New York Giants: McAdoo, Reese QB controversy plagues team

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 14: Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and quarterback Eli Manning
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 14: Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and quarterback Eli Manning /

Initially, Big Blue co-owner John Mara indicated the team’s quarterback derby came directly from him.

As we continue to vet the New York Giants rebuild, one thing becomes more clear. Former head coach Ben McAdoo wanted somehow to put his own personal stamp on the team. Several suspensions and benchings didn’t get the job done. And by all indications, that plan ultimately collapsed with his “Hail Mail pass” of benching quarterback Eli Manning.

Now, what may never be clear, and only McAdoo knows if he truly thought Manning would be alright with a halftime benching. If that was a naïve mistake, then McAdoo really could not see the forest for the trees. But we also should not discount the plan was carefully calculated to have Manning say no.

The benefit for McAdoo would have been he did not make the decision to bench Manning. Instead, Manning himself, declined the less than generous offer to keep the streak alive. In other words, McAdoo wanted to bench Manning but not end the streak. In this world, you have to choose sides.

The embattled ex-coach also never thought he would be confronted by an extremely angry fanbase. In reality, the fanbase ignited ownership to act, not the other way around.

Clearly, McAdoo was likely to be terminated after the season. His half-baked plan simply hastened that exit.

Mr. Smith stays in New York

From the onset, the Geno Smith-to-the-Giants plan was curious. For Smith to rebuild his career in the same place where he dismantled it, didn’t pass the smell test. This idea has former general manager Jerry Reese’s finger prints all over it.

New York Giants
New York Giants /

New York Giants

It’s one reason why he now presides as the ex-GM of the New York Giants.

It was always a solution in search of a problem. First, the ill-conceived summer quarterback competition between Smith and Josh Johnson took away valuable snaps away from third-round draft pick Davis Webb. These were not only game snaps, but training camp and practice snaps as well.

When we see that Webb remains inactive into Week 13 of the season – this is one reason why. Good organizations stay decisive. These organizations sometimes whiff on decisions. When that happens they acknowledge the mistake and move on.

Really good organizations take inventory of their situation. Adjustments are always the key. Good organizations always try to jettison problems, not invite them. When you have a franchise quarterback under contract for several more seasons, then the Smith signing alone invited a problem. Starting Smith simply made the problem worse.

If the organization wanted to move away from Manning that’s a separate issue. Fair or not, fans could have respected the decisiveness of that action. What the New York Giants ultimately did was scapegoat Eli Manning. That did not work well with the fanbase.

What McAdoo and Reese did was try to have that difficult decision made for them. And let’s be honest, whoever takes snap for the New York Giants desperately needs offensive line help. That continues to be the main problem.

Collateral Damage

Let’s start with the idea that Smith did nothing to earn the starting quarterback position. After all, he barely beat out Johnson for the back-up spot. Now Smith wants to cry about shoddy treatment by the team. A willing media now has transferred its sympathy from Manning to Smith.

Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News opined this week:

"“But stop with all the Manning sob stories of how hurt he still is by last week, when Smith was wronged just as badly this week except he had his job yanked for no reason rather than a questionable one.”"

After losing a game, and committing two turnovers, Smith claim to the position remains dubious. But writers have to write about something.

We are where we are because Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo never took proper inventory of the franchise. If they did, then all of this would have been avoided. Either Davis Webb or Geno Smith would not be on this roster. One continues to be a redevelopment project (Smith) and the other is a developmental project (Webb).

Sorry folks, in the new NFL, not enough snaps to go around.

If Manning doesn’t play well against the Dallas Cowboys, the naysayers rear their ugly heads. And let’s face it, whoever remains under center plays with a grossly inferior offensive line.

Right now, interim coach Steve Spagnuolo must deal with the consequences. We recommend not reading any newspapers, watching television or listening to talk radio.

The stories will continue regardless of who is under center. And we can thank Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo for that.