Turns out that Mario Manningham was not benched late in Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. True, he was on the bench and in the slot while Victor Cruz was playing the outside receiver role normally reserved for him. But offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said that was just a matter of course and not a demotion.
“Just really seeing some things that we wanted to see Victor do, that we thought Victor would do more effectively,” Gilbride said. “We’ll always do that. We’ll move people around. We’ll play Manningham in a certain spot. We’ll put in Victor at certain spots. We’ll have Hakeem do different things. It’s really just taking advantage of the ability level of that guy for that particular play.”
Manningham had just one catch for 10 yards against the Cardinals, but Gilbride said it was “really his best game.”
“He had nothing to show for it production-wise, but he ran a lot of good routes, got himself open,” Gilbride said. “Just because of the coverage or what have you, the ball went the other way. But really that was his best game … He was wide open four or five shots down the second half of the game, but the reads took the quarterback in the other direction.”
As an unnecessary post-script to all of this, Gilbride said that Manningham is still the starter opposite Nicks.