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Eli Manning On WFAN: Benching Felt Like 'Part Of Me Was Kind Of Taken Away'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Eli Manning said he took a night to think about Coach Ben McAdoo's plan for him to just play the first half of games before rejecting it.

"I went in the next day and just said, 'I can't do it that way,'" Manning said Monday during his weekly appearance on Mike Francesa's WFAN show. "I wasn't being asked to win a football game. I was asked just to play, in part, to keep a streak alive, and I appreciated that. I wasn't mad at Coach McAdoo. I wasn't mad at Jerry Reese. I wasn't bitter about it. I was upset. I was heartbroken a little bit, but understood the consequences in where we were in the season and what was going on, but I just couldn't accept those rules."

Manning said he might have agreed to it if he was told he could remain in the games if he had been playing well.

"I probably would've been OK with that, but, again, I don't like to deal with the what-if phase," he said. "I guess things could've been handled differently. Maybe I could have handled them differently or suggested that. It's just kind of the way it was, and I felt strongly about not doing it that way, and this is the way it turned out.

"And I'm not happy about it. I'm not happy about Jerry Reese getting fired or Ben McAdoo getting fired. That was not what I wanted or what I was trying to get done by saying I wasn't going to just start to be pulled."

MORE: Mike Francesa Reacts To Ben McAdoo Firing, Talks With John Mara

McAdoo and Reese were fired earlier Monday. In true Manning fashion, he had only good things to say about them.

"I've got great respect for Coach McAdoo," Manning said. "We have a great relationship. Four years. When he became the offensive coordinator, we were coming off a tough season. I'd thrown 25 or 27 interceptions and led the league, and we fixed things. And it wasn't always perfect, but we came a good offense again, and we were scoring points and doing a lot of good things. And obviously making the playoffs last year in his first year as the head coach. So I do appreciate him."

But Manning admitted it was hard for him not to line up under center for Sunday's game in Oakland.

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"I love playing quarterback for the New York Giants, and I love this organization and the relationships that I've built," he said. "I came here. I was 23 years old and just a little kid, and I've kind of grown up around the people in the organization. ... I've loved every second, and a part of me was kind of taken away when that was said."

ESPN reported Monday that Manning is expected to return to the starting lineup Sunday against the Cowboys. But the QB said Monday afternoon he had not received word from interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo about who the starter will be.

"I do not know for certain," he said. "I hope I am (the starter)."

As for Manning's future, all he knows is he wants his career to resume.

"I don't know what's going to happen next year, I really don't," he said. "I know I want to keep playing football. I think I've got a lot of good football left in me."

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