New York Giants quarterback Geno Smith speaks at a news conference after an NFL football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Giants in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Geno Smith’s first game as the Giants starting quarterback resulted in a 24-17 loss to the Raiders. Smith played well enough to have the Giants in position to win – he lost two fumbles but didn’t throw an interception.

He used that performance as justification to take a shot at his former coach with the Jets, Rex Ryan.

In his postgame press conference, Smith fired back at Ryan for calling Eli Manning’s benching a “slap in the face.”

Smith said after offering words of support for head coach Ben McAdoo:

“I did see one of my ex-coaches say he didn’t want me to be his quarterback. 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.”

It was clear that Smith was talking about Ryan, and he confirmed as much when asked in a follow-up question, saying Ryan’s name.

On Tuesday, Ryan – now an ESPN analyst – said of Smith via theย New York Daily News:

“Good for Geno, but I don’t understand it. 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.”

He continued:

“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.”

It was clear that Smith was waiting for the right time to respond to his former coach.

SOURCE: USA Today FTW! – Andrew Smith