Former Giants center Chris Snee knew his bond with Eli Manning was unwavering after seeing him shaken up on national TV following the news he would be benched.
Manning's 210 consecutive start streak ended last week when Geno Smith took over the starting role. When Snee -- who was at personnel meetings with the Jaguars where he is a consultant -- saw the video, he admits he was emotional.
"When I saw the hurt and emotion on his face and in his eyes it triggered something with me and the rest of my teammates," Snee told the NY Post's Paul Schwartz. "These are the bonds we will always have together, the love we have for each other and what we think of Eli. There's a way to go about doing things and that's not the way I would have gone about doing it."
It hit Snee again when he turned on the Giants' game against the Raiders on Sunday and saw his former teammate out of his element on the sideline.
"I saw him kind of standing there in the middle of the sidleine, not knowing what to do," Snee said. "He looked lost. It broke my heart again because I'm sure he was just fighting back tears standing there on the sideline."
Manning has been the Giants' starter since 2004, and Snee recalled how even sitting out of a preseason game in 2010 because he received stitches the week before showed him exactly the type of player Manning was.
"If you're not playing you go in the back locker room, you have hot dogs, you play games on your iPad or whatever,'' said Snee. "He came back there for about five minutes, sat down, with his notebook, looking over the play sheet, we're all kind of busting his chops and then he left us and he went back and helped whoever the backup quarterback was prepare for the game. He's wired differently, and that's why he's been as successful as he has been.''
Snee won't be one of his aforementioned former teammates who will be present to watch Manning return to his starting role this Sunday against the Cowboys. But former safety and team captain, Antrel Rolle, will be there as he works the postgame for MSG Network. He understood the why behind the decision to bench Manning, but the how was a complete different story.
"For them to venture out and see what the other guys have, that's absolutely fine," Rolle said. "If you're not 100 percent sold Eli is going to be your quarterback in the future then you have to see what the other guys have. I just feel the way they went about it was wrong. You don't tell hi he's gonna start, basically to keep his streak."
Rolle, who reached out to Manning like other former teammates did, said it wasn't fair to evaluate No. 10 with the depleted personnel he was working with.
"I just felt it is very, very unfair to evaluate him under the circumstances he's been under, especially this year, without having any of his core reeivers, without having any kind of sufficient running game and having obviously a makeshift offensive line," Rolle explained.
As for who is to blame for the hurting Manning and his teammates felt this past week, Snee won't point any fingers. Instead, he blames the entire organization.
"I'm not blaming one individual, I'm not finger-pointing, I'm upset with the organization as a whole, there's more than one person in this decision,'' Snee said. "There's plenty of intelligence and plenty of people who have been there a long time and know the way things have been done in the past, the way the Giants have always been proud of. By all of the former players speaking out gives you an indication we feel this is not the way things have always been done.''
Snee played his entire 10-year career with Manning under center as he was drafted 34th overall by the Giants in 2004. He was part of the Giants' Super Bowl-winning teams in 2007 and 2011 as well.
Video: Former Giants WR Amani Toomer weighed in on the state of the franchise and the benching of Eli Manning while speaking to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano on Tuesday, saying it hurts to see the team this way.