EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett had an awkward exchange with reporters Thursday as he walked off the podium following a news conference.
"Good to see you guys," Garrett said as it concluded, seemingly waiting for an impassioned response. "Good to see you guys," he repeated.
This apparently is a staple of Garrett's demeanor. He starts and/or ends all meetings with a similar, "How's everybody doing?" or "How we doing guys?" or "Good to see you guys." He repeats it if the first reaction is meh.
Usually, it's met with a more enthusiastic answer in unison. This is the way most of his news conferences went during his time as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys as well.
On Thursday, at his first news conference of the summer and first one in person with reporters since being hired by the Giants early last year, his tone and desire appeared to have gotten lost in translation.
"Likewise," one reporter could be heard saying. "Good to see you in person," another said.
That is when Garrett responded with a line that turned the heads of those who do not know him well.
"Yeah, we say good to see you, 'Coach,'" Garrett said Thursday before leaving the podium and heading off to practice. "Good to see you guys."
Those who know him indicated he was just looking for a more animated response by the crowd of reporters. Or perhaps it was an attempt at humor gone wrong. Either way, the ending to the news conference, which went viral, turned heads.
He did this all the time with us, especially if the first reaction was meh. He wasn't emphasizing the coach part, based on my interactions with him for a decade plus. He just wants the reflexive reply of, Good to see you too. https://t.co/KfTrkvd0UY— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 5, 2021
This comes on the heels of Jackson State coach Deion Sanders telling reporters at Southwestern Athletic Conference media day last month that he wants to be called "Coach." Sanders told a reporter that he wouldn't call Alabama coach Nick Saban, "Nick," so he shouldn't be called "Deion."
It's hard to believe in this instance that was Garrett's line of thinking. Many reporters in Dallas regularly referred to him as "Jason." Reporters in New York had referred to him as "Jason" (on Zoom) many times over the past 18 months without incident.
Garrett enters his second season as the Giants' offensive coordinator. He was previously the Cowboys' head coach for nine seasons, compiling an 85-67 record and making it to the playoffs three times.