Geno Smith is, unfortunately, the man who is caught in the middle of the whirlwind of changes that have cycloned their way through the New York Giants over the past week.
- Smith was placed into the lineup last week when he shouldn’t have been, contributing to an outcry that — whether John Mara admits it or not — had a lot to do with coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese being fired this week.
- With McAdoo gone and interim coach Steve Spagnuolo going with his gut belief that Eli Manning should be the starting quarterback, Smith finds himself back on the bench despite having played fairly well Sunday vs. the Oakland Raiders.
- He also finds himself as an afterthought. Some are concerned about how much longer Manning will be the starter, and whether he will return to the Giants next season. Others are worried about getting rookie Davis Webb some useful experience this season. No one seems to be worried about the 27-year-old Smith.
Spagnuolo said it was a “hard conversation” with Smith, telling him he was going back to the bench. He said Smith wasn’t happy, and the backup quarterback admitted as much.
“I wasn’t. Any competitor wouldn’t be,” Smith said on Wednesday. “To be put in that situation where you get a chance to play and then you’re being pulled, but it’s not because you played bad so you try to figure out why. But you got to understand that some things happen in this business and you just got to roll with it.”
Does Smith understand the move back to Manning?
“That’s something that maybe I’ll figure out along the road, but as now, no,” he admitted.
Smith is a free agent at the end of the season.
“I think I had an opportunity to play. I respect the heck out of Coach (Ben) McAdoo. I think he did something maybe not a lot of people would have. He gave me an opportunity and I respect it, I appreciate it,” Smith said. “As far as sympathy or something like that, I’m not looking for it. I don’t need any sympathy. I’m built for all of this. I’m built for everything that’s going to come my way and I know that all of these tests and these trials are preparing me for something greater.”
Whatever that “something greater” turns out to be, it doesn’t appear Smith will find it with the Giants.