For the co-owner of a proud franchise that hasn't been very proud of its place in the win-loss column in recent years, John Mara is stopping well short of suggesting that the New York Giants house is on fire.
He's expectant of improvement and hopeful for the playoffs, but he's not setting a defined bar -- at least, not publicly -- for the club to clear in 2021, saying Tuesday that he's not going to "issue a mandate."
"I expect to win more games than we did last year. Hopefully we're going to be a playoff team this year. You can call it anything you want," Mara said, via SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. "I just want to feel like, after the last game, that what we have here is a team that can win a Super Bowl."
The Giants' absence from a playoff perch is going on its fifth year, unless fortunes can be turned this fall. Mara's job might not be on the line in the same way that executives, coaches and players are, but credit him for at least being willing to take a piece of the blame if things don't go well this season. Asked if general manager Dave Gettleman is on the hot seat, Mara made it known that the hot seat in the New York market is big enough for everyone in blue.
"We're all on the hot seat with our fans, we've given them too many losing seasons," he said.
Mara did, however, follow up to clarify that it is not accurate to say Gettleman specifically is on the hot seat. "Let's see what happens," he said.
The Giants have had four losing seasons in a row since an 11-5 campaign in 2016, and an under-.500 finish in seven of the last eight years. Gettleman is entering his fourth year as GM, while head coach Joe Judge enters just his second. Mara said he believes the pair has the franchise "moving in the right direction."
Gettleman, for his part, remains firm in his belief in quarterback Daniel Jones, who enters his third season and second under Judge with high expectations.
"We believe in Daniel, we're excited to see what he's going to do in the second year in the system," Gettleman said.
Mara, for now, believes in them all.