Last year, the one-game benching of quarterback Eli Manning was the last straw in the firing of Giants coach Ben McAdoo. This year, Giants coach Pat Shurmur is sticking with Manning. At least for now.
Shurmur confirmed today that Manning remains the starter for this week’s game against the Bears, but when asked about giving a backup playing time if the Giants are eliminated from playoff contention, Shurmur acknowledged it’s possible. In fact, when asked if he’ll play rookie Kyle Lauletta this season, Shurmur’s response wasn’t to say he wouldn’t bench Manning for Lauletta, but to say Alex Tanney might be the next man up.
“Why are you jumping over Tanney?” Shurmur said, via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. “I think what you try to do is win each game. You make a decision based on winning the game. And you make your decisions based on putting the best team on the field that gives you a chance to win the game.”
Asked under what circumstances Tanney would become the starting quarterback, Shurmur said, “If we felt like he was giving us the best chance to win.”
Manning has played better in recent weeks than he did early in the season, and the talk that the Giants have to move on from him has died down a bit. But if the Giants think there’s a chance that Tanney or Lauletta might be the quarterback of the future, it wouldn’t hurt to see what they can do in a real game at some time before the season is over. Even if Shurmur still thinks Manning gives the Giants the best chance to win.