Rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta will not be suspended by the New York Giants for his arrest last Tuesday in a traffic incident. He also will not be playing on Monday night when the Giants face the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. Eli Manning will continue to be the team’s starting quarterback.
Coach Pat Shurmur said Monday that Lauletta would face “internal consequences” for his actions while running late for practice.
Lauletta faced the media music on Tuesday.
It’s never a good sign when a horde of media is waiting around the locker of a third-string rookie quarterback who has never taken an NFL snap and has, in fact, never been active for an NFL game.
That was the case Tuesday, though, as the 23-year-old Lauletta had to explain what happened last Tuesday when he was stopped by Weehawken police en route to practice. Charges against Lauletta included eluding police, a third-degree crime, obstructing administration of law and resisting arrest. Lauletta also faces traffic charges including reckless driving.
Am emotional Lauletta apologized “to the Giants organization, all the coaches, my teammates, the fans, my family, especially my parents.” He said the arrest was a “terrible representation of who I am and what I stand for.”
The root of the problem on Tuesday? Lauletta said he got up late.
“By waking up late I put myself in an unfavorable position and now I’m going to have to deal with the consequences,” he said.
One of those consequences is that now a player who had been lauded for his intelligence, anticipation, accuracy and on-field calm now has to rebuild the Giants’ confidence in his decision-making.
“It’s disappointing the way that went down,” Shurmur said on Tuesday. “I’m disappointed because especially with a quarterback you’re looking at decision-making in all facets of a player’s life.”
The coach also said that “The way I look at it quarterbacks should be early” for practice.
Lauletta told media that he usually is early.
“Had I left an hour earlier none of that probably would have ever happened,” he said. “That’s my fault, it’s no one else’s fault. Right is right, wrong is wrong and my parents raised me better than that.”
Lauletta said his arrest was “a horrible feeling,” but said “No” when asked if the Giants should question his decision-making.
“I showed with what happened I made a bad decision, I made a horrible decision that I’ll regret for the rest of my life,” Lauletta said. “I can’t take it back, though. The only thing I can do is make good decisions moving forward, show up to work early every day and work my butt off.”
So, when might Lauletta get to play?
Shurmur made no promises about the Giants’ quarterback situation beyond Monday’s game against the 49ers.
“I spoke to Eli a couple times this weekend and I explained to Eli that he’s going to start Monday,” Shurmur said. “I also explained to Eli that everybody needs to play better and as we go through this, it’s important that we’re not ‘almost’ in these games, we do what we have to do to get it over the top and win football games. We’ll just take it from there.”
Shurmur said to spoke to Manning with “the idea that he’s going to get us on a run here and there will be no decisions to be made. In other words, part of the conversation was, we trust you, we want to work with you, and we trust the fact that you’re going to get in there and help us win football games.”
The coach didn’t give any indication of when he thought Lauletta could be ready to play.
He’s working himself in a position to play, he’s done a good job out here in practice. He’s a small school quarterback, so there was a lot to learn and there is a lot to learn about how to prepare in the NFL, and he’s going through the process of doing that,” Shurmur said.
“When you bring in rookie quarterbacks, there is a process they have to go through to develop and some guys have to develop further than others. Once the world quits seeing the training camp practices, that continues and guys pick up things at different paces. You can look at all the first-round draft pick quarterbacks – Donovan McNabb didn’t start until Week 8, and he was a first-round pick. Some of these other guys have started right away and they were picked higher, and so I don’t know what the world is expecting, we’re just trying to get him as good as he can be so that when he goes in there he has success.”
It seems as though the Giants and Lauletta are trying to move past last week’s disappointment and get him ready to play in some games as they try to begin figuring out what their future will look like at the position. I will reiterate that Lauletta may not be the long-term solution, but getting him snaps is where the process of finding that solution begins. His arrest may have delayed that process, but it doesn’t appear that it will derail it.
It’s also apparent that the Giants have made Manning aware the starting job may not be his much longer. If he wins some games he will continue play. If he doesn’t, he won’t.