General Manager Dave Gettleman
Conference Call, January 26, 2018
Q: What made Pat [Shurmur] the choice for you?
A: The New York Giants head coaching job is a job for a professional football coach. That is what Pat is. He has had a ton of experiences and he has experience as a head coach. He has had a lot of success as an offensive coordinator working with a wide variety of quarterbacks in terms of their skillsets. Through the interview process, we asked Pat, what have you learned through his Cleveland experience? He was very detailed. He obviously was very honest with himself, just like I had to be honest with myself when things didnít go right. Heís a very self-aware guy and a very mature guy. He checked absolutely all the boxes for me.
Q: You guys have mentioned that adult and professional thing and that can be interpreted in many ways. What do you mean by that and why is that such an emphasis?
A: Itís no different than being an adult as a media person and being professional as a media person. You guys evaluate each other and you walk away and you say that guy is this, that guy is that. Itís no different. You tell me why being professional at your craft is important.
Q: Coach Shurmur mentioned that you and he saw eye-to-eye on a lot of philosophies in terms of building a team. Can you elaborate on the philosophies you share and where you go from here?
A: As Iíve said a number of times, the style of the game has evolved over the years. There are basic truths and basic facts that donít change and you have to do. You have to run the ball, you have to stop the run, and you have to rush the passer. Pat and I completely agree on that. The other thing is that big men allow you to compete. Iíve built teams from the inside out. Obviously the quarterback position is critical but Iím just dropping straight philosophy here and how you approach it. Those are the things that Pat and I completely agree on. The other thing that we completely agree on is the importance of culture and how football is the ultimate team sport. We have to put together a roster that is talented but who love the game of football and love to compete. There is a lot of boxes that he and I are on the same page.
Q: We were talking with John Mara a little while ago, he raved about Pat Shurmurís interview with you. What did you like about his interview and how quickly in this process did you start to get sold about him being the guy?
A: The interview was outstanding. He was straightforward, he was honest. There was no nonsense. Again, I hate to keep saying it, but for me, he was a professional. Thatís really important. I said this before, halfway through the interview, interviewing someone youíre taking notes. Halfway through the interview, I wrote at the top of my notes, this man is a professional and an adult. This is not a position for the faint of heart. We have to win every Sunday and we know that. I just felt very strongly that Pat was the guy for us.
Q: Did you have any relationship with Pat before the interview?
A: No, not really. You know, itís funny. A million years ago, in the mid-90ís when I was working for Blesto and running through the midwest, I might have met Pat when I went to Michigan State. Obviously, there was no relationship there. When I get to Carolina, we were interviewing offensive coordinators. Pat was one of the three coaches we interviewed. More than anything, I tend to be a people watcher. I learned that from my dad on the streets of Boston. I watched Pat, I followed his career. I thought in the second year (in Cleveland), they were making strides. As a pro guy, Iím watching film and seeing that this team was getting better and better and better with a lot of young guys. Did I ever have a personal relationship with him? No, but looking through the profession, I was very impressed.
Q: Why didnít you hire Shurmur the first time when you were in Carolina, and what made him the right candidate this time?
A: First of all, Gary, Iím a firm believer as a GM when youíre dealing with the head coach, Iím not going to force the head coach to hire anybody because thatís not healthy and you know that, Gary. Why (Ron Rivera) went with Mike (Shula)? I think youíre going to have to call him and ask him. Obviously, I think part of it was the comfort of Mike had coached Cam the whole time, since Cam walked in the door. So I would think there was a comfort factor there and, hey listen, you can call Ron and ask him specifically, but I would never force a head coach to hire an assistant.
Q: You sat in on the interview in Carolina with Shurmur, though, right?
A: I sat in for the first 10-15 minutes. That was the point in time Gary where that was my first year as a GM, my first week. So honestly, I had a ton of stuff going on. So I sat in for about 10 minutes and talked to Pat a little bit and let them go at it.
Q: Did you need a candidate that said that they wanted Eli Manning to be their quarterback in 2018? What did Pat say about that situation?
A: We certainly asked every candidate what they thought of Eli, and I think the fact that Pat was strong about Eli, that was he was strong about Eli. I hadnít really done enough film work by that point because of the running around that we were doing, but I had come to the same conclusion which I have come to. Thatís a general interview question, how do you feel about him? Iím certainly not upset that he had a strong opinion. I was hoping he had a strong opinion on him and he did.
Q: What made you come to the decision that Eli could still play?
A: Again, Iíve said it before, Jordan, Iíve watched Eliís first eight years, nine years of his career and watching the games, going through them chronologically, I still saw a quarterback that knew what he was doing, had plenty of arm talent and can win games.