New York Giants: Even co-owner John Mara is more excited about the 2021 season than normal

New York Giants, John Mara, Dave Gettleman

With quarterback Daniel Jones’s rookie window offering an opportunity to spend in free agency, the New York Giants jumped at the chance this off-season.  Having spent upwards of $150 million on players like Kenny Golladay and Leonard Williams, kicking the majority of cap hits to 2022 and beyond, the Giants feel confident they upgraded the team sufficiently.

Even co-owner John Mara is confident his team will take a step forward this year. After giving the front office the green light to spend excessively, anything less than adequate would be a disappointment.

“I always look forward to it but maybe a little more so this year because of the prospect of having fans in the building again and because I think we greatly improved our team,” Mara told Steve Serby of the New York Post. “There’s always a certain amount of anticipation. I would say this year, I’m looking forward to it even more than I usually do.”

The team is preparing to gear up for a grueling summer full of progression and hard work with training camp starting on Tuesday. The Giants have one of the deepest teams they’ve had in years, bolstering the pass rush and wide receiver position, specifically this off-season. Even the secondary gained a few pieces, including Adoree’ Jackson and Aaron Robinson. But just because the unit has been upgraded doesn’t guarantee their success.

It is clear that Mara feels good about the personal decisions the team made this off-season, adding a few nice puzzle pieces to fit an otherwise incomplete board.

“I feel like we’ve got the right pieces in place, I feel like we’ve improved the team through free agency and the draft,” he said. “I’m very confident that we have the right coach in place, so I think we’re ready to start making a move, but until we start winning games, words are meaningless.”

Joe Judge has overhauled the locker room atmosphere and disciplinarian rules behind the scenes, demanding accountability and respect from his players/coaches. Everybody is on the same page; winning comes first, and if success is what the team desires, they are going to have to put the work in to achieve it.

New York Giants: Dave Gettleman not on the hot seat, says Mara

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

This season may not only be a make or break one for New York Giants QB Daniel Jones, but also Dave Gettleman. After all, Gettleman constructed this current team as the general manager and can no longer point to problems such as the previous GM’s players or a lack of cap space to make moves with. For better or worse, Gettleman will likely be judged based on how the Giants perform during these next couple of seasons.

That might lead some to believe that Gettleman is on the hot seat and that he’ll quickly be out the door if the Giants don’t make a significant jump in performance. Gettleman, after all, was seemingly close to getting fired along with Pat Shurmur when the previous coaching staff was removed. For some, it’s hard to imagine the Giants continuing to give Gettleman chances even after keeping him around following that.

But there’s a different tune from co-owner John Mara, who claims that Gettleman is far from being on the hot seat. In an interview with the New York Post, he defended Gettleman and denied the hot seat rumors very directly.

What John Mara had to say

“Listen, I was frustrated the first couple of years the way the [seasons] ended. But the combination of Dave and Joe has produced very good personnel decisions, be it in free agency and in the draft. It’s a very good combination. We’ve made a lot of changes to our football operations staff, added some talented new people. I just feel like we’re moving in the right direction,” Mara said.

If that’s not enough to convince you, the fact that Mara denied the rumors straight up should be.

“No, you’re on the hot seat if you write any more stupid comments like that,” Mara said after being asked directly. He’d repeat the denial again for added measure, too.

For better or worse, it seems like Giants fans are stuck with Dave Gettleman for the forseeable future. At least, unless things take a drastically bad turn this season. But with the roster improving and the Giants bringing back a more experienced coaching staff after Joe Judge’s first season, that looks unlikely.

Whether or not Mara’s stance is a good thing or bad thing is up for debate – but there’s no mystery about what that stance is.

Giants’ co-owner John Mara makes bold Daniel Jones claim

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have spent frivolously in free agency this off-season trying to bolster their offense around quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones is entering his third year in the NFL but took a massive step backward without weapons to utilize in the passing game in 2020.

Luckily, he will be going into a second year and the same offensive scheme, but with more talent around him, including wide receivers Kenny Golladay and John Ross. He will also be gaining running back Saquon Barkley back from an ACL tear, and there’s always the possibility they draft a receiver with the 11th overall pick.

