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#pounditMonday, January 30, 2023

Victor Cruz rips Giants for ‘disrespectful’ decision to bench Eli Manning

Eli Manning

Victor Cruz enjoyed his best seasons as an NFL receiver catching passes from Eli Manning, so you can probably guess how he felt about the New York Giants benching the two-time Super Bowl MVP.

In an appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” Tuesday, Cruz was highly critical of former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo and the way the Manning situation has been handled.

“Benching Eli was probably one of the most disrespectful things I’ve seen in a very long time,” Cruz said. “I think what he’s done for that organization, what he’s done for the city of New York. Especially this season where essentially you have nothing to play for, and you’re going to bench a guy that’s been your most consistent piece in 13, 14 years in that organization to assess your talent in the last four games of the season? I didn’t understand that.

“Especially a guy like Eli, you want him to go out and finish the year strong, finish the year how he wants. He’s earned the right to finish the year how he wants to finish the year. Not being benched. And then don’t slap him in the face and say, ‘Hey, we’ll start you for a half just to keep the keep the streak alive.’ That’s not Eli’s swagger, that’s not how he is. He wants to be out there, and he wants to perform and win.”

As for McAdoo, Cruz said he believes the coach should have been fired sooner.

“I think it was long overdue,” he said. “I think it was a couple of weeks already too late. Once you see guys in the locker room start to give these anonymous reports about how he’s handling them and how practice on (Saturday), that’s how you know he’s completely lost the locker room and completely lost the players.”

Cruz also said there is “no shot” some of the things that have happened this season in New York — including the various suspensions for violations of team rules — would have taken place if Tom Coughlin were still in charge.

McAdoo led the Giants to an 11-5 record and a postseason berth a year ago. When you consider the fact that the franchise has not fired a coach in the middle of the season in over 40 years, you get a sense of just how ugly things had gotten. One former NFL quarterback may feel the Giants extended Manning a huge courtesy, but the majority of people seem to agree with Cruz.

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