Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images
ELI MANNING BENCHED FOR GENO SMITH…
In a surprise move, New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo announced on Tuesday that two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback Eli Manning, who has started every game for the team since November 2004, has been benched in favor of Geno Smith.
“Alright, each and every week our number one job is to win a football game,” said McAdoo to the press. “We’re 2-9 right now. We have five left to play. We’re out of contention and our number one job is to still win football games. But it’s my responsibility to make sure we have a complete evaluation of the roster – top to bottom. Especially at the quarterback position moving on to next season and with that, we’re going to start Geno this week and give him an opportunity to show what he can do.
“I spoke to (General Manager) Jerry (Reese) and I spoke to ownership – yes. We’re on the same page… I have a lot of confidence in Eli as a player, as a quarterback. But at this point, it’s my responsibility for the organization to make sure we take a look at Geno and at some point take a look at Davis (Webb) and give them the opportunity to show what they can do heading into next year.”
Manning has started 210 consecutive regular-season games, the second-longest streak by a quarterback in NFL history, behind Brett Favre’s 297 games. Manning was given the option to start this Sunday’s game, then sit, in order to keep the streak alive. But Manning declined.
“The game plan going in was to play (Eli) for a half and play Geno for the second half and we decided after our conversation this morning that we’ll give Geno the ball starting at the beginning of the game,” said McAdoo. “I think a lot of Hall of Fame quarterbacks who have done a lot for a lot of teams haven’t been able to choose the way that they get to move on and I’m not saying that we’re moving on, but at some point in time, you have to make hard, tough decisions for the best of the franchise. And, that’s what I have to do here.”
“Coach Mac (McAdoo) called me in,” said Manning. “Told me that we were going to start splitting some time and thought it was best to give Geno the start and I’ll back him up. I’ll be a good teammate. I don’t like it, but it’s part of football, you handle it. I didn’t do my job.
“I just didn’t think that you start knowing that you’re going to come out of a game to keep a streak alive maybe. That’s not what it’s about. It’s not a preseason game where you’re going to play the start to the half, what’s the next week? A quarter, a series, that’s not fair. That’s not fair to me, that’s not fair to Geno, that’s not how you play. You play to win. You’re named the starting quarterback, you think it’s your job to go win the football game. When you know you’re just going to play a little bit, I didn’t feel like that was the right way to play.
“It’s hard. It’s been a hard day to handle this, but hang in there and figure it out.”
When asked if he has played his last game as a New York Giants, an emotional Manning responded, “I don’t know. I don’t know. One week at a time.”
GIANTS-COWBOYS FLEXED TO 1PM…
The NFL announced on Tuesday that the December 10, 2017 New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game to be played at MetLife Stadium has been flexed from 4:25PM to 1:00PM.
GIANTS SIGN TWO DEFENSIVE BACKS TO 53-MAN ROSTER…
The New York Giants have signed cornerbacks Brandon Dixon and Darryl Morris to the 53-man roster. Those roster spots were made available by Monday’s roster moves that placed four players on Injured Reserve.
Dixon was signed to the Practice Squad in October 2017. Dixon was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. The 5’11”, 203-pound Dixon has spent time with the Jets (2014), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Seattle Seahawks (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), New England Patriots (2015), New Orleans Saints (2015-2016), and Pittsburgh Steelers (2016-2017). Despite his travels around the NFL, Dixon has only played in 14 games with no starts with the Buccaneers in 2014.
Morris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Francisco 49ers after the 2013 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the 49ers (2013), Houston Texans (2014-2015), New York Jets (2016), and Indianapolis Colts (2016-2017). The 5’10”, 190-pound Morris has played in 48 regular-season games with three starts, two of which came with the Colts in 2016.
The Giants also signed cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon to the Practice Squad. McKinnon originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2016 NFL Draft. The 5-10”, 197-pound McKinnon has spent time with the Cowboys (2016), Tennessee Titans (2016), and Washington Redskins (2017).
HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants return to practice on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s away game against the Oakland Raiders.