Well, that’s done. But firing coach Ben McAdoo and general maanger Jerry Reese doesn’t fix the New York Giants.
Benching Eli Manning last week is probably the worst handling of a star player that I’ve ever seen – and it was done by a coach who John Mara and Steve Tisch fired the next day.
They’ve created some serious issues outside of the two wins they have at this point in the season.
Eli is my friend and we had success playing together in New York. Out of all the teams and all the players I’ve played with or been around, that guy cares more about his organization and going out and trying to win football games than anyone.
He takes it seriously. He has a good time and jokes around, but it’s all football for him. It’s about preparing. It’s about being the best quarterback and best teammate that he can. It’s about being the best leader for his football team.
To bench him is crazy.
Now the Giants have damaged their relationship with their starting quarterback. How they handle the next three or four weeks will be telling for their future.
Who knows what Odell Beckham Jr. is thinking? He’ll get healthy again and he’s at the peak of his career. But if it’s not clear there’s stability at the quarterback position, he’s not going to sign an extension. He’s not going to stick around as they go through the drama and uncertainty of a quarterback change.
Then, there’s the coaching search. Anyone who is contacted for that job will want to know whether Eli will be back.
Veteran coaches will be interested if Eli is the quarterback. The Giants have good players; they can turn things around fast with the right coach.
And believe me, coaching can make a difference. Take the Rams, for example. And Jacksonville! My brother Derek told me this offseason and he still tells me, ‘The best defense I’ve played since I’ve been in the league – the Jacksonville Jaguars.’ Last year they weren’t that good as a team. This year, they’ve gotten some direction and some leadership and now look at them, tied for their division lead.
The Giants are an even more attractive team. If I were a coach, out of all the jobs that might come open this year, the Giants would be No. 1 on my list and it wouldn’t even be close. Why? Because they have Eli Manning, and it’s all about the quarterback.
We saw what Andy Reid did when he took the job in Kansas City. The first thing he did was go out and grab his quarterback, Alex Smith, in a trade with the 49ers.
If you don’t have that guy, you’re going to be out of a job in a couple of years. Just look at what happened to Steve Spagnuolo, who is the Giants’ interim coach, when he was with the Rams. His first year, they had three different starting quarterbacks. They drafted Sam Bradford, but he couldn’t stay healthy. Spagnuolo started six quarterbacks in three years and won only 10 games.
We’ve seen teams that don’t have a settled quarterback situation struggle to get the pool of coaching candidates they want. The Cleveland Browns settled a couple of years ago with Mike Pettine. He was their fourth option. The coaches at the top of the list all think, “There’s no quarterback here, why would I want to come here and get fired in two years?”
If I was a candidate with the Giants, here’s the first question I would ask John Mara and Steve Tisch: “Is Eli going to be the quarterback here?”
If they ask, “Well, you tell us,” I would say, “Absolutely, now let’s go try to win some football games.”
Question of the week
From Jacqueline Cardoza: How long did your hair actually get when you stopped cutting it while playing for the Texans?
We were into my second year and we hadn’t won back-to-back games yet. We’d win a game and then lose one or two, then win a game. I think it was my dad who actually started doing it and then I was like, ‘You know what, I’m not going to cut my hair until we win two games in a row.’ It turned in to a pretty severe mullet, but I ended up getting it cut. We won at Kansas City and then came home and beat the Raiders.
All the cameras came out. I actually got my hair cut at the stadium after we won our second game in a row. It was a little longer than I expected, but we finally got it done. The back of it was touching my shoulders, so it got pretty long. It was a good couple of months. I think I made the comment in the spring – I don’t know why I would say that. But our first two years we didn’t win back-to-back games so I was thinking about it. It might have been in OTAs that I brought it up and then I came into training camp and I didn’t have my hair cut yet and I thought, ‘I’m not going to cut it.’ It got a little longer than I wanted.
David Carr is a former Fresno State quarterback, NFL No. 1 draft pick and Super Bowl champion. Now he’s an analyst for the NFL Network and writing a weekly column in collaboration with The Bee’s Robert Kuwada. The column is sponsored by Valley Children’s Hospital
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