand why there's a perception that he's tough to work with?
"I don't understand the notion that I'm tough to work with. I think it'd be from people who don't know me. Obviously as we move forward in the coaching search it's the dating game. There will be that opportunity for him to look me in the eye and say 'hey Dave, what up?' I don't understand that, I really don't. I don't know where it's coming from."
Gettleman went on to discuss his time as GM of the Panthers, saying he didn't fire anyone during his tenure there and suggesting that the perception that he is tough to work with did not exist when he was in Carolina.
As far as him being largely unavailable to the media, Gettleman said that could change next season but pointed out that most GMs around the league do not talk in-season.
On the Giants' advantageous cap space situation
The Giants will be among the teams with the most cap space this offseason, but that might not mean a spending spree as big as some could be expecting.
"Well first of all, whatever amount of money we end up having, you've got to take $20 million and put it to the side and put it in the past book savings account," Gettleman explained. "Because you want to be in a position in-season to do extensions. If an attractive player is there you want to have the cap space to make the decision instead of saying 'oh we can't afford this guy, we can't afford that guy.' So you take $20 million aside."
"You build the team through the draft," Gettleman continued, halting after each word for emphasis. "Free agency is really to a certain degree -- I know I've said it before -- free agency is to set yourself up. You address issues with free agency so you can set yourself up for the draft, so you take the best player available."