Michael Strahan on Eli Manning benching: “This just isn’t right”

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The Giants have spent the week dealing with backlash from their fans for benching quarterback Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith.

Now one of their own is speaking out about his own disappointment in the move.

Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan told Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network that he couldn’t believe the transition was handled this way.

“I think we’re all surprised and disappointed,” Strahan said. “I don’t think they’re handling it very well. I don’t think you put it all on Eli, the season of failure on his part. I think it’s a team game, team sport, we all understand that. Sometimes one person gets thrown under the bus as a martyr and that seems to be Eli in this case. But I think it goes a lot higher than the players on the field. I don’t think a lot of the supporting things put in place before the season were good for him. That has to do with more than just Eli.

“Here’s a guy who’s been the epitome of this organization, the class of this organization for a long time, for 14 seasons. And with four games to go that aren’t going to change the season one way or the other, this just isn’t right. I don’t think there’s any player, current or former, who feels like this is right.”

Strahan’s words will resonate at a number of levels. His assessment of the front office and coaching staff’s role in this one will surely be heard by ownership. But his view of the feelings in the locker room may be the most important.

No matter who is left standing in 2018, there will be players remaining with the Giants who watched this handled so clumsily. And they’ll remember that, and realize that all the talk about the Giants being some kind of legacy organization that does things differently is just talk. And they’ll realize that one day their day will come.

And when one of the icons of the organization says it out loud, it ought to send a signal to owner John Mara of how much of a blow to the team’s reputation this week actually was.

58 responses to “Michael Strahan on Eli Manning benching: “This just isn’t right”

  1. “No matter who is left standing in 2018, there will be players remaining with the Giants who watched this handled so clumsily.”

    Not just in the Giants locker room but elsewhere as well.

    Look at the Coughlin sitch… fire Tom Coughlin for BEN MCADOOF?! Now they’re benching Eli Manning. They’ve hung a sign up on the front door of the front office that says “Players and Coaches: BEWARE”.

  2. Giants have been riddled with injuries to a group that didn’t have much talent to begin with, especially along the line and at wr. Trying out their rookie when games get out of hand would be one thing, but replacing Manning with Smith is just ridiculous. Giants need to bench their front office to really get better.

  3. As a thought experiment I’ve been trying to put myself in the Giants managements position and I still can’t even come up with any logical reason to bench Eli.

    My conclusion is that it was the top idiots idea and the room is full of yes men that nodded along. It just makes no logical sense…you don’t even have a real QB prospect, why tarnish the legacy of a Super Bowl winning franchise QB? It doesn’t make sense in any way.

  4. Strahan is correct. The Giants are grasping for any excuse for this lost season. ELi is not the problem and his benching only proves that the Giants have much bigger problems.

  5. I apologize for all my promotion of the Giants and Tiki Barber here for many years. In Jefferson Township we pride ourselves on integrity and I haven’t shown it to you.

    It has been sad to see how bad and low class the Giants organization is. It breaks my heart that my beloved Giants have not just been the NFL doormat for many years but they’ve also been super low class.

    The ends of the Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning eras, not to mention the Tiki Barber era, were disgraceful to the fans. All the excuses for Josh Brown, Luke Petitgout, Christian Peter, LT and all the other horrible men who have played for the Giants is an NFL disgrace.

  6. The Giants are a dumpster fire. Lost a lot of respect for them after this move. Dude has been nothing but a professional there. I hope he goes to the Cowboys or Redskins now. He reminds me of Simple Jack, but he has 2 Super Bowls and 2 MVP’s.

  7. Between the poor handling of the Eli transition and the Josh Brown affair, its pretty clear the Giants management/ownership is one of the lowest class organizations in all of professional sports. Giants fans are very supportive and deserve better than this. Wellington Mara must be rolling in his grave.

  8. .
    Eli has made over 200 million dollars from the NYG over his career. He recently got demoted, but will continue to receive his 21 million dollar paycheck. Now, Michael Strahan wants all the people whose jobs were shipped overseas and lost their homes to cry a river of tears because Eli’s feelings are hurt. Sorry, wrong number.
    .

  9. I have no dog in this fight, but I’m confused. The Giants are 2-9 and look absolutely awful in all phases. How is benching a franchise QB during a lost season a “slap in the face”? Cut your losses. The season is over. Better him riding the bench then getting Theisman’d and affecting next year (be that on the Giants or somewhere else) all so he can slog through a meaningless game.

  10. Unbelievable.

    Geno Smith. Geno Smith?

    Geno will do better than Eli… without their best two receivers and other missing pieces?

    I guess nobody from the Giants… watched those Jets games he played in.

  11. You folk are looking at this wrong. Eli’s health is being saved for next year. Throwing a rookie QB would just ruin his career, so let a scrub like Geno take that beating this year.

