On Monday, the New York Football Giants fired disgruntled head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese. These moves came to the delight of many Giant fans who were fed up with seeing McAdoo on the sidelines. In our piece earlier in the week, we predicted a McAdoo firing at some point in late December so the Giants were a bit ahead of our schedule. It’s probably safe to say that the decision to bench Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith sped up the process a bit for McAdoo.
In Mcadoo’s absence, the organization promoted defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to interim head Coach. One of the biggest questions on Giants’ fans mind was whether or not Spagnuolo would give Manning his starting position back. Well, Spagnuolo must not have wanted to keep fans in the dark as he has reportedly named Manning the starter in this Sunday’s game against the Cowboys. Spagnuolo probably played it safe by starting Manning and choosing not to draw the ire of Giants fans.
John Gallo, who was adamantly upset with Manning’s benching when we spoke with him earlier in the week, told us that he “suspected Spagnuolo would step up and be the man that McAdoo could not by giving Eli his rightful throne back.”
Spahnuolo definitely made the easy decision, as no interim head coach wants to piss off the fan base with four weeks remaining in a season. But was it the right decision?
As we detailed in our piece earlier in the week, Eli’s time in New York is up. He is not the future of the New York Giants. The time will come, and very soon, when Eli is playing football in a different jersey. No matter how you felt about the way the Giants handled Manning’s benching, the bottom line was clear: Eli was no longer the starting quarterback. Now, with Eli set to start for what may be the remainder of the season, the future of the Giants may be a bit cloudier.
What happens if Manning plays well in the last few weeks of the season and the new general manager wants to stick with Eli for a few more years? That will certainly hinder the future development of the Giants and the young quarterback that they will most likely choose in this year’s draft. And what happens if the Giants win a few of their remaining games because Manning plays with a chip on his shoulder? Will they screw themselves out of a top pick and their chance of getting a potential franchise quarterback à la Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold?
We think the entire situation is just strange. It definitely has to feel weird for Eli. The man gets benched one week to end his streak of consecutive starts (he was second behind Brett Favre) only to start the following week. It was, and still is, a puzzling scenario for all parties involved, including the fans. Even if it might not be the best decision, the most sensible one is to probably just start Manning and get the embarrassing season over without any more hiccups.
For John Saviano, a Suffern, NY native and die hard Giants fan, the ship has been righted. “He’s back where he belongs,” John told us. “I would want him as my quarterback if I were on the team and there’s no one I would rather watch on Sunday’s than him.”