Manning benching not a factor in firings, say Giants
New York Giants president John Mara insisted that Eli Manning's benching was not a factor in the decision to relieve coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese of their duties.
The pair were fired on Monday, a day after the Giants - with Geno Smith at quarterback - lost 24-17 at the Oakland Raiders to fall to 2-10 on the season.
The Giants originally planned to wait until the end of the year to make changes, but Mara said it was "pointless" to further delay the inevitable as the season began "spiralling out of control" in recent weeks.
Manning's benching - which ended the two-time Super Bowl winner's run of 210 consecutive regular-season starts - prompted widespread outcry from Giants fans, but Mara said that response did not influence the franchise's decision.
"It really had no effect whatsoever," Mara said during a media briefing on Monday. "2-10 is 2-10.
"Obviously the public reaction to that was not pleasant but that really didn't have any effect on our decision.
"We've had an embarrassing season and most people that know me know how painful that is to me, how committed I am to try and put a winning team back on the field.
"I know our fans are suffering, but I'm suffering more, I'll guarantee you that right now. We've gotten to the point where we felt we had to make wholesale changes and that's what we've done."
Mara said he initially signed off on McAdoo's plan to start Manning against the Raiders before bringing in Smith at half-time, though he hoped Manning would play well and McAdoo would be more flexible.
However, McAdoo had already spoken to Manning and the veteran agreed to hand the offense over to Smith.
Mara would not disclose any decision regarding Manning's status for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, but did assert that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will make that choice as interim coach.
Spagnuolo will be a candidate for the job on an indefinite basis, as will interim GM Kevin Abrams as former GM Ernie Accorsi helps the team search for a permanent leader in the front office.