On paper, the Giants have a better team on both sides of the ball, and hopefully, they can utilize the draft to plug a few holes and add playmakers. There is no question that ownership is behind Jones, considering the new contract they signed matches up perfectly with his rookie contract. Leonard Williams, Golladay, and Adoree’ Jackson have expiring contracts in 2023, which is exactly when Jones’ fifth-year option concludes.

Ian O’Connor of the New York Post interview John Mara, asking him:

Q: “Do you believe Daniel Jones looks like a quarterback who will ultimately win a Super Bowl?”

A: “Yes he does,” Mara responded. “I can say that without any hesitation.”

Q: “Good enough to win multiple Super Bowls like his predecessor, Eli Manning?”

A: “I don’t see why not,” the Giants CEO said, “if we put the right pieces around him.”

Management has been extremely vocal about Daniel‘s future with Big Blue and their commitments to him. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars on upgrades should justify their confidence, but Jones needs to take a significant step forward in 2021 to justify their backing. He only threw 11 touchdowns last year, tossing 10 interceptions and fumbling 11 times. While his pocket awareness improved and his ball security took a step in the right direction, he still has a long way to go before we can feel confident in his abilities.

Hopefully, the offensive scheme changes around him, utilizing a more vertical style to capitalize on his downfield accuracy. Jones has all the physical tools to be a fantastic quarterback at the NFL level, including solid accuracy, mobility, and intelligence. If he can put all of these attributes together and grow confident in his system, I have no doubt that DJ can run the Giants’ offense at a high-level.

New York Giants co-owner John Mara says this roster can make the playoffs

New York Giants, John Mara

The New York Giants have made some improvements this offseason. Regardless of what you think of his deal, they’re bringing back their top pass rusher Leonard Williams and also added a receiver who could very well finish inside the top 10, in Kenny Golladay. And, on top of those big moves this free agency period, they also added further help on both sides of the ball with the addition of Adoree’ Jackson at corner and Kyle Rudolph at tight end.

But is their active offseason enough to get them into the playoffs? The Giants came close in 2020 in Joe Judge’s first season, but it took a lot of luck for them to stay in the race until the end. They shouldn’t expect the same luck this year, but co-owner John Mara is confident that they can get in based on the merits of their roster.

Mara makes playoff claim… And interesting claims about Daniel Jones

“I think our roster is good enough to make the playoffs,” Mara told the New York Post on Sunday. He happened to be in the mood of making bold predictions because he also claimed that the team can win a Super Bowl with Daniel Jones. And, if they put the right pieces around him, that Jones can go on to win multiple titles like his predecessor Eli Manning.

The Giants will also, hopefully, have Saquon Barkley for the entire year this time around. It’s not a stretch to say they could make the jump over their nearest rivals and win the division this year, considering how close they came last year with talent missing from multiple key positions and their main playmaker out a couple games into the season.

And if there’s one way to show Joe Judge is for real, it would be a playoff appearance already.

The one thing the Giants have to be careful of at this point, though, is assuming they’re already at the top because of their offseason performance. The last few times the Giants have been hyped up based on a good offseason, after all, things collapsed on the field quickly.

This time around, it may just be the new management in town that leads things into going a different way.

New York Giants: One John Mara quote that stood out in season-ending press conference

New York Giants, John Mara, Dave Gettleman

New York Giants co-owner John Mara and general manager Dave Gettleman featured in a press conference on Wednesday regarding the state of the team following a disappointing 2020 season.

The Giants won six games, marking 15 wins over the past three years that Gettleman has been vice president and general manager.

Ultimately, vast improvements are needed across-the-board, but Mara believes the team is trending upward, and they have enjoyed progress this season, despite the miscalculations and mistakes they made back in 2018. New head coach Joe Judge has really turned the page in the locker room, implementing disciplinary measures and instituting a culture that demands respect.

While the defense did perform exceedingly well in 2020, under Patrick Graham, the offense was disappointing, with Jason Garrett at the helm.

Optimistically, Garrett stated that the offense does need an influx of resources, so we should expect to see some movement on that side of the ball.

