Geno Smith Rips “Coward” Rex Ryan For Comments About Replacing Eli Manning

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Count Rex Ryan among those not surprised the New York Giants’ decision to bench Eli Manning for Geno Smith blew up in Big Blue’s face.

In place of the two-time Super Bowl MVP, Smith threw for 212 yards on 34 passes on Sunday. He also lost two fumbles—once with the Giants four yards from the Oakland Raiders‘ end zone, and another time 29 yards away.

Before the contest, Ryan, who used to coach Smith when both were with the New York Jets, criticized the decision to bench Manning.

“Good for Geno, but I don’t understand it,” Ryan told the New York Daily News on Tuesday. “Eli Manning has been a hell of a player in this league a long-ass time. He’s one of the most durable guys in the history of the sport and started a million games in a row. He’s why you got all those Super Bowl rings. For him to go out like this is odd. It’s bizarre. … I’m happy for Geno. He gets another shot. Geno’s a good kid, but at the same time, I hate to see any player that’s really one of the stars of this game be treated like this. I think it’s a slap in the face to a great veteran player. To me, it’s unfortunate. This guy’s given everything to that team. He meant so much to them. They don’t have any of those rings without him.”

After Geno Smith’s performance against the Raiders, Smith fired back at his former head coach.

“I did see one of my ex-coaches say he didn’t want me to be his quarterback,” Smith said. “That really upset me. The guy that we saved his job in 2013. We fought our ass for him both years. For him to come out and say that shows how much of a coward he is.”

Strong words for a guy who led his team to 17 points against one of the worst defenses in the NFL.