On the heels of Tuesday's stunning announcement that Manning would be demoted after playing 210 consecutive regular-season games in favor of Geno Smith -- Ryan's former lackluster quarterback -- the ex-coach openly questioned the radioactive switch under center.
"Good for Geno, but I don't understand it," Ryan told Manish Mehta of the Daily News on Tuesday. "Eli Manning has been a hell of a player in this league a long-ass time. He's one of the most durable guys in the history of the sport and started a million games in a row. He's why you got all those Super Bowl rings. For him to go out like this is odd. It's bizarre."
Bizarre. Disrespectful. Ill-measured. A blooming public-relations fiasco? Pick any term you wish.
The move was met with immediate outrage from Manning's former teammates and current NFL players. Manning isn't the same signal-caller he used to be, but benching him for Smith won't soon be forgotten by a city that treats its stars like roaming gods.
"It's almost like the Giants already made a deal that nobody knows about where they're going to release Eli and let him go to Jacksonville," Ryan went on. "I don't know. But it doesn't make any sense to treat a player like this that's meant so much to your franchise. I don't understand it. But, hey, it's their football team. They got two wins."