  12. When you look at it from a certain standpoint, Eli Manning’s career has mostly been about his famous name, his tremendous longevity and durability, and his two SB Championships, all of which are impressive and worthy of respect.
    However, if you look as his career numbers you see:

    An average W-L record
    Less than 60% Comp. Rate
    Far less than 2-1 TD passes-INT’s
    An average 7.0 YPA
    A slightly below league average Passer Rating

    That said, the Giants organization handled this whole thing very clumsily, and to replace Eli Manning with Geno Smith is lunacy. Of course, to put Davis Webb in there now to get crushed would be a bad idea, but why not ride with Eli the rest of this lost season?!
    I hope that Eli finds himself in a better situation next year.

  13. minnesotablizzard says:
    December 1, 2017 at 9:24 am

    As a thought experiment I’ve been trying to put myself in the Giants managements position and I still can’t even come up with any logical reason to bench Eli.

    My conclusion is that it was the top idiots idea and the room is full of yes men that nodded along. It just makes no logical sense…you don’t even have a real QB prospect, why tarnish the legacy of a Super Bowl winning franchise QB? It doesn’t make sense in any way.

    ~~~~~~~

    Not a fan of anyone in the NFC but here’s another take.

    What if they know he’s close to done and they believe they have some substantial rebuilding to do as a team. Maybe they are doing this to get someone to offer a trade for Eli next off season for a high draft pick. Maybe they have to decide what Geno or the other guy (don’t remember his name) can do to decide if they want go after a QB in this draft or wait and start in other positions.

    From what I read I don’t think it was handled with the dignity Eli deserves but I can see reasons why it was done to begin with.

  14. Some of you folks sure have a romanticized view of the Giants. Other than winning two Super Bowls via two of the most improbable catches, what have they done since Parcells was there?

    It was just a couple of years ago that Coughlin was confused on the sideline and Manning was throwing the ball instead of running out the clock.

  15. So much whining. If he was winning games this year, this wouldn’t have happened. Time to get Webb up to speed and some meaningful reps to see what he’s got, otherwise use the draft to reload.

    Only Giant fans don’t see the benefit to IMPROVE future prospects by benching Eli now and evaluating the bench talent. Absolutely pointless to keep playing Eli just for the sake of it – Bill Belichick has done this for 20 years.

  16. minnesotablizzard says: “As a thought experiment I’ve been trying to put myself in the Giants managements position and I still can’t even come up with any logical reason to bench Eli.”
    —————————

    What’s the point of playing Eli? To keep a meaningless ‘Games Started’ streak alive that does nothing to help win games in 2018? Eli is 37 – his body is done. As great as Manning’s been for the Giants, memories of a faded QB won’t win games next year. And if he was ‘classy’ as Giants fans are crying, he should step aside after losing 9 games and let the younger QBs prove their worth for the GOOD OF THE TEAM. Or keep playing for a SELFISH ‘me’ stat.

  17. “It has been sad to see how bad and low class the Giants organization is. It breaks my heart that my beloved Giants have not just been the NFL doormat for many years but they’ve also been super low class.”
    _________________________________________

    Browns fans: Here, hold my beer

  18. This feels Belichickian… remember the Lawyer Milloy situation? Heck, even replacing a tough as nails, fan favorite, franchise QB like Drew Bledsoe with a sixth round nobody.

    Like it or not, successful franchises are blood-thirsty. To the players, the fans, everyone.

    Eli Manning is a pro, he’s apparently handling this as a man, and let’s face it – its not like he’s worried about paying the electric bill. He’s rich, famous, and will have more success in life.

    The Giants appear to be in full rebuilding mode, it may be best for Eli to move on to a contender with the few years he has left to play.

  19. This whole debate should be about tanking. The ow get said he told his GM he wanted to see the other 2 QBs play. If it was just to see the rookie I could understand the move. But we know what Geno is and he won’t show us anything to change our mind about him as a career backup, so to me that means the owner wants a better draft pick to pick a QB. And to get a better draft pick you bench Eli because he might screw it up and rally the troops like he did when they beat KC.

  20. Say what you will about Jerry. He’ll put them out to pasture, but he does it with dignity and most times after the season. And I can’t remember one that’s had an angry word to say about him.

  21. minnesotablizzard says: “Good luck getting free agents to sign with you NY Giants.”
    ———————-

    What stupidity. Aren’t these exact same free agents LEAVING their current team and NOT staying just because of dumb loyalty?? And I get a feeling no players give a crap about team “loyalty.” I’m willing to bet MONEY, chance to win SB, city nightlife, coaching schemes, etc. all have greater priority than how a team treats a faded star QB.