This past season, the Giants’ offense ranked 31st in points per game with 17.5. They were only above the New York Jets, who averaged 15.2 points per contest. Regarding the passing game, they recorded the 29th least yards through the air per game.

While the running game was considered average, upgrades need to be implemented at multiple positions. The Giants desperately need more talent in the wide receiver corps, as we should expect them to consider a free agent signing or allocate their first-round pick toward a player like Jaylen waddle or Devonta Smith.

The New York Giants should see an improved offense in 2021:

With Saquon Barkley expected to make a full recovery and return for the start of the 2021 regular season, the continuity on the offensive line should prove to be significant. The line took major steps forward in run blocking this year, which should help Barkley return to form and dominate moving forward, barring any setbacks. Acquiring a top receiver would also open up the passing game and move linebackers and safeties away from the box, forcing them into coverage and allowing Barkley to navigate the line of scrimmage more efficiently.

Of course, there’s the question of Jason Garrett and if he deserves to stick around for another season. While the running game was much improved, his route concepts and passing attack were lackluster. There are plenty of options that could be a better fit for the Giants, and the job would undoubtedly be attractive with a promising quarterback in Daniel Jones and several pieces to work with moving forward.

New York Giants: Dave Gettleman to remain general manager, according to reports

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants are continuing with Dave Gettleman as the team’s general manager, according to Paul Schwartz of the NY Post. Schwartz notes that the decision came from ownership, as they believe the Giants are “heading in the right direction.” Paul Schwartz also says that ownership also believes “Gettleman is the right man to continue the building process alongside head coach Joe Judge.”

This will undoubtedly be a controversial decision amongst Giants fans. The New York Giants hired Dave Gettleman in 2018 and the team has not seen much success over the past three seasons. With Dave Gettleman as the general manager of the Giants, the team has gone 15-33 in three years. They have also seen two head coaches hired during the Gettleman era.

Prior to the 2020 offseason, Giants’ co-owner John Mara made it clear that Dave Gettleman was on thin ice. Mara mentioned that Gettleman’s “batting average” needed to go up. Certainly, it did, with great signings in the 2020 free agency period like Blake Martinez and James Bradberry having a huge impact on the Giants this season.

The Giants also saw improvements week-to-week by Gettleman and company’s 2020 draft class. And, most importantly, second-year quarterback Daniel Jones showed tremendous progression through this season. Jones was Gettleman’s most important selection as general manager of the Giants and his success largely determines the success of Dave Gettleman as a general manager.

Granted, while the Giants fought for a playoff spot until the final game of the 2020 season, they still finished the year below .500 with a 6-10 record. The team is improving and this is the best record they have posted during the Gettleman era. After this season of improvements, Dave Gettleman now officially bought himself at least another year as the general manager of the New York Giants.

John Mara and Dave Gettleman will meet with the media this week to discuss the state of the New York Giants and “the factors that went into retaining Gettleman.” Schwartz’s post indicates that this was largely a John Mara decision and that Mara feels “the arrow is pointing up” towards success in the Giants’ future with Dave Gettleman.

New York Giants: John Mara Not Sure Every NFL Game Will Go As Planned

New York Giants, John Mara

This season is a unique one for the New York Giants and the NFL because for the first time, it’s being played against the backdrop of a major pandemic. The league has been lucky to mostly avoid problems in this area so far – but the regular season hasn’t started yet.

As we approach the start of the season, it’s only natural that there’s more speculation about this subject. The pandemic was brought up multiple times to co-owner John Mara by the press on September 3rd, with one question even being whether or not the team was for sale due to the current economic situation.

The answer from Mara, of course, was no. He insisted the Giants ownership is in for the long haul.

But he also said that he’s not sure if every NFL game will happen without interruption, and that he’s not optimistic about having fans in the stands this year.

Mara cautious during pandemic situation

“I would say I don’t know about all 256 games or whatever it is, but I am definitely more confident now than I was. If you had asked me in March or April, I would have had serious doubts about that,” Mara told reporters when asked about the odds of every game happening without an interruption.

He also mentioned both the very low rate of positive tests and the possibility there could still be setbacks anyway.

