Interim General Manager Kevin Abrams
December 14, 2017
Q: What is this like for you?
A: Initially, it was a shock and surprise and emotional and uncomfortable a little bit. Now, itís starting to take on more of a business as usual, but the circumstances arenít getting any less unfortunate.
Q: Whatís the job of an interim general manager and what changes for you in the short term?
A: Well, I donít have Jerry (Reese) down the hallway to make all the final decisions right now and the job is to support the coach, support the staff, support the players. Thereís not a lot you can do the last four weeks of the season. You do what you can, but itís support. Support all day.
Q: What have you been told about your future here and whether you have a chance to be the permanent general manager?
A: Iíve been told nothing definitive and that Iíll get an interview before the end of the season.
Q: What do you know about personnel and how would you describe your role on the personnel side since you were mostly on the business side at first?
A: Well, it would be better to answer that more in-depth probably as we get towards 2018. I donít want to interview or campaign for a job today, here and now, but my role has been more than just doing the cap (salary cap) stuff. I wasnít raised to be a cap guy. It was just the opportunity that was given to me and I was grateful of the opportunity and the Giants do a great job with everyone Ė not just me. But, weíre all encouraged to grow professionally and like everyone else, I was getting a lot of opportunities to do that and I try to take advantage of them whenever I could and a lot of that included being involved with our personnel departments.
Q: What are the challenges of going through the scouting process without much direction in terms of having a permanent general manager in place?
A: I mean, nothing on our scouting side of things has changed. Itís business as usual. Marc (Ross) and his staff are preparing for the draft like they would normally. Our pro department is doing what they do Ė advance books, following the wire, finding opportunities for us to incrementally get better at the bottom of the roster and preparing for next offseason. So, nothing really changes.
Q: What do you think went wrong with this team this year?
A: I donít know if I want to dissect the whole thing right now. There will be a time to do a full autopsy of 2017, but itís been Ė like John (Mara) said Ė itís a bit of a perfect storm. Thereís nothing that we can use as excuses, but weíve had some areas where weíve underachieved. Weíve had some unfortunate instances. Weíve had some runs of injuries. Weíve had a lot of things and you guys were at all of our games. Youíve seen some of the things that have worked out for us and against us that, you know, sometimes you go .500 on the bounces that go your way and sometimes they donít. I donít know if weíve fallen short of that this year, but itís been a tough year for a lot of different reasons and thereís no one person, position group, individual thatís the cause of us being 2-11. Weíre collectively 2-11. So, the short answer is we need to get better in a lot of areas.
Q: How much change have you experienced day-to-day this past week?
A: I donít think a lot has changed. I think Iím just a little busier because of all the things that would stop at Jerryís (Reese) office now stop in my office. But, the subject matter hasnít changed a whole lot. Jerry was always great at involving me as much as possible when appropriate, so I feel like none of the subject matter is new to me. Itís not Jerry coming to me or I donít have Jerry to go to for anything right now. So, itís kind of operating without a net a little bit, I guess, would be the one big difference and more interaction with the owners and more interaction with the head coach. Otherwise, itís not much different.
Q: Do you want to see quarterback Davis Webb at some point this year?
A: I think weíd like all of your young guys to get a chance down the stretch. Davis, in particular. Because of the position, itís just hard to do. And I know you guys know this already, but you can only play one quarterback at a time. So, itís not like trying to sprinkle in a defensive tackle or a linebacker into the mix and give him some reps. Itís a bit different, it has a bit more of an impact on everything else that you do. Spags and I talk about it all the time, Johnís talked about it on plenty of occasions, and we know what we want to accomplish, itís just not easy to do it necessarily. Itís an ongoing conversation and hopefully we get an opportunity to put him out there, but itís got to be done the right way.
Q: Itís easy to do if you just start Webb in a game, right?
A: Yeah, if you make that decision, yeah. Itís making that decision thatís not as easy.
Q: Whose decision is it whether or not to start Webb in a game?
A: Spags. That will be the head coachís decision.
Q: How much were you a part of the decision to start Geno Smith against Oakland?
A: Jerry kept me in the loop, I certainly gave him my two cents. So, I knew it was coming, I didnít know exactly when or how the switch was going to flipped, but I knew it was coming and I knew what the plan was. So, to that extent, I was involved.
Q: What is your message to the Giants fan base right now?
A: Well, I think, first and foremost, Spags has a really hard job now and heís doing it really well. His first 10 days on the job have been exceptional. His message to the team has been fantastic, the changes have been subtle, but theyíve had impact, and I think the players are buying in. I think we had a bit of a blip coming out of the bye, I think, where maybe it wasnít our best efforts, but I think that otherwise, I know our record doesnít show it, but our guys have played their tails off. Our preparation and efforts on Sunday, I think, have been great. I think they deserve more positive results than theyíve gotten, but two things I know Spags is doing a lot during the stretch, and thereís not a lot you can do, but heís getting everything out of this team he can right now and I know the team has responded well, even before last week. But, especially now, theyíre responding well.
Q: Do you want the full-time general manager job?
Q: No hesitation?
A: I think everyone would want this job.
Q: Do you think youíre ready?
A: Why do I think Iím ready? It sounds a little bit like Iím going to be interviewing on the spot here. Iíd rather not do that just because of the appearance of a campaign and I want to play it straight.
Q: How do you view the salary cap going forward?
A: Weíre healthy. We wonít have any restrictions on what we can do based upon the salary cap. Weíll have tough decisions like we have every offseason, but we donít have to make any decisions because of the salary cap.
Q: Do you think the in-house relationship that you have will be an advantage or a disadvantage in this process?
A: I donít know. That really depends on what John (Mara) and Steve (Tisch) want to hear in a candidate, so thatís really more of a question for them. I feel prepared to talk about our program because Iím very familiar with our program, but I donít know if thatís an advantage. Itís going to depend on their perspective.
Q: Do you have a definitive plan on where you think things went wrong and what you would do differently?
A: Yeah, I guess to go back to your last question. If there is an advantage, itís not an advantage, as it relates to my preparedness to interview for the position, I guess it would be I already had a plan of things I wanted to talk with my boss about what we can do coming off of what at that point in time was looking like a pretty poor season. So a lot of what would come up in an interview is already on the table to be discussed because weíre always looking to get better. So I guess that segues into the next conversation.
Q: Do you already have coaches you would present to them?
A: I donít want to talk about that. Thatís a 2018 question.
Q: Do you think Eli (Manning) still has good football left in him?
Q: Do you think getting him an offensive line is the biggest piece to get him to perform the way he can?
A: Yes, every quarterback needs an offensive line, but I donít want to give the impression that Iím putting 2-11 at the feet of this offensive line. I think theyíve actually played solidly and I think going back to what I said before, this is a collective 2-11. I know they take a lot of heat and every position group and every part of this organization could have done a better job this year. To be 2-11, it takes a lot of people to not do their best to get to this point.
Q: How can you afford 18, 19 guys being on injured reserved?
A: You just budget for it. You know going into the season what your worst case scenario is. Sometimes you exceed that even, but you better make sure you can absorb it and we were touch and go this year for a little bit. We werenít expecting this many.