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    steelerdeathstar says:

    December 1, 2017 at 10:05 am

    When you look at it from a certain standpoint, Eli Manning’s career has mostly been about his famous name, his tremendous longevity and durability, and his two SB Championships, all of which are impressive and worthy of respect.
    However, if you look as his career numbers you see:

    An average W-L record
    Less than 60% Comp. Rate
    Far less than 2-1 TD passes-INT’s
    An average 7.0 YPA
    A slightly below league average Passer Rating
    ——————————————-

    Valid point, but Eli has ice water in his veins. The reason he is a franchise QB is because he doesn’t panic in big moments. It is the biggest difference between Eli and Peyton. If I had both QBs on my roster Peyton would start for the regular season but Eli would start in the playoffs.

  23. An average W-L record
    Less than 60% Comp. Rate
    Far less than 2-1 TD passes-INT’s
    An average 7.0 YPA
    A slightly below league average Passer Rating
    ======

    7th all-time passing yards (active, behind only Brees & Brady)
    7th all-time in touchdown passes (active, behind only Brees & Brady)
    Only QB of this era that bested the Patriots

    This is a rediculous and pathetic move.

  24. By continuing to play Eli, even though he wasn’t playing at a professional level, the Giants would have been accused of tanking. Now they’re trying someone else, and they’re also being accused of tanking. Now we have guys from the peanut gallery chiming in with opinions. What’s that saying about opinions? They’re like……everybody has one.

  25. Eli has always been a mediocre QB. He is tied for 39th on all time passer rating list at 83.8. Basically that tells you he needs a lot of help to win ball games. He has gotten a pass because of the two super bowls. He wasn’t even the best QB in the NFC East and benefited from great defense through out the playoffs.

  26. ANYTHING that can take the poopscope off my browns, even for a week is welcome. other than that – they screwed Eli.

  27. Hey Strahan! Why don’t tell Eli to lie down on the turf so some guy can get a sack record. You have no business saying anything about the way others deal with integrity.

  28. What am I missing here? Was he supposed to be handled differently because his name is Manning? How many millions of dollars is he being paid to be ranked as the 16th best quarterback in the NFL? Josh McCown is ranked higher!

  29. Outside of Tom Brady, what other QBs has 2 or more Superbowl wins in the last 10 years?
    =====

    Well.. Russ had his chance.

    Roethlisberger has 2.. but you have to stretch that back farther than a decade… Peyton Manning would also have 2 in that time frame.

  30. He wasn’t even the best QB in the NFC East and benefited from great defense through out the playoffs.
    =====

    Giants defenses in years they made the Playoffs with Manning as starter;

    2016 – 2nd points, 10th yards
    2011 – 25th, 27th (won Super Bowl)
    2008 – 5th, 5th
    2007 – 17th, 7th (won Super Bowl)
    2006 – 24th, 25th
    2005 – 14th, 24th

    He won Super Bowls with an average defense, and a well below average defense, that played great on the big stage. That 2011 defense is probably the worst unit statistically to have won a Super Bowl.

    How they beat those Patriot teams is shocking.

  31. suncawy says:
    December 1, 2017 at 11:13 am

    If this happened to Tom Brady, the world would fall apart.
    ————————–

    I guess we will have to wait until the Patriots start a season 2-9, with Brady as QB, then see what happens.

  32. aarons444 says:
    December 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm
    Outside of Tom Brady, what other QBs has 2 or more Superbowl wins in the last 10 years?
    =====

    Well.. Russ had his chance.
    ——————————————————————————————-
    I think all of them had a chance, but only 2 got it done.

  33. The Mara family should have went over the coach’s decision and said ELI IS OUR QB the rest of the season… and then proceed to tell McAdoo he is fired….. you just do Not do his to someone who gave so much to the organization…… CLASSLESS.

  34. Season is done.
    Need to let other folks get a look at Geno so he has at least SOME trade value.
    Same thing with WEbb, see if he is worth keeping around.

    Eli can be there next year to help whoever is going to grow into their long term QB.
    If they do it right, it may take a year or two.
    Eli will be ready to go by then.

  35. The Giants were always considered a classy organization but with the poor treatment of Tom Coughlin, the Josh Brown fiasco and the Eli debacle they are now the bottom feeder of the NFL. On a side note, what did Eli do the day after he was treated like garbage? He came in early, to work with Webb and showed him how to be a NFL QB. Hey kid, that is lesson #1.

  36. Eli has never been seriously injured, it is well known that he is in super good physical shape, his arm strength is fully intact and he is a smarter QB than McAdoo is a HC or Reese a GM. He has been hit very hard this year because of a terrible OL. Giants want to keep him healthy AND evaluate the other two Qb’s. He has already been paid $67M of his $84M contract which has 2 years to go. His cap hit is low 8 figures next 2 years. The starting OL this week has a failed first rounder at LT, a career journeyman at LG, a 2d stringer at C, a guy off the street at RG, and a 3d stringer at RT. Why risk Eli in a hopeless situation? Geno has broad experience running for his life…let him show if he can make it interesting vs Raiders. Eli will QB Giants next year.

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