Rex Ryan was not in favor of the Giants benching Eli Manning for Geno Smith, who the former Jets head coach knows all too well. Ryan was with the team when they drafted Smith in 2013, and he knows the veteran quarterback as well as anyone.
Smith didn’t take kindly to Ryan’s comments, and he seemed to take them personally. The Giants quarterback started under center for the first time in a regular-season matchup with his new team on Sunday, and spoke to reporters after the 24-17 loss to the Raiders. Smith didn’t hold back in responding to Ryan’s comments, either, calling his former head coach a “coward.”
“I did see one of my ex-coaches say he didn’t want me to be his quarterback,” Smith said, via Steve Politi of NJ.com. “That really upset me. I saved his job in 2013. We fought our ass for him both years. For him to say that shows how much of a coward he is.”
It is interesting that Ryan didn’t go to bat for Smith, since he once referred to the quarterback as being a “great pick” by the team. The Jets selected Smith in the second round of the 2013 draft, which resulted in some criticism from analysts, but Ryan stood by the pick. However, now that he’s on the other side of the fence, working for the media, he seems to feel quite differently.
As for Smith, it’s understandable that he’s upset at Ryan, who seems to have jumped ship as far as how he feels about his former quarterback.