NY Giants Benched QB Eli Manning — But He’s Not Complaining. He’s Mentoring His Replacement.
The New York Giants benched two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning on Tuesday. Geno Smith will start as quarterback this weekend against the Oakland Raiders. But Manning isn’t hanging his head. He’s mentoring the guy who will replace him.
Manning has been the starting quarterback for the Giants over 210 consecutive games since November 21, 2004. He led the Giants to the Super Bowl wins both times against the New England Patriots. His starting streak is second only to Brett Favre’s 297 starts.
This is a disappointing turn for Manning, But he isn’t going to start just to keep his streak going. “Coach McAdoo told me I could continue to start while Geno and Davis [Webb] are given an opportunity to play,” Manning told ESPN. “My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them. Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won’t finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak. Like I always have, I will be ready to play if and when I am needed. I will help Geno and Davis prepare to play as well as they possibly can.”
And that’s just what he plans to do.
Justin Pugh said Eli Manning approached the O-line and asked for advice on how he can help the young QBs. “That’s incredible,” Pugh said. “That’s Eli.”
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) November 29, 2017
Only one day after getting benched, observers saw Manning mentoring Davis Webb.
@BobPapa_NFL & I just took a break from our radio show to grab a coffee to see only 2 @Giants players in the cafeteria. It was Eli Manning sitting next to Davis Webb mentoring him #Respect #Character #Selfless
— David Diehl (@davediehl66) November 29, 2017
His behavior is not at all out of character, according to those who know him best.
“My sentiments are totally with Eli Manning,” said Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin. “I love the kid. He is a class act … a two-time Super Bowl champ. He is the finest, most humblest young man in that locker room.”
Manning’s father said he’s proud of his son. “You can’t say you’re totally shocked by it or anything the way the season has gone,” said Archie Manning. “But I’m just a daddy. Eli is 36 years old and he handles everything. I’m just proud of the way Eli handles everything.
The Golden Mean of Humility
“Eli is a rock, not too high and not too low. He just rolls up his sleeves and works. I’m proud of him for the way he’s handled himself through everything, and he’ll deal with this. He doesn’t have to like it, but he’ll deal with it.”
“If you had a Mount Rushmore of not only New York Giants, but New York athletes, he’d be on it,” said Webb. “That’s one thing I learned today. When things aren’t going your way, which a lot of things this season sadly have not, he’s been the same person every day. He prepares his butt off. He’s the best teammate I’ve ever had. I’ve said that four or five times now, but I really mean it. I learned a lot from that and I’ve learned a lot this season, especially from him and how to handle himself and that continued today and it won’t stop.”
Although Smith will start this weekend, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Webb will get most of the starts going forward. “The Giants’ plan is to give rookie Davis Webb the bulk of the remaining starts at QB this year, possibly beginning with the Week 14 game against the Cowboys.”