Um, who cares? I feel like you keep trying to counter argue and downplay the importance of the bigger point here. It's important to be sentimental, but not to the point of detrimence and only when you've earned it. Maybe he should have worded his words about smitty at the combine a bit better, but in all honesty, who cares? Hurney was too sentimental with his job, and in this business that almost never produces consistent results. Why do you think JR hired someone like gettleman? Someone with massive personnel experience who's worked in New York, the most cut throat city on earth, for some 10 years? Winning > Niceness in sports whether we like it or not. Just ask Belichick. His job is to build a winner not make best friends with the players. We'll see if he can, but so far it's working out. Stop worrying about whether the players like him or not, that bears nothing on the performance of the team.
Sure most people may not care, but some do. If any point is being downplayed, it's the fact that you can run an NFL franchise without publicly stepping on players' toes. This is especially true as it pertains to fan favorites and franchise legends, no less. The Hoody keeps all his negotiations in house. Nobody said that you had to be nice, just professional, respectful and hopefully tactful in your public relations. I've stated that I love G-man, and the way that he goes about his business, but no one is perfect. In the end, I would desire that he not alienate players or stars with his mouth in the future, but if he does I guess I'll shake my head and take the good with the bad. But I'm not gonna pretend that talking too much in matters of contractual and personnel changes are a good thing if it's not. People can be naive all they like, but the league is watching, players are watching, and free agents are watching. It does matter how the organization is perceived to treat its players, coaches, (and even fans in some respects). Ultimately it all can affect the performance of the team. In my opinion, to say anything less is just being shortsighted and simplistic. That is what is being downplayed.