Last season, former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo caused a big stir when he benched franchise quarterback Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith. While this move was only for one game, it raised eyebrows and contributed to McAdoo’s firing.
This is one reason why current Giants coach Pat Shurmur is having trouble pulling the trigger on such a deal this year. Manning is struggling greatly and looking well past his prime. However, Shurmur seems far from benching his starting QB.
Obviously this isn’t easy decision for him when considering the type of heat that McAdoo received for starting Smith last season. But it also looks like a good point in the season to experiment with another quarterback.
The Giants are currently 1-7 going into the bye week and have virtually no chance of making the playoffs. Meanwhile, Manning is 37 years old and the offense has looked terrible.
Rookie Kyle Lauletta – a fourth-round pick – may not ultimately be the franchise’s answer at quarterback. But it also seems ridiculous to not give him a few snaps when considering that Manning isn’t playing well and doesn’t have many years left in the league.
Shurmur Claims He Will “Look at Everything” – But Not Quarterback
The Giants lost 20-13 to the Washington Redskins in a game where they had major difficulties moving the ball. Manning threw two interceptions and only had one meaningless touchdown within the final minute of play.
“I’m going to look at everything as we move forward,” Shurmur said when asked about his struggling offense.
He was pressed on whether he’s evaluated the quarterback position.
“No, I don’t want to go there, I’m not going to tease that,” he said. “I just want to look at everything and see what we have to do moving forward.”
Shurmur obviously isn’t looking to shake things up at the moment. But it seems that he should keep his options open when considering that the team is losing and Manning is playing some of the worst football of his career.
Manning’s No Trade Clause Makes Things Difficult
He claims to not be worried about the Giants potentially trying another quarterback. “I have to worry about just doing my job, trying to play and prepare,” he said. “That is not my decision.”
McAdoo totally botched the decision to bench Manning last season. He ended up starting Smith – a known entity – over then-rookie Davis Webb. The latter has since been cut from the team. But it would’ve made more sense to play Webb when considering that little was known on his NFL potential.
Shurmur obviously doesn’t want to repeat the same mistake as McAdoo. Therefore, he’s playing his cards close to his vest and waiting to see what happens the rest of the season.
Nevertheless, this is obviously a lost season for the Giants. They would have to rip off eight straight wins to close the regular season and possibly still need help to get into the playoffs.
That said, it would be nice if New York gave somebody a chance under center coming out of the bye. But don’t expect Shurmur to be hasty in being the one who ends Eli Manning’s career.