Dave Gettleman is well aware of how many fans and players feel about him. The Giants GM has made a string of curious decisions since taking over the job at the end of the 2017 season that has opened him up as a punching bag for fans and media alike.
"People make fun of me," Gettleman told Jonathan Jones of Sports Illustrated. "If it makes them happy, let them have it. I don't care. I just know I'm blessed. I've got the Lord and my family and I've got football."
Gettleman explained some of those decisions, or at least the philosophy behind his decision-making, in a lengthy SI profile of the Giants GM. Here are some of the topics he addressed:
Why fans should trust him:
Gettleman's go-to line recently has been that he has been working in NFL front offices for a long time and that his experience and resume is worthy enough to earn his trust in his plan for the Giants. But, why does he think that will work?
"Why won't it?" Gettleman asked. "Why is there any guarantee that you're going to write good articles? Why is there any guarantee that your career will continue to grow? There's no guarantee.
"I'm not saying this from an arrogant place, I'm just saying that I've been around enough successful teams and I've seen the way they're built. ... It's almost like ... you're asking me if I'm being penalized because I'm confident in my skills."
On the Kansas City model/Green Bay model comments:
Leading up to this year's NFL Draft, Gettleman referenced the "Kansas City model" -- which would be to have Eli Manning play one more season while his successor awaits in the wings a la Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes with the Chiefs. After the Giants selected Duke QB Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick, Gettleman had gotten tired of hearing that phrase so he suggested a Green Bay model, alluding to Aaron Rodgers waiting three years while Brett Favre finished out his career.
Gettleman does not believe this will happen at all, but explained he said it "just to say it."
"You know why? Because they didn't invent it," Gettleman added. "People have done this since the dawn of time, especially way back in the day when the first-round quarterback didn't have to play right away."
Gettleman refused to answer questions about Odell Beckham Jr. during his press conference with media at the start of training camp and told SI he did not read the wide receiver's comments in GQ. When told that Beckham felt disrespected by Gettleman, the GM said, "I handled it professionally and with complete respect. What more can I do?"
Gettleman continued to go to his line about building a culture when asked why he thought the Giants could be better without Beckham, but was vague as to why Beckham did not fit.
"If your culture's right, every player in that locker room will give you everything they've got," he said. "And in the face of tremendous adversity, they'll keep slogging through. That's what culture is."
While not talking specifically about Beckham, Gettleman added, "people don't understand what's going on and people don't have knowledge of the stuff that's going on here. ... You don't know. And you know what? That doesn't make you stupid. That just make you ... you don't know!"
On how he treats players:
Gettleman had earned a reputation of ticking off players long before he traded Beckham and let Landon Collins walk in free agency. While with GM of the Carolina Panthers, Gettleman cut fan favorite Steve Smith and rescinded the franchise tag on Josh Norman. After a year and a half with the Panthers, he was fired.
"There are times where my bedside manner hasn't been the best," he said. "People will tell you that Millennials want honesty. Sometimes I've been a little too abrupt and to the point. And I think it's because I've never been a pussyfooter. I've never dallied around. … Maybe there has to be a softer, kinder Dave Gettleman. Yeah, I'm 68, but I'm not an old man falling down. I'd like to think that I can learn, that I'm agile and can still learn."
On mocking analytics:
When Gettleman drafted Saquon Barkley instead of a quarterback with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft, he mocked the analytics community that argued it was not a good value pick. Gettleman defended his philosophy.
"If that makes me a hater of analytics, because the analytic people say [you can plug and play whomever at running back], you can't!," Gettleman said. "If that's the reasoning, that I've become a doddering old fool that hates analytics … that's O.K."