“Obviously, there are going to be some setbacks during the season that we’ll have to deal with. But I think we have the protocols and the process in place that we’ll be able to deal with it. If it means postponing a game here or there or making it up, I think we’ll be able to do that,” Mara continued.

The Giants have been lucky in this area so far, but have nonetheless been impacted more indirectly due to opt outs from some players such as Nate Solder and Sam Beal.

Fans in the stands? Probably not.

The atmosphere of an NFL game without fans is an odd one, but that’s what the Giants will have to get used to – for now, at least. Mara didn’t rule out the chance of fans returning to the stands later but wasn’t optimistic about it either.

“We’re not going to have fans certainly in September. I’m hopeful that at some point we can have them back in. But I have to say I’m not all that optimistic about that. In terms of there being fans in other buildings where we go, that’s just the way it’s going to be,” Mara said.

He followed up by acknowledging the situation may not be entirely fair, but that the Giants don’t have another option presently.

“It’s not necessarily going to be competitively fair in the sense that some teams are going to have fans in the building, some teams are not.”

But with the Giants finally set to take on the Steelers soon after a long and uncertain offseason, most will be happy just to have football back. Even if the atmosphere around these games will probably be different than it’s ever been during a past NFL season.

New York Giants’ John Mara stands behind Joe Judge, more in press conference

New York Giants, John Mara

The New York Giants have had their top coaches conduct press conferences via Zoom over the past few weeks. Now, the higher-ups are being interviewed, too. General manager Dave Gettleman conducted a press conference yesterday, giving plenty of insight into the Giants’ offseason and future. Today, the Giants’ co-owner John Mara had his interview with the New Jersey beat writers.

John Mara on Joe Judge

The Giants’ new head coach, Joe Judge, has had an excellent week in the eyes of the media. He seemed to clearly have his players won over in practice, and he received a ringing endorsement from general manager Dave Gettleman. Now John Mara has also expressed great pleasure with his rookie head coach’s first offseason.

One thing Mara likes about Judge is his “ability to see the big picture.” John will not “blow the whole thing up again” if things do not go according to plan this season, but he will be “very disappointed” if the team is not competitive in December.

Regardless of how well Judge has done this offseason, it will not be enough to satisfy Mara long-term. Mara made it clear that he “just wants to see results. … At the end of the day, it’s about wins and losses.” But Mara does stand behind Joe Judge and has confidence in him heading into the 2020 season.

John Mara on the Future of the New York Giants

Ownership is here to stay. John Mara made that clear today. When asked about speculation regarding a possible sale of the team, Mara said, “No. We’re in this for the long haul.”

Mara is also confident in the direction that the team is heading. He discussed his team’s young quarterback, saying he “feels good” about Daniel Jones and the “amount of work he’s put in, the way he’s worked at camp.”

He continued to say that the Giants’ coaching staff is “very high on” Jones and that “guys who have been around very successful quarterbacks in the past feel he has what it takes to get us to the next level.” Encouraging signs for Danny Dimes as he heads into year two of his career.

Mara is optimistic about his quarterback and his team’s future. However, he is “not all that optimistic” that the Giants will have fans in the stands at MetLife Stadium this season.

John Mara on DeAndre Baker

The New York Giants saw two of their players get into serious legal trouble this offseason. Starters DeAndre Baker (cornerback) and Aldrick Rosas (kicker) were both arrested for different incidents. John Mara finally addressed DeAndre Baker’s arrest and the team’s future plans for the second-year cornerback who is currently on the NFL’s commissioner’s exempt list.

John Mara considered DeAndre Baker’s incident to be a “shock.” He admitted that there were red flags pre-draft, but nothing indicative of future criminal activity. Mara said the situation is “embarrassing for the organization and something we’ll have to deal with,” and that “a decision will be made sooner rather than later.”

John Mara On Players Protesting

John Mara stated that he prefers if everyone stands for the national anthem, but he supports his players if they choose not to stand.

“I support a player’s right to engage in silent protest.” – John Mara

John Mara continued, saying “I understand that’s not going to be popular with certain segments of our fanbase, but I think it’s the right thing to do.”

