Ben McAdoo 'at peace' with move to bench Eli Manning


Just one day after trumpeting Eli Manning's surprise benching in New York, the Giants are back to work -- with no apologies.

"You know, it's obviously emotional," coach Ben McAdoo told reporters Wednesday. "A lot of reactions out there. I get the reactions. I understand the emotions. I understand the responses. It's been a tough couple days, but I feel we have to put our emotions aside and make the best decision for the New York Football Giants, and I'm at peace with the decision."

Unlike McAdoo, hordes of Giants faithful are still coming to grips with the organization's from-the-wilderness demotion of an iconic quarterback who won a pair of Super Bowls in New York while logging 210 consecutive starts.

On Wednesday, Eli's role -- for the first time in a million moons -- was something unbelievable to the eye: Running the scout team ahead of Sunday's clash with the Raiders, a game that will feature former Jets washout Geno Smith under center for the Giants.

Asked if Manning had requested his release in the fallout of Tuesday's announcement, McAdoo stated: "Not that I'm aware of, no."

"Eli's a pro. He's a Hall of Famer. A tremendous teammate, a competitor," McAdoo said. "He showed up today to do everything he could do to help the other quarterbacks and the offense of the team to get better and have a chance to win Sunday."

Just weeks after holding a "brutally honest" meeting with his players, McAdoo acknowledged that "broad conversations" were staged with a handful of veterans about the move to demote Manning.

At least one of Eli's teammates doesn't agree with the decision:

"This was a special circumstance, a special situation that we felt like we needed to address right from the get-go," McAdoo said, before dismissing the idea that Manning has played his final game in a Giants uniform.

"Nobody says we're moving on from anybody," McAdoo said. "But when we're going through a situation like this -- this isn't my first time going through it -- there's going to be emotions involved, there's going to be outrage ... and you have to stick to your decision and do what's best for the organization."

A tremendous clip of coach-speak, but the reality in New York is this: McAdoo's future with the team feels equally shaky. Mired in the toughest Giants season in four decades -- with Manning's ugly benching as the cherry on top -- change appears imminent.

As for Manning, the Giants might not see him as a starting quarterback, but passer-needy teams league-wide will pounce if and when he parts ways with the club that once treated him for what he is: their beating heart.