by Cale Clinton
GIANTS CLOSING THE BOOK OF ELI?
"Over the last five games, we will take a look at Geno [Smith], and we will also give [rookie third-round pick] Davis [Webb] an opportunity."
-- New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo made an official statement on Tuesday that, for the remaining five games in the 2017 season, the Giants would be starting Geno Smith and rookie Davis Webb over longtime Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Reportedly, McAdoo offered to start Manning in order to continue his 210-game streak of consecutive games started, then pull him in the second half in favor of Smith and Webb, but Manning turned down this plan. This 210-game streak is the longest active streak in the NFL and second-longest all-time behind Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre (297). (ESPN.com)
"Coach McAdoo told me I could continue to start while Geno and Davis are given an opportunity to play. My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them. Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won't finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak. Like I always have, I will be ready to play if and when I am needed. I will help Geno and Davis prepare to play as well as they possibly can."
-- Manning elaborates further on his decision to decline the starting position and the sanctity of the streak. (ESPN.com)
"I had a conversation with Jerry [Reese] a week or two ago. I normally don't speak to the coach directly about which players are playing and which players aren't playing. I'll have that conversation with Jerry. "I had mentioned to him a week or two ago, 'Don't you think it's time we get a look at these other quarterbacks at some point during the games?' He agreed, and said he'd already had a conversation with Ben [McAdoo] about that … Jerry called me on Monday afternoon -- I was at a family function in Virginia -- to tell me that Ben was going to be speaking to Eli to let him know he was going to be continuing to start the game, but that at some point, Geno would come in … Tuesday morning, Jerry called me and said Eli had informed Ben that if you're going to play Geno in the second half, you may as well just start him. It's not fair to him, it's not fair to me, I think that would be the best decision going forward. He also wanted us to put out a statement announcing it. So that's what we did."
"Surprised is not the word. My sentiments are totally with Eli Manning. ... He's a class act, a two-time Super Bowl champ, one of the finest, most humble men in that locker room. ... I was very upset about when I heard that."
-- Former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin voices his opinion on the Manning saga. Coughlin won two Super Bowls with Manning and was his coach until 2015. (Mike Garafolo, Twitter)
"I was actually shocked. I could not believe that the organization would let it happen in that fashion. Everybody knows that his time is coming to an end, but not in that fashion ... give him the respect and the loyalty that he deserves for him to finish out the season ... Don't throw him under the bus and say 'Eli Manning is the problem,' address things differently."
-- Former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress wishes that the Giants front office would have done things differently when approaching this decision on Manning. Burress caught the game-winning touchdown during the Giants' first Super Bowl run with Manning back in 2007. (The Herd with Colin Cowherd)
"I honestly thought it was pathetic. He's been out there 210 straight games -- with no telling how many bumps and bruises and injuries -- for his team. He won two Super Bowl MVPs. And with the respect he's had in the locker room over the years, and really the respect he's gained throughout the league, you feel like the guy has earned the opportunity -- if they are, in fact, deciding to go another direction -- he's earned the opportunity to finish it off these last five weeks."
-- Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers blasts the Giants higher-ups over the benching of Manning. Rivers and Manning will forever be linked due to a draft-day trade that sent Manning to New York and Rivers (along with three picks) to San Diego, (ESPN.com)
"I am very emotional about this Eli SH*T.. The guy who gave you EVERYTHING for better or worse NEVER missing a game and THIS how it ends?? Not #10! He deserves better, He gave is all when BETTER wasn't there for him.. and this is how it ends?? I hurt for him…I will say it again... He deserves better, and yet he gave his all when Better wasn't available..REMEMBER THIS.. He Didn't QUIT on his TEAM a single damn Play!! let that sink in.. HE NEVER QUIT A SINGLE PLAY!!!"
-- Former New York Giants linebacker Carl Banks sounds off on the personnel decision. (Carl Banks, Twitter)
THE HAMSTER RUNNING ON THE WHEEL INSIDE GRONK'S HEAD IS WORKING OVERTIME
"We got yelled at. We're not allowed to talk about celebrations. That's what we got told. But, I kind of want to talk about it, but I kind of don't because I'll get in trouble, so I don't know what to do. So, it just happened on the spot. It wasn't planned. We'll just keep it there."
-- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski goes to war in his own head as to whether or not he should talk about a celebration he and wide receiver Brandin Cooks performed during Sunday's 35-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. (Patriots Wire, which has the video of Cooks riding Gronkowski like a horse)
THE FAMILY THAT BROUGHT YOU BUBBA RAY, D-VON, SPIKE, AND SIGN GUY NOW HAS A NEW BROTHER: GRONK DUDLEY
"Did you ever go through any tables?"
-- Unnamed reporter asking New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski a rather strange question.
"Not at a tailgate, but I've been through tables before. For sure."
-- Gronkowski's even stranger reply.
-- The reporter doing what good reporters do and pressing for more information.