New York Giants: How Dave Gettleman Can Save His Job In 2020

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants have suffered through a lot of losing season in recent history. Much of the blame has been shared between the various coaching staffs, the front offices, and the ownership. But general manager Dave Gettleman has received the bulk of the criticism over the past two seasons.

Many fans support Gettleman completely and praise him for his last two draft classes. Those drafts landed one of the best running back in the NFL in Saquon Barkley and Eli Manning’s heir apparent in Daniel Jones. But plenty of fans also criticize Gettleman for those same draft classes, as well as many of his questionable free-agent signings such as Nate Solder and his massive contract.

According to a recent report by Jay Glazer, Dave Gettleman “presented a plan for how he’ll turn it around in a year. That needs to happen. If it doesn’t happen, he’ll be gone and rightfully so. If he doesn’t follow through, it’s time to go.” Ownership has given Dave Gettleman one year to turn it around. If not, then he is gone. So how can Gettleman save his job at this point?

Daniel Jones’s Progression

Dave Gettleman and Daniel Jones’s careers will forever be linked. The Jones selection infamously set the NFL world on fire as Giants fans had a meltdown and booed their now beloved quarterback. Many fans were calling for Gettleman’s firing.

That was until we got to see Daniel Jones play. Jones exceeded all expectations in his rookie season. The former Duke Blue Devil started 12 games for the Giants in 2019. He threw for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns passes, 12 interceptions, and saved Dave Gettleman’s job despite a disappointing 4-12 season.

Still, there were plenty of flaws in the quarterback’s rookie season. Daniel fumbled the ball 18 times and failed to win more than 3 games in his 12 starts. He will need to show improvement in his sophomore season to prove to John Mara and the rest of the NFL that he is worthy of being the team’s franchise quarterback for the next decade or so.

Simply Win More

Seeing Daniel Jones develop in 2020 will increase the likelihood that Dave Gettleman returns the following season. But ownership will also need to see the rest of the team improve.

Simply put, 12 wins in three seasons are not enough. The Giants can not be picking inside the top-ten picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. It is time for this once-proud organization to get back to winning football games.

If the Giants can win enough games to at least keep them in the playoff hunt in December, then this season will be a large improvement over the last. Dave Gettleman’s roster moves this offseason need to lead to more wins. Since he has been told that he has one year to turn things around, a season with more wins in 2020 is just about the only way that Dave Gettleman can save his job.

New York Giants: John Mara Denies Losing Touch

New York Giants, John Mara

The New York Giants have suffered from a number of problems over the past years, where the team has had a number of losing seasons and has often found themselves picking high in the NFL Draft, but the man that’s largely at the head of the organization isn’t concerned right now about having lost touch with his role.

That man is of course John Mara, who co-owns the team but tends to be the public face with more of their decisions than fellow co-owner Steve Tisch – and during the past couple of offseasons, Mara has gained criticism for how he’s handled several things, not the least of which is decisions that have led to the Giants trying multiple half rebuilds instead of burning things down and starting from scratch… Something that has likely impacted their results in a negative way and kept the Giants from even having much of a chance going into their last couple seasons.

Despite the criticisms, Mara is still confident going into the 2020 season where he made the decision to bring on Joe Judge as the new head coach.

“I don’t fear that I’ve lost the touch. But I certainly understand our fans’ lack of trust in what we’re doing right now. And the only way to win that back is to start winning games. I get that,” Mara told NJ Advance Media.

“The record is what it is, and I can’t defend that. I don’t feel any differently about myself and my judgment now than I did in February of 2012. Certainly, the record doesn’t bear that out. But I have just as much confidence in myself now as I did in 2012,” Mara continued.

Objectively, however, the Giants are a worse team than they were in 2012, to put it lightly – it seems that a fair amount of blame for that naturally falls on Mara’s shoulders as the top decision maker and the one with the power to hire and fire General Managers and coaches. Just as a player or coach may be thought of as in decline, it should also be possible for an executive to be considered declining.

We’ll have to see how things turn out this season, however, to see if Mara really has lost touch with running the team or if the last years were an anomaly rather than the new norm – the new coaching hires look quite good so far, but in the NFL, nothing is certain until games are played in the regular season.