On Tuesday, New York Giants’ head coach Ben McAdoo announced that he was benching Eli Manning for Geno Smith. The decision hasn’t been well-received in many quarters, with Manning himself upset, but WFAN’s Mike Francesa particularly went off on McAdoo and Giants’ GM Jerry Reese.
Here’s audio of the eight minutes Francesa spent ranting about it Tuesday afternoon, via Francesa’s producer Brian Monzo:
Francesa starts by questioning McAdoo’s comment that Smith gives the Giants a better chance to win than Manning, then discusses the team’s plans to eventually play rookie Davis Webb (but probably not this week), then how it got to this point. Here’s the key first part, from around 1:40, where Francesa throws shade at Smith for his time with the Jets and goes after Reese for abandoning Manning:
“He also told you that Geno Smith gave him the best chance to win this week. Geno Smith. Who we know well. Geno Smith is not a running quarterback. Is he more mobile than Eli? Well, a tree is, okay? We understand that! That is not Eli’s strength! And because of the fact that Jerry Reese did such a lousy job, lousy job, he okayed this too. Because now these guys whose careers, McAdoo’s career is worthless, Jerry Reese’s career is BUILT ON ELI MANNING! His success in those two games is the only reason Jerry Reese has got a career! He doesn’t have a career because of what he’s drafted here, he has a career because he won two Super Bowls, WON BY ELI MANNING! Who went on the road and won all those playoff games and won the Super Bowl twice by beating the Patriots! Without Eli Manning, Jerry Reese is unemployed!”
Francesa rants about Reese a little further, talks about how Manning has done “everything he could possibly do for you,” then starts blasting McAdoo, saying he didn’t discipline Odell Beckham Jr. and has regularly taken shots at Manning. At 4:25, he wonders why owner John Mara hasn’t fired McAdoo yet, saying “The fact that John Mara has not separated himself from this fool is hard to believe.” At 4:55, he says “We haven’t seen a game plan all year from this guy! Since he’s been the head coach, the Giants have never scored 30 points, ever! We haven’t seen anything except ‘I’ve got to go look at the tape’ from this guy all year! And now you’re going to tell me that your plan is to go to Geno Smith, that’s the game plan that’s going to beat the Raiders this week. You gotta be kidding me! You can’t run this clown out of town fast enough!”
“The worst thing that ever happened is that Eli Manning had to be associated with you as head coach! With the career he’s had here. Maybe on your way out you can take a look at Eli’s rings, that’s as close as you’re ever going to get to one, too, with actions like this. You’re going to try and tell us that GENO SMITH IS THE ANSWER? That’s the problem with this team now is the quarterback, after what we’ve watched this year? You’re playing guys who drop every ball in sight, you haven’t disciplined a damn player all year, and you’re going to blame this now on your quarterback? At 2-9? What a gutless move!”
“That’s not going to stand in this town, because these guys have watched Eli Manning. They’ve watched him long before they ever heard your name, and they’ll remember his long after they’ve forgotten yours! You’re going to turn around at 2-9 and blame this now on Eli Manning? He hasn’t played great this year because he can’t operate with no wide receivers, and no offensive line, and no running game. Who the hell can? And he has not uttered one word. This is a guy who, at worse, is a borderline Hall of Famer, who’s a two-time Super Bowl MVP. There are a handful of those ever in the history of this league. And he’s never, ever said a bad word about any of those guys who are holding him in judgement now. Not one time has he thrown that coach under the bus!”
“You got to be kidding me. Now, at 2-9, this is how the Giants are going to circle the wagons? They’re going to throw their champion quarterback, who has been there every day, through beating, through everything, since 2004, and they’re going to throw him under the bus? With five games left to play in this decaying, decrepit, disgusting season, that’s what the Giants are all on the same page [about]? So I’m to believe that Jerry Reese stamped this, John Mara stamped this, the Tisch family stamped this? This is what you guys all decided to do to Eli Manning in Game 12 of this disgusting season? Shame on all of you!”
That’s quite the rant from Francesa, and quite the take on McAdoo and the Giants. It’s clear that in his last month at WFAN, Francesa isn’t pulling any punches on how he feels.