One day after announcing that Eli Manning would sit in favor of Geno Smith and ultimately Davis Webb, head coach Ben McAdoo defended in the decision while speaking with reporters on Wednesday.
"It's obviously emotional. A lot of reactions out there," McAdoo said. "I get the reactions and I understand the emotions. I understand the responses. It's been a tough couple days. We 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."
Despite a swell of negative backlash from fans, media and current and former players, the Giants' second-year head coach insists that all parties -- owner John Mara as well as GM Jerry Reese -- were on the same page in making the decision to sit the two-time Super Bowl MVP. McAdoo added that a "decision like this doesn't get made without everybody being on the same page and being aware of what's going on."
Although he expressed confidence in Manning's ability to play, McAdoo continued to stress the need for evaluation as the Giants play out the string on a disastrous 2-9 season. That begins Sunday with Smith becoming the first QB to start under center for New York other than Manning since Kurt Warner on Nov. 14, 2004.
Asked if making the switch was emotional for him, McAdoo demurred.
"My job is to take the emotion out of it as hard as that may be and it's a challenge," he said. "It's tough. I've been in the room with him for four years. He's done a lot for this organization. I respect it, but at the end of the day my job is to make sure we have a clear evaluation of the players in the room. ... No one expected us to be where we are right now, including me. I'm disappointed that we're here, but with that being said, we got to move forward."
McAdoo said he had several private conversations with Giants players regarding the switch and maintained he has an "open-door policy." He also praised how Manning handled the news while not closing the door on the 37-year-old's Giants career just yet.
"He's a pro," McAdoo said of Manning. "He's a Hall of Famer, tremendous teammate and competitor and he showed up today doing everything he can do to help the other quarterbacks and the offense and the team get better and have a chance to win on Sunday.
"Nobody says we're moving on from anybody. But, when you're going through a situation like this...there's going to be emotions involved. There's going to be outrage and you have to stick to your decision and do what you feel is best for the organization."