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Friday Media Transcript: General Manager Dave Gettleman

Eric from BBI : Admin : 7/27/2018 6:22 pm
General Manager Dave Gettleman
July 27, 2018

Opening Remarks: Great to see you. I just wanted to say a couple things. Obviously publicly, I just wanted to thank everybody for all the support you guys reached out to me. It meant a lot, it touched my heart. You know, I had this crazy idea that I should do what the doctors told me. So I did, and Iím in a hell of a place, physically. I feel good. I still have to continue treatment, the type of chemo I have, Iím basically getting 99 percent of it on an in-hospital basis, so when I go into the hospital Iím in there for five days. Iíve got three more rounds of it, Iíve had four so far, so Iím over the hump. Iím certainly excited about it, and just got to keep going. Like I said, I want to thank everybody for their support. Prayer does work, and being in the right place spiritually and mentally has been a huge plus for me. My family has been unbelievable.

I know you guys know that I spoke to the team on Wednesday, and it was great to see the guys. Unfortunately, I canít hug and kiss and do all that stuff because of my immune system, but it was great to see them and talk to them. If anybody had any interest, I thought Iíd just say, listen, thereís basically two points that I made to them. Iíve been blessed. Iíve been on teams that have gone to seven Super Bowls. I kind of feel like I know what it looks like, smells like, tastes like. And, the remarkable thing about all those Super Bowl winnings and non-winning teams was, they were teams. It wasnít about ďJoe SchmoĒ and ďBill SmithĒ and this guy and that guy, it was about who they were as a team. Lou Lamoriello, who obviously has had a tremendous amount of success - heís back with the Islanders, right? He made a great statement. I guess somebody asked him about a player that apparently had left the Islanders, was a very good player, and Lou made a great statement which I believe in and subscribe to, in that, ĎIndividuals win games, teams win championshipsí. I talked on that point to the players, I discussed that with them, and the other point I made to them is, one of the things that everybodyís got to understand is, this is the NFL. No oneís on scholarship, no oneís taking a redshirt year. So, what I told the players is, weíre at camp. You guys have earned the right to get to training camp. Now itís time for you to earn the right to get to the 53. And then once you make the 53, youíve got to earn the right to be on the 47. So we talked about that, and I said to them, thatís every day. Thatís every rep, thatís every meeting. I just shared that with them, and I just wanted to make sure that I made those points. Someone here may have wanted to ask me what I said, and thatís what I said, thatís what I talked about. I also told them that being bald is different. Itís weird now, getting up in the morning with that head of hair, looking in that face, woof. Iím surprised my wife hasnít left, because I want to. Anyhow, Iím only kidding. It is kind of neat, when you think about it. Let me tell you something, (defensive line coach) Gary Emanuel said to me, ĎDave, think about it. You can wash your face and your head at the same time.í I said, ĎThat ainít bad!í Right now, I can shave with a tongue depressor. Itís pretty funny. I shave just so I can put after-shave on. But anyhow, thatís my shtick today. Iíll open it up to you guys. Let the games begin.

Q: Dave, how do you feel?
A: You know, I feel really good. Sometimes I feel like Iím apologizing for that. My energyís good. Chemo ainít fun, now, thereís been a couple days where Ė oof. I mean, it rocks your world. Now that Iím going through it, my goshÖ Itís not fun, but a really unbelievable scary kind of statistic: 50 percent of all men are going to have cancer. Just so you guys, you know, everybodyís looking right and left. 50 percent of the men in the United States are going to have cancer. Iím blessed, I feel good, I feel energetic. This is a week that I donít have chemo in the hospital. Monday and Thursday I have doctorís appointments, Monday and Thursday Iíll have doctorís appointments next week. Basically what Iím doing is, Iím exercising, Iíve been told I have to ride the bike so Iíve been exercising. I come in around 10:30-11am and stay until about 7- 7:30pm, and I feel good.

Q: You signed some of these players, drafted some, youíve known some for a long time. How did they react, seeing you for the first time?
A: It was great, but they were coming up and hugging and all this, and I said, ĎGuys, I canít do that, because my immune system.í You guys know the drill, your immune system gets down and you canít Ė youíve got to be careful. You know, itís killing me because you have to watch practice from eight million yards away and I canít get to the locker room which is frustrating, Iíve got to eat upstairs at my desk which is frustrating but I told them, I looked at them and said, ĎGuys, Iím sorry, youíre stuck with me.í So, you know, itís been good.

Q: How has the adjustment been? Youíre a guy that throws himself in 100 percent and you know obviously with this youíve had to, I imagine, cut back a little bit. How has that adjustment been for you?
A: Itís been weird. Listen, everything happens for a reason. The Lord has a plan and for some reason, I wasnít supposed to get to Cape Cod this summer. Really and truly, what it is, and Iíll figure it out, but Iím sitting in a hospital room itís, you know, itís not fun. Itís fine, itís fine, and better days are ahead. The fact that I can do as much as Iíve done Ė Iíve been in Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Iíll be in this weekend. So itís good.

Q: What were your immediate reactions to being in remission?
A: Well you know, what was really weird was that I didnít quite understand it. Here I am thinking Iím pretty smart. When he told me, ĎYouíre in complete remission,í it was like, it was kind of weird. Iím saying to myself Ė but, he very quickly followed up, ĎYou ainít doneí, very quickly followed up, ĎYou ainít done.í

Q: It was weird in what way?
A: Just all of a sudden you go from, within a five week period Iím told Iíve got aggressive lymphoma, and in five weeks, he said everything is going to be OK. Thatís a quick turnaround.

Q: Who was the doctor?
A: (Dr.) Andre Goy.

Q: Where is the doctor located?
A: Hackensack (University Medical Center).