"Family get-togethers, growing up, I've definitely been through tables."
-- Gronkowski's explanation. The Gronkowski family, natives of the Rochester, New York, area, are no strangers to the beer-guzzling, table-breaking fans colloquially known as "Bills Mafia." (Casey Baker, Twitter)
A GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN THAT SEEMINGLY FAILS BEFORE IT STARTS
"Hey, will y'all vote for me for the Pro Bowl, man? Please."
-- New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson said this into the camera at one point during Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.
"Alright. How about we focus on outscoring someone in the fourth quarter and worry about this game instead of campaigning for Pro Bowl votes? Let's try that first."
-- Color commentator Chris Spielman was none too pleased with Anderson's plea for votes while his team was losing. Video of the incident is available here.
"I didn't see it, but if that's true, that's not smart football. We don't want selfish players on this team doing selfish things."
-- Jets head coach Todd Bowles' reaction to Anderson's in-game campaigning.
"I was just excited, I wasn't trying to come off in no bad way or nothing like that. Just excitement, spur of the moment. … Everybody knows I'm all for this team in every aspect. I make my life's decisions based on my team. Everything I do is about being the best I can be for my team. It was nothing malicious or anything like that."
-- Anderson, explaining himself.
"If I got a pick, I would've done the same thing. (Laughter.) I feel like this game, and dealing with the Pro Bowl, there are different politics that go into it. You pretty much have to sell yourself, market yourself and bring up the conversation. He sparked a conversation to get the ball rolling ... and it may come out on his end. No publicity is bad publicity."
… WELL SOMEBODY'S EXCITED FOR THIS GAME
"Man I'm gonna embrace the elephant in the room. There's going to be fireworks. It's probably going to be Part One. Man, that's going to be a big game. But probably if we're both doing what we're supposed to do, the second one is really going to be big. And what happens in the first is going to set up the second one and is going to determine the location of the second one."
-- Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin speaks candidly on his Week 15 matchup against the New England Patriots. The Steelers and Patriots are tied at 9-2 atop the AFC, and this game could very possibly decide home-field advantage in the AFC Playoffs. The Steelers are 0-4 in their last four meetings with New England. (NBC Sports, as captured by '03 Kliff Kingsbury on Twitter)
THE BENNETT HOUSEHOLD BETTER BE PROVIDING SOME GOOD ENTERTAINMENT FOR $300
"There might not be any fans in the stadium, which there wasn't a lot of fans in the stadium. I looked online you could've gotten a ticket for $17. You can't even get a ticket for $17 to my house ... Tickets to my house would be $300 a pop."
THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH LIES SOMEWHERE IN BALTIMORE
"I don't know, I never get tired of them, I can tell you that. He has an amazing ability. Terrell Suggs, I mean, he's Ponce de Leon -- you should put that on the back of his jersey -- he has found the Fountain of Youth. He's playing as well, or better, than I've seen him ever play since I have been here."
-- Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh fawns over edge rusher Terrell Suggs' ability to stay elite late into his career, going as far as comparing him to the man who once sought out the Fountain of Youth. (ProFootballTalk)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
IT'S A WEEK LATE BUT WE COULDN'T RESIST PUTTING THIS IN HERE
It’s rivalry week. #WSU is one win away from the @pac12 title game.
But a reporter getting married in 9 days asked @Coach_Leach for wedding advice tonight, and Leach’s answer was incredible. I’m dying. pic.twitter.com/alhOiWd9Tv
— Aaron Levine (@AaronQ13Fox) November 22, 2017
-- Washington State Cougars head coach Mike Leach giving wedding advice to a groom-to-be and leaving all married men nodding their heads.
I'D PUT THIS IN THE QUOTES SECTION, BUT THERE'S NOTHING TO QUOTE HERE
— Laces Out (@LacesOutShow) November 28, 2017
-- Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage didn't have much to say to the empty press conference room following the team's loss to the Baltimore Ravens. It was reported that Savage went on to answer reporters' questions at his locker.
J.J. WATT? MORE LIKE J.J. WALK
JJ Watt took his first steps since his injury today pic.twitter.com/n3d79ezfMN
— Andrew Joseph (@AndyJ0seph) November 28, 2017
-- Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt continues rehabilitation and walks for the first time since suffering a devastating knee injury.
SOMEWHERE, MICHAEL SCOTT IS TRYING HIS BEST TO HOLD IN HIS LAUGHTER
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) November 27, 2017
-- Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson tries not to say "That's what she said," during a press conference.
CHUCK PAGANO HAS GONE COMPLETELY INSANE
— Clark Wade (@ClarkWade34) November 27, 2017
-- Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano being asked about football and responding with obscure quotes from a 24-year-old movie, then explaining where hurricanes come from, we think.
BURN IT! BURN IT WITH FIRE!
— Laces Out (@LacesOutShow) November 28, 2017
-- This ESPN graphic of Joe Flacco with Raven wings needs to be destroyed and never mentioned again.