Biggest Takeaways from John Mara's Press Conference After McAdoo, Reese Firings
However, as co-owner John Mara said in his press conference to explain the decision to terminate the contracts of both men in-season—believed to be a first for the franchise in its history—the move was necessary so the team could begin to repair its credibility with the fans and the NFL community.
Still, while Mara answered some questions, there were others that remained even after he provided an explanation.
Let's look at the key takeaways from his media briefing and decide if they answered the burning questions or created more.
There Was No 'Final Straw' That Broke the Camel's Back
After the shock announcement of Eli Manning's benching for Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders was announced, an angry Mara admitted the organization misjudged both the reactions of the quarterback and the fallout from the fanbase.
Interestingly, when Mara—who, along with co-owner Steve Tisch, had issued a statement a few weeks prior saying they would evaluate things after the season—was asked about McAdoo and Reese, he sort of walked back his support expressed in that press release by saying "nothing is ever guaranteed."
So the question remains: Did the botched handling of the Manning situation do McAdoo and Reese in?
"Really had no effect whatsoever," Mara said when asked about it the first time. "Two and 10 is 2-10 and obviously the public reaction to that was not pleasant, but that really didn't have any effect on our decision."
"It is where it is, and you ought to stop blaming Ben and Jerry on that," he said. "If you want to blame me, go ahead and do it. I certainly have the power to overrule them if I wanted to. I chose not to do it."
No Decision Has Been Made to Go Back to Manning...Yet
With McAdoo out, the natural assumption is the team will go back to Manning as its starting quarterback and work with him to devise a plan to eventually let Davis Webb get some meaningful game snaps during the year.
Mara said no such decision has been made and interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo will make that call.
"I've spoken to Steve and he's still trying to come to grips with this whole thing," he said, adding that no decision had been made as of the time of his press briefing. "He wants to talk to his offensive staff and he's going to talk to (interim general manager) Kevin (Abrams) and myself. Ultimately, it's going to be his decision as to who to play at quarterback.
"I'd assume [Spagnuolo] will run it by me before he makes that decision," Mara added.
What about getting Webb snaps?
"I mean, I'm hopeful that at some point he gets into the game, but right now, to be honest with you, after all this losing I'm just as focused on trying to win some of these games as anything else," Mara said.
The Team Wasn't Exactly on the Same Page Regarding Manning
Last week, McAdoo insisted everyone in the organization was on the same page regarding Manning and the quarterbacks.
Mara said that wasn't exactly true.
"I mean, we were and we weren't. Ben came up with the plan. I initially signed off on the plan," he said. "My hope had been to talk to him to try to have a little more flexibility with it and not have a hard, fast time when he was going to come out of the game."
If that was the case, then the question that begs to be asked is why didn't Mara stop things from progressing until he had a chance to return to the office to sort things out with everyone in person?
"I do not like interfering with coaching decisions about who's going to play—I've never done that before," he said. "I also, as I said I think the other day to you guys, was hoping that Eli would be playing so well [that] it'd be impossible to take him out."
In retrospect, it sounds as though Mara wishes he had intervened.
As for how Manning responded, he didn't speak to the writers Monday—his only media appearance was his weekly spot with WFAN Radio in which the quarterback said that while he wants to continue to play, he didn't indicate if he wanted to continue with the Giants.
The Perfect Storm Doomed the Giants
At the start of the 2017 season, the Giants were regularly mentioned in the same sentence as "playoff contender" and, in some cases, the "Super Bowl."
So where did things go so wrong that it led to the dismissal of Reese and McAdoo, who were being celebrated for getting this team to an 11-5 mark a year ago?
"That's a good question, one that we're trying to figure out right now," Mara said.
"We got off to a very poor start on offense, our defense did not play as well as they could have and then everybody got hurt. It's really, and I've used this expression, it was the perfect storm.
"Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong so far this season and it's just one of those things you have to live through and suck it up and make whatever changes you have to make and go on."
The same argument might have been made in the final years of the Tom Coughlin era, when his teams struggled to win games and stay healthy. Yet at the time, he was the one sent packing while Reese was given a pass, albeit with the edict to fix the personnel mess he created.
That Reese refused to do so, especially on the offensive line, and instead continued to build the roster from the outside in became the failed gamble he took that ultimately was his undoing.
"Our team isn't good enough," Mara said. "It's obviously not good enough. We are 2-10."
Odell Beckham Jr. Is Not Necessarily a Lock to Be with the Giants
A talent such as Odell Beckham Jr. doesn't come along often. However, his antics have drawn just as much—if not more—attention than his play on the field, which has no doubt created headaches for the team, such as when the wide receiver pulled his peeing-dog act in Week 3.
With all that said, Mara still wants and expects Beckham will be a Giant for life, but he did leave the door ajar to where there was a possibility of that not happening.
"I certainly expect him to be a part of this team in the future, but that will be a discussion also with the incoming general manager and the incoming head coach," Mara said. "We'll make whatever decision we think is appropriate going forward."
It will be interesting to see if the new brass clashes with Mara on Beckham's future or if they fulfill the receiver's wish of becoming the highest-paid player in the game.
Patricia Traina covers the New York Giants for Inside Football, the Journal Inquirer and Sports Xchange. All quotes and information were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.