As if the game mismanagement disaster during the New York Giants devastating 27-26 loss to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night wasn't enough to stoke the fires of team turmoil, Rashad Jennings added fuel to the controversy by blabbing to the press that he was instructed not to score on two goal-line plays late in the game.
Now, after throwing Eli Manning under the bus, Jennings, who will be providing a season-long, weekly column to The New York Post, addressed the fallout from the game and issued an apology to the two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback through the newspaper:
First of all, let me say that I want to apologize from my heart for the negative light that I unintentionally cast my quarterback and friend Eli Manning in. I continue to have the utmost respect for him, and I have complete trust in his leadership. It is a strange and unwelcome feeling I have that after all these years as a professional football player, I finally get to experience the other side of how words can be misconstrued.
I see now how what I said could easily be misunderstood as an expression of resentment. I make no claims to be a perfect communicator. But I also assure that I had no ill will at all in stating what I did. Yet, I admit in retrospect that I should not have shared that information with the world. I chose to do so, and for that choice, I am truly sorry.
Jennings also said in the column he apologized to Giants head coach Tom Coughlin and called Manning once his comments began to make headlines.
"Being the humble guy that he is, he wanted us to put this fiasco behind us with no hard feelings so that we could focus on the Falcons," said Jennings. "That is why I am taking this opportunity to more formalize my apology to Eli, the team and the fans."
Jennings also said:
As professional competitors, our deep-rooted desire to win is usually our best friend. It can drive us to leave everything out there on the field. But sometimes, if we are not careful, it can consume us enough to lead us, in the heat of a moment, to say things that only our souls should hear.
I hope that those who have come to know me over the years will readily see that this is something that is uncharacteristic of me. I take full ownership of the fact that I didn't handle things as I should have. And for that, again, I truly apologize to my quarterback, to my coach, to my team, and to our fans.
We all just want to win. And I truly believe that I have learned a very valuable lesson about just how delicate a balance we must maintain in keeping ourselves and our team focused on the preeminent goal of winning games.