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Ben McAdoo “upfront and honest” with Eli Manning

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Giants’ coach says he has no regrets about the decision, or its handling

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Friday was another confounding day in trying to understand Ben McAdoo’s true motivations and feelings about replacing New York Giants icon Eli Manning with Geno Smith for Sunday’s game vs. the Oakland Raiders.

Earlier this week, co-owner John Mara indicated that perhaps the benching of Manning after 210 starts and two Super Bowl titles could have been handled better by the organization. He indicated that perhaps the message about the Giants’ intentions hadn’t been delivered quite the way he had hoped or anticipated.

“It was presented the way that Ben thought it ought to be presented and could we have done it differently? I guess you could argue we could have. Yes,” Mara said on Wednesday.

When asked if the coach could have been more compassionate, Mara said “I don’t think that’s necessarily his strength.”

Yet, McAdoo continued to insist on Friday that he and Mara were “on the same page.” In fact, he repeated that phrase three times in answer to various questions.

“I was upfront and honest with Eli and I don’t have any regrets there,” McAdoo said.

McAdoo admitted that he had not spoken with Mara this week, or even “recently,” but added that “I’m confident and comfortable with the way we communicate and our open lines of communication.”

Whether he feels emotional about the move is hard to judge, but McAdoo said Friday he does understand the angry reactions.

“It’s an emotional decision. I understand it. I get it. It’s a part of it,” he said. “You have to separate the emotions and your feelings and make a decision with what you feel is right for the organization moving forward.”