Geno Smith doesn’t know why he’s still not the Giants’ starter
Geno Smith is unsure why he won’t be the starting quarterback for the Giants again this week.
Smith, in his first start since 2014 with the Jets, completed 21-of-34 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown and also fumbled twice in the first half of the Giants’ 24-17 loss to the Raiders. Coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese were fired the next day and interim coach Steve Spagnuolo announced Wednesday that Eli Manning will start Sunday against Cowboys.
“Any competitor wouldn’t be [happy] to be put in that situation where you get a chance to play and then you are being pulled.” Smith said Wednesday. “But it’s not because you played bad. So it is, you are trying to figure out why. You have to understand things happen in this business and you got to roll with it.”
One thing Smith could explain is why he apologized after the game on Twitter for the loss and his postgame comments bashing Rex Ryan, his coach with the Jets.
“I wasn’t apologizing to him,” Smith said. “I was apologizing for the distraction.”
Smith tried not to be one Wednesday. Spagnuolo, who said his gut told him starting Manning — who asked for his job back — was the right decision, said he was pleased with how Smith took the news of his demotion.
“I have a great deal of respect for Geno Smith in the way he reacted,” Spagnuolo said. “He was a man. He obviously didn’t agree with the decision, but he is a team player.”
Smith said he doesn’t believe he got a raw deal and appreciates McAdoo making a decision to start him when “not a lot of people would have.”
“As far as like any sympathy or something like that, I’m not looking for it,” Smith said. “I don’t need any sympathy. I am built for all this.”
He did however receive some from Justin Pugh. The offensive lineman said Smith didn’t ask to be the one to end Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive starts and took plenty of public criticism for it.
“A lot of disrespect and hate were thrown his way and it’s just not called for,” Pugh said. “I know everyone wants to support Eli, but supporting one man to put another man down is not the way to do it.”
For now, Smith will stay ready if another opportunity presents itself. He said he and Spagnuolo haven’t spoken yet about his role beyond this week.
“I’m just going to continue to be the same guy, continue to support my teammates, continue to be prepared” Smith said. “You never know what could happen.”