Q: What kind of support have you had from the people around you? Iím talking about here in the building, specifically.
A: Itís been overwhelming. Itís like anything else, if you havenít been through it with somebody Ė should I text, should I call, nobody knows what to do. I never want to be that guy who gets a text, email, whatever, phone call and doesnít respond. Itís been great support. The Maraís and the Tischís have been unbelievable. Kevin Abrams has done a great job, having Mark Koncz back. The support, Ronnie Barnes has been unbelievable. If youíre sick, youíre crazy if you donít call him, because heís going to take care of you Ė and all those guys, Steve Kennelly, and Leigh [Weiss]. Itís just been unbelievable. Iím blessed.

Q: How confident are you that you can get back to work this season? Full-time? Part-time?
A: Full-time. Itíll happen. Itíll happen.

Q: Have they told you to slow down at any point?
A: Iím doing what the doctors told me. For example, they donít want me in the sun right now. I made up my mind, Iím not negotiating anything with the doctors. There is no negotiating here. Iíll tell you guys, I canít go on the Detroit trip. I have chemo that week and I canít go. My immune system is down, so here you are sitting on a plane, sucking recirculated air and everybodyís cooties. Then you go in a hotel sucking recirculated air and cooties - that was a term when I was a little kid. There are certain things Iím not doing until I get clearance. To me, do what the doctor tells you. Good Lord, donít negotiate.

Q: Where were you watching practice today?
A: I was in the shade way over here. I was outside, I wanted a little fresh air. I was in Peru watching practice in Hackensack.

Q: What little you saw, what did you think of the team?
A: I was looking at the backs of jerseys. I was thinking, ĎWow, heís a big guy.í

Q: John [Mara] said the other day that he expects to open up negotiations soon with Odell. Thatís obviously your deal. Are you well enough to do that? I know you donít discuss contracts, but he did say that the process is going to start.
A: Iím well enough to stand here in front of you, Iím well enough to do that. Again, Iíll reiterate it - donít waste your time taking our temperature. Contracts get done when theyíre supposed to get done. Weíve spoken, Iíve had conversations with Odell. So, thatís where it stands.

Q: Having seen him, though, are you surprised or pleased with where he is at? Is he ahead of schedule?
A:† The trainers told us he should be ready to go, he should pass the training camp physical. So, based on that, Iím not surprised.

Q: Has Pat Shurmur been everything you expected?
A: Yes, and more. Heís got a great way about him. Generally speaking, Iím being very general here Ė I was a long-time pro (personnel)† guy, so pro (personnel), you do the advance, you work all week, you go to the game, and now youíve got to put a booklet together for the coaches and you sit down in your kibitz. Generally speaking, one side of the ball listens, and one side of the ball doesnít. What Iíve found is, defensive coaches, if you look at NFL history, the greatest head coaches Ė most of the greatest head coaches Ė have come from the defensive side of the ball. They tend to be very pragmatic. ďJoe SchmoĒ goes down, ďSam SmithĒ goes in, these are our adjustments. Iíve got a head coach who has been on the offensive side of the ball his whole career with that pragmatic approach so, Iím in heaven, Iím in absolute heaven. Heís very pragmatic. I think heís got a great way about him with the players. He keeps it simple. Weíre playing football, itís not rocket science. Weíre playing football, put the ball down, letís go, eleven guys, letís go. Iím thrilled with Pat. I couldnít be happier. Heís everything I thought he could be.

Q:† Can you talk us through what happened with Sam Beal? Did the injury happen before you guys decided to take him?
A:† We knew about the shoulder, there was no mystery there. We knew about the shoulder, itís like drafting anybody thatís got an injury, we knew about the shoulder. We had MRIís that Arizona had taken, he comes here, re-injures it, does what he does, and you know, it is what it is. Best case scenario, heís on the field and weíre not talking about this. Really and truly, we felt weíre getting next yearís third round pick this year. So now with the shoulder, we get it fixed Ė itís about a five month procedure Ė and heís ready to go in the spring. So, it is what it is. Anybody can get hurt.

Q:† You guys have made the decision, heís definitely getting the procedure?
A:† Yeah, heís got to have surgery.

Q:† Dave, do you look at life differently now that youíve been sick and do you suddenly take it more preciously?
A: You know, listen, hereís what Iíd say to everybody. None of us laying on our death bed are going to say we wished we worked more, or gosh, I wish Iíd emptied that email inbox, none of us are going to do that. I think, and Iíve been going to this place for the last seven years of my life, really and truly, I firmly believe itís faith, family, and football. Our legacy is our children. Thatís our legacy. Art [Stapletonís] legacy is not that he wrote a good article one day, or he broke a story. Thatís not anyoneís legacy. I know I sound like an old man, but Iím not. You just think about these sort of things. If anything, itís just confirmed where Iíve been getting to for the last seven years, if that makes sense. Life is precious, I donít care what it is, you just canít not appreciate how important people are and how, really, weíre in the people business. At the end of the day, itís not about how much money you make. It really isnít, it doesnít mean anything. Itís really about what you do with your gifts, and family is our true legacy.

Q:† You just signed Connor Barwin. Is he a guy that you had your eye on?
A: Yes, yes, yes. Again, Iím going to tell you this, youíve heard me say it before. There isnít a day that goes by that Iím not asking myself, ĎHave I given Pat and the guys enough players to win?í I firmly believe that, and I kept looking at our depth chart on defense and I just felt we needed a little more, one more veteran presence. I talked to Pat about it, he was with Connor, loves him. Itís funny, as these guys age, if you manage them properly you can get some quality snaps out of them. Now itís about quality snaps, itís not about quantity. Connor still has some quality snaps in him.
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