Manning’s benching mishandled, Giants boss admits
Co-owner John Mara says there was probably a better way for the New York Giants to handle the benching of two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning after 13 seasons.
But he was at a loss to know what it was.
Speaking for the first time since coach Ben McAdoo announced Tuesday that Geno Smith would start against Oakland, Mara said Wednesday that he made a couple of mistakes in handling the situation.
Not being at the team’s headquarters on Tuesday when Manning was devastated by the decision topped the list.
Mara also said that he miscalculated Manning’s reaction, thinking the 36-year-old face of the franchise would accept starting his 211th consecutive game on Sunday and then handing off to Smith in second half.
Manning felt that was a sham and Mara didn’t realize so until having an emotional talk with the quarterback on Wednesday.
Mara said he spoke to general manager Jerry Reese about two weeks ago and said it was time to start evaluating the backups, Smith and rookie Davis Webb.
Reese had already spoken to McAdoo about the same thing and the second-year coach decided to make the move on Tuesday, after the Giants (2-9) returned from an extended Thanksgiving weekend break. Reese had informed Mara about the change on Monday.
The decision was met with major disapproval by fans and former Giants players, which Mara expected, but not to the degree it happened.
Mara insisted the move does not end Manning’s career with the Giants.