Ben McAdoo may have opened the door to playing his potential Quarterback of the Future at some point this season, but that doesn't mean he's given up on his Quarterback of the Present. The Davis Webb Era may begin at some point this season.
But for now, McAdoo made it clear that Eli Manning is his guy.
"Eli, he's our quarterback," the Giants coach said on his conference call with the media on Monday. "But that doesn't mean at some point in time we won't throw another guy in there to get a look at him. Every position needs to be held accountable and every position needs to play to a high standard."
Manning obviously didn't play well in the Giants' 51-17 loss to the Rams on Sunday, but the possibility of playing Webb isn't really about benching Manning for poor play. The Giants spent a third-round pick on Webb because they thought he could develop into Manning's successor. Now, with the Giants poised to get a high pick in the quarterback-rich 2018 draft, there are some in the organization who think they should see what they got in Webb before deciding whether to move on to someone else.
Manning bristled when asked about the possibility following the game on Sunday. McAdoo said he didn't see Manning's reaction, but when he was told about it by a reporter, he wasn't surprised to hear that his veteran quarterback still wanted to play.
"What do you expect?" McAdoo said. "I'm glad he said that. He's a pro football player, that's what he should be saying."
Making a quarterback switch, even during this dismal 1-7 season, wouldn't be an easy thing for the Giants. The 36-year-old Manning is a franchise icon, and he has made it clear he has not begun to think about retiring. He also has two years and $32 million left on his contract after this year, not to mention a no-trade clause that sources close to him maintain he has no intention of waiving any time soon.
And then there's the streak: He is scheduled to make his 208th consecutive start on Sunday, which will tie him with his brother, Peyton, for the second longest streak by a quarterback in NFL history. It's an impressive streak, and long been proud of that and his durability. It would be tough for the Giants to snap that streak for him just to take a look at a player who might replace him down the line.
McAdoo indicated he might do it, though - for any reason.
"I'm not concerned about streaks," he said. "We want to try to do everything we can do to get a win."
Manning, in his weekly appearance on WFAN Monday, took the diplomatic approach to that possibility, saying that while he wants to play, he understands it's not necessarily up to him.
"I want to be out there for my teammates, (but) obviously, if the organization ever wants to go a different route and play someone else, then that's different," he said. "It's not about one person's starting streak continuing if you've got to do what's best for the team and what's best for this organization. Hopefully they think I give us the best chance to win. And if they don't believe that, you've got to do what you've got to do."
At least that's not something that he has to deal with immediately. McAdoo made it clear there will be no quarterback change this week.
"I just told you, he's our quarterback," McAdoo said. "I have a lot of confidence in Eli. That hasn't changed."