Geno Smith weighs in on Eli Manning, says everyone owes Ben McAdoo an apology

Late last season, the New York Giants were struggling. New York was 2-10 and could barely get anything going offensively. The offensive line was dreadful. The pass-catching corps was depleted, with Odell Beckham Jr. out for the season. And even when Eli Manning had time to throw and one of his receivers was open, he could not seem to find that player with an on-time and/or on-target throw. 

So then-coach Ben McAdoo made a decision to bench Manning. Or rather, he told Manning that he wanted to give some playing time to the young quarterbacks but would still give Manning the start so as to keep his consecutive-starts streak alive. Manning declined, and Geno Smith started the team's next game against the Dallas Cowboys. Smith was just as much of a disaster as Manning, the Giants lost, McAdoo was fired, and Manning was back in the starting lineup again the following week. 

The Giants conducted their coach and general manager search this offseason with the pretty clear idea that Manning would start for them once again. They even passed on taking a quarterback at No. 2 overall, at least in part, in order to ensure that Manning retained his place as the starter. 

That No. 2 overall pick, former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, has been spectacular. He's the first player ever with at least 400 rushing yards and 300 receiving yards within the first six games of his career. But it hasn't really mattered. The Giants' offense is still dreadful and Manning is still struggling badly. 

Manning had one of his worst games of the year on Thursday night against the Eagles, and all of these struggles came to a head. Coach Pat Shurmur said after the game that he's not worried about Manning, but do you want to guess who is? Geno Smith! 

That's right. Geno thinks everyone owes Ben McAdoo an apology for their flip-outs when McAdoo benched Manning in favor of Smith last year. It's hard to say he's wrong, per se, because Manning clearly did not have much left in the tank then or now.  Perhaps McAdoo's benching of Manning would have gone over better had the Giants been turning to someone who had not flamed out of the other New York football organization, and instead had a young quarterback the Giants had identified as their future. 

We'll never know, but they also can't really make that kind of move this season, because the only QBs on the roster aside from Manning are street free agent Alex Tanney and rookie fourth-rounder Kyle Lauletta. We'll likely have to wait until next year -- at least -- to see a young, pedigreed quarterback get a shot to lead this offense. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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