NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: John Mara is not happy the Giants are 1-5 for the second straight season.
The team’s longtime owner is equally displeased with his star wide receiver, who he recently handed a five-year, $90 million contract.
During his wide-ranging interview to ESPN prior to New York’s heartbreaking 33-31 loss at Carolina in Week 5, Odell Beckham Jr. took some shots at his team, particularly veteran quarterback Eli Manning. Though some believe what Beckham had to say about the sputtering offense needed to be said, Mara was not pleased.
“I wish he would create the headlines by his play on the field as opposed to what he says and what he does off the field,” Mara said Tuesday during a break at the NFL owners meetings. “I think he needs to do a little more playing and a little less talking.”
Beckham has put up good numbers this season, all things considered, recording 45 receptions and 506 yards in six games. But he has not been the deep or red zone threat many expected, scoring just one touchdown. In his interview, Beckham seemed to point the finger at Manning as the reason for the lack of big plays and the 37-year-old signal-caller didn’t exactly quiet his critics during the Giants’ awful 34-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last week, going 24-of-43 for 281 yards with an interception.
Manning may have a 68.7 completion percentage, which would easily be the highest of his 15-year career if the season ended today, but he seems to have lost his ability to throw the deep ball. Mara offered a vote of confidence to his beleaguered quarterback on Tuesday, but he didn’t say it confidently.
“I think when you’re 1-5, it generally means that everybody needs to play better, so he’s not alone,” Mara said of Manning. “I still… we still believe in him, but everybody needs to do their jobs in order for us to be successful, and right now that’s not happening. I know he’s the punching bag right now, but a lot of guys need to play better when you’re 1-5.”
It appears the Giants are in need of a dramatic reversal of fortune over the next few weeks or else things could get ugly in more ways than one. Mara has also come out publicly in support of new head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman, but he’s clearly not pleased with the results.
“I’m still embarrassed being 1-5,” Mara said. “I can’t stand up here and make any excuses about that. You are what your record says you are, as a wise man once said, and there’s nothing I can say to make people feel better about that. I’m suffering just as much as our fans are, probably more.”