Flashback to 2017 when the New York Giants were plagued with mismanagement and inadequate decisions made by the deranged coaching staff. Ben McAdoo made the final go-ahead decision to bench Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith to start against the Oakland Raiders. Manning’s streak ended and McAdoo came one step close to losing his job.
But the player that was left hanging in the wing was rookie quarterback, Davis Webb. The third-round pick had followed Manning around like a puppy for the entire season in preparation of a potential opportunity later in the year. Jerry Reese and McAdoo managed to take that away from him in favor of starting Smith, who was never going to be the future of the Giants and struggled mightily in his debut with Big Blue.
Why the pre-season is so significant for the Giants:
While seeing first-round pick Saquon Barkley in action and taking a look at Will Hernandez on the offensive line will be an interesting spectacle, the most intriguing player will be Webb. He will have the opportunity to run with the first-team, as the Giants will likely keep Manning healthy and off the field for the majority ofÂ Â pre-season.
The Giants chose to pass on quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen in favor of Barkley, who was the most impressive player in the draft, and the most enticing athlete in the last 30 years, according to GM Dave Gettleman.
This move instilled a new sense of faith in Webb, despite the drafting of Kyle Lauletta. Some fans believe that the former Richmond quarterback has the skill-set to develop beyond Webb and take the job out from under him. Personally, I disagree. A year under Manning as his primary mentor helps Webb exponentially, giving him a one-year leg up on Lauletta.
Is Webb prepared to be the Giants future QB?
Over the course of the offseason, Webb trained relentlessly to add tools to his tool-box and refine his existing skills. While some may write the narrative that videos in shorts making 30 yard out-route passes on the dime doesn’t prove his abilities, we will see them in first-person in just a few weeks.
The Giants’ backup quarterback has the strength and size to be a prototypical signal caller in the NFL, but his consistency needs work, as he tends to miss reads and overthrow passes at times. Getting some live-game action before the regular season starts will give the front-office an idea of what to expect from Webb and the state of his current development.
Ultimately, it will be a first-interview for the young QB, and he will further learn his weaknesses so that he can be prepared when Manning finally takes off his cape and hands the torch over to his understudy.