Joe Sean was impeccable, polite and ready to meet the Big Apple on Wednesday, but the main discouraging conclusion was that he did not intend to influence major changes in the front office.
He will definitely be a better matchmaker than Dave Gettleman. This is a low bar to clear. And maybe that will be enough to get the Giants where they need to go.
But Sean was more like a politically savvy GM, already assimilated into the Giants’ comfortable and collaborative operating model, who would only rock the boat as much as he was allowed to.
Maybe he’s just prudently restrained in the rough waters of East Rutherford, which has caused three head coaches to lose their jobs in five years. I hope so.
“Everyone will be judged. I don’t think you need to make bulk changes,” Sean said of the front office.
Of course, it’s worth remembering how co-owner John Mara said on Jan. 12 that he was at the lowest level he’s ever been in charge of the team, and 14 days later, it looks like the only major changes at the Giants are in the GM and head coach.
So Sean is working within the framework of the current design, and not creating his own – at least not yet.
“I don’t expect any changes and I’m not going to make any statements like ‘we have to do this,'” Sean said. “We are going to implement our process. Everyone will be evaluated. Right now, I can say that there are a lot of good people in this building that I look forward to working with.”
It was even revealing that Sean and Mara backed Daniel Jones unconditionally as their quarterback for 2022 before hiring a head coach.
Not too long ago, ownership led this franchise astray on behalf of a quarterback. And while there’s a good argument that Jones deserves another year – and Mara said the coaches will report to Sean – that this call now without a coach in the room reflects how little the process of this organization has changed.
It also makes one wonder if the Giants are looking for a more accommodating head coach (Dan Quinn?) – someone who is willing to play ball with a coherent plan – rather than a stronger personality with his own opposing ideas (Brian Flores?).
Sean said he felt it was “unfair to the people in the building” to make changes before he had evaluated them. He then delivered his only disturbing press conference comment:
“If you’re not successful here, I don’t think it’s necessarily because of some people in the building. Maybe it’s a process. They are not the final decision makers,” Sean said.
It sounded like Sean was saying what he was told: that the problems were with the last CEO and coach, not with the people who are still in the building.
As far as fairness, ask coaches who have just been fired what is fair. This is the NFL. The Giants need to win matches. Whatever brings them there, that’s what Sean has to do.
Mara did talk a lot about the changes needed to make the Giants work.
“We need to make some changes to the way we work here and that was one of the main reasons why we wanted to bring in someone from the outside who could look and see what we are doing,” said Mara, “[to] look at what we’re doing well, look at what we’re doing poorly, and just change the situation to the point where everyone is on the same page and moving forward.”
But Sean’s talking points sounded so familiar on Wednesday that the Giants, frankly, should have just interviewed assistant general manager Kevin Abrams for the job after all.
Mara said of a possible reshuffle, “I think I should let Joe take a look. He’s only been here for a few days. He wants to appreciate everyone. I would like him to do it. I think at some point you might see some additions to our staff, but that will be his decision and I think he will do so after he has had the opportunity to evaluate more people in the building.”
However, the big question for both Sean and the new head coach is when Mara and Steve Tisch expect the new regime to start winning, and whether the owners will move those goalposts halfway through, as they did with Joe Judge two years later. after the restructuring.
“I look at it as a process,” Mara said. “I didn’t tell him, ‘Joe, we better make the playoffs next year or you’re out of here.’ I don’t make such claims. I want him to build the business right and give us a chance for sustained success. I’m not making any specific demands on him for next year. Just get the team right.”
When Mara made this comment, some members of the media chuckled, apparently unaware that the Giants fired three coaches in a row either during or after their second season, plus general manager Jerry Reese midway through the season in 2017.
“I expect next year to be a hell of a lot better than four wins,” Mara added, showing a different, less patient side of the owner, whose team has played and lost just one playoff game since 2011. given him any particular number he must reach. Find the right coach, create the right program, and let’s look at the progress at the end of the season.”
Sean said in one breath that he understands the expectations of the owners: “We need to see progress, we need to see how the team gets better… We are not going to make any announcements about the playoffs or anything like that. We just want to see progress and see that we’re building something in the future and we’re going to build the foundation as soon as we can.”
But the new GM also said, “I’m not a big fan of tearing it up, rebuilding,” guy.
“I think you can really build a squad when you can compete today and build tomorrow,” Sean said.
However, he’d better make more changes than he promised on Wednesday if he wants to do so.