If it seemed confusing on the outside when former Giants coach Ben McAdoo decided to snap quarterback Eli Manning‘s streak of 210 consecutive starts, the good news is it was just as confusing on the inside.
Via Ethan Sears of the New York Post, current Giants backup Davis Webb said he was promised the last three starts of last season, but that never happened.
“Hey, the next three weeks, you’re in,” Webb recalled McAdoo saying, during an interview on WFAN.
That seemed like a reasonable plan, to start the untested rookie if you were going to pull the plug on the franchise quarterback during a lost season. But then when Manning refused to play a ceremonial first half against the Raiders, McAdoo went with journeyman Geno Smith, which basically led to a revolt that cost McAdoo and General Manager Jerry Reese their jobs.
And, for what it’s worth, Smith may dispute Webb’s version of events, with a vague tweet yesterday.
Either way, Webb never got his chance to prove himself, and McAdoo lost his best chance to justify parking Manning by not playing the unknown commodity.
“So I was ready to rock ‘n’ roll, and I was excited,” Webb said. “But at the same time, that was a rough day because Eli’s been the best teammate I’ve ever had. So I was really hurting for him.”
After the storm of public criticism, McAdoo was fired after the Raiders game, and Manning got his old job back under interim coach Steve Spagnuolo.
Now, Smith is backing up Philip Rivers with the Chargers, Webb’s still waiting for his first NFL action, and the Giants still don’t know if he can play well enough to trust him as Manning’s backup. It was one of the many things that went wrong last year.