Ben McAdoo insists he is on the same page as Giants co-owner John Mara.
In fact, he said “we’re on the same page” three different times during a contentious Friday morning press conference before the Giants travel to Oakland to play the Raiders on Sunday.
“I’m confident and comfortable with our lines of communication,” added McAdoo, who mentioned he has not spoken with Mara “recently.”
It has not seemed that way, though, especially after Mara talked to reporters on Wednesday and sounded as if he had a different interpretation of the Giants’ initial plan to begin working Geno Smith and Davis Webb into games.
Mara told reporters he thought if things were going well, Manning would stay in the game but McAdoo said that Geno Smith would enter the game in the second half.
Manning did not support the plan and suggested it would be better for Smith to just start instead.
“It was presented the way Ben thought it ought to be presented,” Mara said. “Could we have done it differently? I guess you could argue we could have. Yes.”
Yet, on Friday, McAdoo continued to push his message that all is well and that there are no issues stemming from his conversation and decision to bench Manning.
“I was honest and upfront with Eli,” McAdoo said. “I don’t have any regrets there.”
McAdoo elaborated on this during his weekly interview on the team’s website.
“I put a lot of time into the thought process,” he said. “I wanted to make sure that we respected Eli and everything that he has accomplished in this profession, for this organization. I’ve got a ton of respect for him. He and I have had a close working relationship over the past four years, and it’s tough. But I wanted to make sure I gave him the opportunity to play.”
Head coach Ben McAdoo keeps saying all is well in Giantland.
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
McAdoo also reiterated that the decision came because the team is 2-9 and mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, so they must evaluate the roster top to bottom.
When asked if Manning would still start if the team had not been mathematically eliminated yet, McAdoo refused to entertain the question.
“That’s a hypothetical,” he said. “We are mathematically eliminated and that’s the direction we decided to go.”
Many players on the team admitted they were stunned to learn of the quarterback change, while several former teammates of Manning blasted the decision to bench the two-time Super Bowl champion.
McAdoo said he understands the emotions of former players, but the stone-faced head coach made the point that you have to put emotions aside when making these types of decisions.
“You have to take the emotions out of it,” he said. “You have to take any accomplishments out of it and evaluate the roster. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for anybody.”
While McAdoo would not say if he would dress three quarterbacks on Sunday, it has been clear that Manning will be the No. 2 behind Smith.
The chances Manning enters the game, though, sound slim and would likely happen only if Smith goes down with an injury.
“I’m confident in Geno. I’m not going into the game thinking that way,” McAdoo said. “No one is. He’s had a good week of preparation, good week of practice, he’s played football in this league and I’m excited to see him go out there and play in a Giants uniform.”