Geoff Schwartz, like a lot of former Giants, is unhappy that Eli Manning has been benched. He understands why Manning has been benched, but he believes the Giants went about it in a very not-good way.
“I’m obviously disappointed that Eli is going to lose his streak, but I think it makes sense a little bit,” the former Giants offensive lineman said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I think fans could feel better about it, but it was kind of butchered in the way it happened. They didn’t really do it with a lot of respect toward Eli.”
Instead, the Giants announced their decision in a press release.
“A press release?” Schwartz asked in disbelief. “A press release is how I get released. It’s not how a legend for the Giants who has started 210 games, won two Super Bowls, been the MVP of both of those Super Bowls, has also played on some bad teams and never complained – just an ultimate pro. And it kind of feels like you’re treating this with a casualness that is upsetting a lot of people. I think that’s why people feel the way they do.”
Indeed, Manning, who has spent his entire career with the Giants, deserved better.
“If you had called a press conference and Eli was on stage with Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese and maybe even ownership (and they said), ‘Look, here’s the direction we’re going, Eli’s on board, we’ll make sure we’ll honor Eli in the proper way’ – I think that would have gone over a lot smoother than sending out a press release, letting Eli go talk to press in the locker room, and Ben McAdoo not having to answer questions until afterwards,” Schwartz said. “And we still have not heard from Jerry Reese at all. I just think they butchered the way they went about doing this.”
Geno Smith – not rookie Davis Webb – will start for the Giants (2-9) this Sunday at Oakland (5-6), which added to many fans’ anger. Fans more or less know what they’re getting with Smith, a second-round pick in 2013, but they don’t know what they’re getting with Webb – and they want to find out.
Schwartz, however, understands New York’s rationale.
“I’m actually not surprised (Smith is starting),” he said. “It’s not because I don’t think Davis Webb will be the quarterback moving forward. I think it’s because Davis Webb has done nothing. He was fourth-stringer in training camp, so he’s not prepared to play in a game. He’s been third-string maybe doing some scout-team work for the Giants, but nothing to where you feel comfortable remotely putting him in this week on the road and saying, ‘Hey, buddy, go win us a football game.’ So I understand why they’re not playing him. I think that’s what people might not understand. They say, ‘Well, Eli got benched for Geno.’ He really didn’t. He got benched to play Davis Webb at some point this season, (but) Davis Webb is not ready.”
The Giants asked Manning if he wanted to start Sunday to continue his streak – with the understanding that he would be benched at some point in the game – and he declined.
“I actually love that Eli said, ‘Look, you’re either all-in or all-out with me. There’s not an option to be in the middle,’” Schwartz said. “I actually love that he did that and basically put it on their plate and said, ‘If you don’t want to play me the whole game, then don’t play me at all. I’m actually not upset that Geno is playing. I think eventually it will lead to Davis Webb playing.”