By Jeff Pilgrim @PilgrimsPoint
It wasn’t pretty.
It wasn’t the season we all wanted. But in the big picture, we almost didn’t have a season at all. The Giants finished with a 6-10 record. On paper that’s not good obviously, but when you think about everything the team had to overcome this season and in recent years, it was a big step in the right direction.
Dave Gettleman was given one of the worst poker hands you can possibly obtain as a GM. In 2018, he was faced with the task of competing while rebuilding, which doesn’t work. Eli Manning was still hanging around the building and was to remain the QB, whether Dave wanted that or not. Eli was well past his prime and was in a steady decline as the walls around him crumbled with the roster Jerry Reese put around him.
In 2018, he drafted the best college football player in the country, Saquon Barkley. It was a bold and desperate move to try and help Eli get back to the promised land. Whether that move was right or wrong is certainly debatable. It’s worth noting that Saquon is still the best football player on this team, but it hasn’t resulted in more wins.
Let’s recap. 2018 and 2019 were absolute disasters. Horrendous seasons of disappointing losses and underwhelming play. Rosters that were not worthy of the NFL. Gettleman made his mistakes. Pat Shurmur is a good OC who helped Daniel Jones throw for 24 TDs his rookie year. The problem was that Dave made him our head coach. Pat isn’t a leader of men, he’s an OC.
In 2020 the tide changed. Gettleman flipped the script and had one of the best off-seasons in recent memory. He made a very bold hire at Head Coach with Joe Judge. He trusted Judge, even though he was a first-time head coach and never held a OFF/DEF Coordinator position in the NFL. Despite the 6-10 record, there seems to be full confidence the Giants have their coach of the future.
Not only did Getty get production out of every meaningful draft pick, he acquired pro-bowl caliber free agents that helped morph the defense overnight. The Giants defense was ranked 30th in 2019. In 2020, they ranked 9th overall.
You can make the argument that Gettleman doesn’t deserve to stay b/c the Giants win/loss record has been abysmal, and it has. I also believe that the past is the past. 2018 and 2019 are gone. Look at what this team is right now. There are stars on this defense. DC Patrick Graham just signed on for another year despite being requested for HC interviews. Players and coaches want to be here. When’s the last time that happened?
With the offseason Gettleman had in 2020, he deserves one more year to see if he can replicate that success on the offensive side of the ball. As of Jan 6th, 2021 – there still hasn’t been a decision on who will be OC next season. Jason Garrett’s system was underwhelming to say the least, bottom 3 in the NFL. Was it because of talent? If so, you better believe you’ll see upgrades at wide receiver and tight end next year, with the addition of Saquon Barkley. Any system would run better with those kinds of upgrades.
The bottom line is that the house has finally got a foundation and is being built the right way, don’t tear it down now.
And THAT’s the point.