EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Vowing to kick some butt and return the New York Giants to prominence, Dave Gettleman has taken over as general manager for the reeling franchise.
Speaking at a news conference Friday, less than 24 hours after his hiring was announced, the 67-year-old Gettleman declined to say how long it would take to rebuild the Giants (2-13) but noted there is plenty of talent on the team that made the playoffs a year ago under recently fired coach Ben McAdoo.
"I've been hired to win," Gettleman said after introduced by co-owner John Mara. "The only promise I can make is I'm going to do everything in my power to lead this organization back to where it belongs."
Gettleman replaces Jerry Reese, who was fired on Dec. 4 along with second-year coach Ben McAdoo with the team spiraling out of control and fans upset with the benching of quarterback Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP.
The hiring is reunion for Gettleman. He worked for the franchise for 15 years before leading in 2013 to become the general manger of the Carolina Panthers. He helped them reach the Super Bowl in the 2015 season. He was fired after the team missed the playoffs the next season.
Gettleman believes in old-fashioned football. He wants his teams to run, stop the run and pressure the passer. He says Manning is his starter for next season based on what he saw the 36-year-old do against Philadelphia less than two weeks ago, throwing for 434 yards and three touchdowns.
His first major task will be to hire a new coach. He would not identify any candidates but he said he wants someone with intelligence, leadership ability and vision, equating the job with that of a chief executive.
Mara said the Giants want their new coach to have NFL experience, either as a head coach or a coordinator.
Giants interim coach and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been promised an interview. Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks also has to be considered a candidate.
Talking with a rich Boston accent, Gettleman described himself as inveterate film watcher. He plans to build the team through every avenue possible, draft, trade, waiver wire, free agency and insisted a team can never have too many great players at one position, noting the recent Giants' Super Bowl winners in 2007 and '11 were loaded with good defensive linemen.
Gettleman scoffed at the idea that he is a caretaker general manager because of his age.
"My plan is to come in here and kick ass every day," he said.
Gettleman wants to have communication, collaboration and verbal honesty handling issues.
"The biggest mistake a GM can make is to close their door and work on their own," he said.
Gettleman also clearly wants a good offensive line, saying he believes in the "hog mollies."
He said former Giants coach Tom Coughlin told him that big men allow you to compete.
Gettleman is the Giants' fourth general manager since 1979, following George Young, Ernie Accorsi and Reese, who held the job for 11 seasons and helped the team win two Super Bowls.
The Giants interviewed four men for the job, including interim general manager Kevin Abrams, the assistant GM for 16 years, Giants vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross and former NFL personnel executive and current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick.
Gettleman originally joined the Giants in the spring of 1998 as then-pro personnel director Tim Rooney's assistant. He was promoted to pro personnel director the following year upon Rooney's retirement.
In his four seasons, Carolina was 40-23-1 and won three consecutive NFC South titles. In 2015, Gettleman was chosen The Sporting News' NFL Executive of the Year after the Panthers finished an NFL-best 15-1 record and advanced to Super Bowl 50.
Gettleman has been a part of seven Super Bowl teams, including three winners. He was with Buffalo in 1990 and 1991; Denver in 1997; the Giants in 2000, 2007 and 2011; and the Panthers in 2015. The Broncos and the 2007 and 2011 Giants won the championships.