When Giants GM Jerry Reese and Head Coach Bob McAdoo divulged the touchy plan to bench aging All-Pro QB Eli Manning for Geno Smith this week, possibly ending Manning’s 14-year career with the team and doing it in what appeared to be a callous and disrespectful manner, a question that was asked among the outrage was, Where is owner John Mara?
Reese has been on thin ice for his inability to plug some key holes that the Giants needed filled in order to compete at a high level. Giants fans just straight up hate McAdoo and everything he says and does. With the volatile state of the 2-9 season, it was a recipe for disaster.
The Mara family has been known to run one of the classiest and most influential organizations in the league. Their wisdom, discretion, family approach and treatment of superstars has always been lauded. Many, however, questioned how Mara could go absent from the situation at one of the most crucial times in Giants history, and how the situation could have been fumbled so miserably on his watch.
Eli is now taking reps with the second team and running the scout team according to reports. Its a far cry from starting quarterback and a two-time Super Bowl champion who hasn’t even missed a snap in a remarkable 210 games, but even the owner agrees it’s a necessary move.
This was the right move for the Giants: https://t.co/xby4g9MyvA
The Giants have taken a media whipping the likes of which theyve never endured. There was outrage across the league and Philip Rivers flat out called the Giants a disgrace,” surely a word that has not been used to describe the franchise since Eli Manning took over for Kurt Warner.
Mara finally surfaced with a statement, expressing a world of regret, saying, I wish I couldve been here when it was all going down.
John Mara explains why he signed off on Giants benching Eli Manning – https://t.co/iZ8yRFdK5u
He was also a bit shocked by the reaction to the news.
“Maybe the timing of it could have been a little different. I wish I could’ve been here when that was all going down,” Mara said on Wednesday, via ESPN. “What I did not expect — and this was my fault; maybe I was nave. I did not expect Eli to react by saying to go ahead and start the other guys.
“I understand, especially after speaking with him [Wednesday]. I completely understand, but that took me by surprise a bit and maybe I would’ve handled that a little differently.”
Mara says McAdoo was supposed to speak to Eli about starting the game and letting Geno finish it. We all know how that went down. Eli was like, “Thank you, but no thank you,” and Maras inattentiveness to the situation has caused a disaster that they will have to work their way out of.
The treatment of Eli Manning in this situation can change the Giants’ reputation as a class organization to an organization that may be headed in a wrong direction.