Head Coach Ben McAdoo
November 28, 2017
Opening Statement: Alright, each and every week our number one job is to win a football game. Weíre 2-9 right now. We have five left to play. Weíre out of contention and our number one job is to still win football games. But itís my responsibility to make sure we have a complete evaluation of the roster Ė top to bottom. Especially at the quarterback position moving on to next season and with that, weíre going to start Geno (Smith) this week and give him an opportunity to show what he can do. Weíll open it up.
Q: With that being said, how do you look at the locker room and your team and say that Geno Smith gives you a better chance to win than Eli Manning?
A: Weíre confident that we can put a plan together to put Geno in a position to be successful and go win the game.
Q: How did you come to this decision at this point?
A: We have five games left to play. We have three quarterbacks on the roster. We have two that we have yet to see in significant game action for us and we want to go take a look at both of those players.
Q: Did you run this by ownership and was this a conversation that you had with them and general manager Jerry Reese?
A: I spoke to Jerry and I spoke to ownership Ė yes. Weíre on the same page.
Q: Is this the end of Eli Manning in New York?
Q: Why not?
A: Well, I have a lot of confidence in Eli as a player, as a quarterback. But at this point, itís my responsibility for the organization to make sure we take a look at Geno and at some point take a look at Davis (Webb) and give them the opportunity to show what they can do heading into next year.
Q: Geno is going to be a pending free agent, so are you doing this to evaluate if you want to bring him back or is that at least part of it?
A: Yeah. Itís part of the evaluation process. Geno has come in. Heís done everything that weíve asked him to do. Won the backup job and want to throw him out there and see how he performs. We feel we can put a good plan together and put him in position to help us win this ball game.
Q: Were you surprised that Eli declined the opportunity to start?
A: No. The streak obviously is very important to Eli. I have a lot of respect for everything that Eli has done in this league and for this organization and a lot of respect for the streak. I see what he goes through each and every week to get ready to play and how consistent he is and I donít want to speak for Eli, but I donít believe he would want to tarnish the record and Iíll leave it at that.
Q: Was it a situation where you would just start him a series or two or what was the game plan?
A: The game plan going in was to play him for a half and play Geno for the second half and we decided after our conversation this morning that weíll give Geno the ball starting at the beginning of the game.
Q: How did you break it to Eli?
A: I brought him in, you know, had a chance to think about it over the weekend and I brought him in yesterday. We sat down and talked about it and left it overnight to think about it a little bit more and then we talked about it this morning and decided on this is the best direction for the team.
Q: Will he be inactive?
A: No. Heíll be number two this week.
Q: Down the road, could he be inactive?
A: Weíre going to take it one week at a time right now.
Q: So, your intention is not to start him over the final five games?
A: My intention is this week Geno is going to start the game, play the game and Eli will be number two.
Q: You mentioned getting Davis Webb time. Where will that be?
A: At some point in time, Davis will be thrown in the mix. Yes.
Q: So, not necessarily Sunday?
A: Not necessarily Sunday.
Q: Heíll be active Ė Davis Webb?
A: I didnít say that.
Q: What do you think this says about your future that ownership gave the OK on this?
A: This has nothing to do with my future. This is whatís best for the team moving forward.
Q: This season is over, so itís looking towards next season.
A: No. We have five games left to play. Five very important games. We have a chance to go win these five games. We have a chance to take a look at the roster top to bottom, get great evaluations and move forward that way.
Q: Was this weekend the first time you thought about making this move or did you think about it before then?
A: This was Ė had a short week last week when we knew we were out of playoff contention. We were out of the mix. Thatís the time when you really have to take a look at your roster and make determinations on who you want to evaluate.
Q: Have you announced this to the team?
A: Just did. Yes.
Q: What was their reaction?
A: Not much of a reaction. Iím sure theyíll have more for you later.
Q: Do you think itíll be tough to get those guys to buy in when you sit a two-time Super Bowl MVP?
A: I think that players in this league understand that their job is on the line each and every time they take the field. They understand how precious reps are. They understand how precious games are. They know that they could lose their job at any point in time and I think they can relate to Ė most of them can relate to what Eli is going through.
Q: How much did Eliís performance on Thursday at Washington play into this decision?
A: Listen, I havenít coached well enough. Our offense hasnít played well enough. Our defense hasnít played well enough and our special teams havenít played well enough. All those reasons are why Iím standing here right now. Theyíre all part of it.
Q: What does this move say about the quarterback position for the Giants going forward?
A: I think that just like every other position, youíre going to look at it critically and do an evaluation, an open, honest evaluation.
Q: You said that Eli wouldnít want to tarnish the streak, but a lot of fans are going to say that youíre tarnishing his legacy here. What would your response be?
A: I think a lot of Hall of Fame quarterbacks who have done a lot for a lot of teams havenít been able to choose the way that they get to move on and Iím not saying that weíre moving on, but at some point in time, you have to make hard, tough decisions for the best of the franchise. And, thatís what I have to do here.
Q: Is it realistic to make this move and to have a future with Eli going forward?
A: Time will tell.
Q: You and players talked about how important it was when Eli stood up before the Kansas City game and got everyone fired up. A week later youíre making this move. Did you have to think long and hard about this decision?
A: I think you have to separate yourself emotionally from things, as hard as that may be. I respect everything that Eli has done for this organization and make decisions on whatís best for the future of the organization.
Q: You went to Jerry Reese and John Mara after you made this decision independently?
A: Weíre all on the same page.
Q: Whose idea was it Ė do you go to them after the decision is made?
A: Weíre all on the same page with the decision.
Q: How much do you think a mobile quarterback can be different to work with or can be helpful to you at this point?
A: As far as Geno, Geno has a skillset that is a little bit different than Eli. He is a pocket passer and he can do some creating on the move. I think thatís something Eli has gotten better at over the years, but Geno can create on the move. Heís going to have to pick his spots. Theyíre a very, very talented rush this week. But, Iím excited to watch him play.
Q: If youíre back here next year, you can see Eli as your starting quarterback?
A: Itís part of the evaluation process. Absolutely.
Q: Are there any thoughts of waiving him?
A: No. No.