Olivier Vernon has been through an in-season coaching change before, having been with the Miami Dolphins when they switched from Joe Philbin to Dan Campbell four games in the 2015 season. That, though, doesn’t mean the veteran defensive end saw the firings of Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese coming.
“It was surprising. You never know. Coming in last year, to this day, I never would’ve thought that was going to happen. But, at the end of the day, those are great guys, I appreciate them,” Vernon said. “If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be here, so at the end of the day, it’s unfortunate, but it’s a business. So, with the guys that we have right now, we’re just going to keep moving forward and win a game.”
Vernon said that “of course” players feel they let McAdoo down.
“Looking back at last year, you couldn’t tell me that we’d be in this position. So, as players, we put it on us. We’re the ones out there on the field, executing the plays and at the end of the day, it’s on us. It’s just unfortunate what happened,” he said.
Safety Landon Collins has not been through anything like this before, and seemed to take the news hard.
“Coach Mac was a great coach. Looked up to him. We had great conversation. We had great chemistry. Sorry to see him go,” Collins said. “It’s definitely on us. It’s the whole organization just players-wise not playing good, injuries, people just couldn’t get back on the field. Not playing good defense. Not playing good offense. All three phases were down. We were not doing what we were doing last year and something had to change I guess.”
Lack of support for Smith bugs pair of Giants
While they understood the feelings about Eli Manning, neither Vernon nor Collins were happy that fans seemed not to show much support Geno Smith when he started at quarterback last week.
“We always appreciate the support when it comes to the fans and everything like that. The one thing I just had a problem with was, it wasn’t the same support when we had Geno Smith as the quarterback,” Vernon said. “I understand Eli, a great quarterback, but at the end of the day, we’re all teammates and we all support each other and that’s one thing that, one of our guys wasn’t getting support like that like he needed to.”
Collins said Smith “didn’t at all” have support from the fans.
“As a fan, you need to back up any decision that we make because it might help,” Collins said. “He’s (Smith) a good guy. Good quarterback. He’s done so much. He’s earned his position on this team, so I mean, regardless of the fact – I know Eli (Manning) is the man, but at the same time, a coach felt different, an organization felt different for him and they wanted to try something new.”
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“I don’t think Eli is the reason this team has two wins,” Brandt said. “I don’t see a big letdown in his performance. What if Odell Beckham was there? If Sterling Shepard was healthy all season?
“It’s beyond injuries, though. The thing I don’t understand, and I know that he has drops, but Evan Engram, who I see as uncoverable, I see him lined up as a blocker. I don’t understand that. And that’s what I mean: If you can change some of the thoughts about how they do things, this is a team that can contend. This team doesn’t have 2-10 personnel. Their players are a lot better than that.”