The Davis Webb Pendulum is swinging back toward him getting on the field this season.
After interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo said Monday that there is no plan in place to play the rookie quarterback in the final three games of the year, momentum from the organization is building to get the kid some snaps — or at least a gameday uniform — before the season is over.
“I think we’d like all of [our] young guys to get a chance down the stretch, Davis in particular,” interim general manager Kevin Abrams said Thursday. “Spags and I talk about it all the time. John [Mara, the team’s co-owner] has talked about it on plenty of occasions. We know what we want to accomplish, it’s just not easy to do it necessarily. It’s an ongoing conversation and hopefully we get an opportunity to put him out there, but it’s got to be done the right way.”
That “right way” is what no one seems to be able to figure out.
“You can only play one quarterback at a time, so it’s not like trying to sprinkle in a defensive tackle or a linebacker into the mix and give him some reps,” Abrams said. “It’s a bit different, it has a bit more of an impact on everything else that you do.”
They could just let the rookie start. That would be the most direct path.
“Yeah, if you make that decision, yeah,” Abrams said. “It’s making that decision that’s not as easy.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan — one of the coaches Spagnuolo said he would be leaning on to help him make any quarterback decisions — said Thursday that Webb being inactive for every game this season has nothing to do with his ability.
“We do see a lot of great things in scout team,” Sullivan said. “He certainly has shown, behind the scenes what we can see, that the potential is there to be effective if given an opportunity.”
It’s just a matter of getting him that opportunity. That’s when the Giants will be able to evaluate him best.
“There are things that I don’t think you can ever see about any player until they’re in an actual game,” Sullivan said. “Scout team of course they’re running off of a card. When you’re ‘the guy,’ there’s no card. You have the voice in your ear and you have to process it. That would be the next logical step for him or any quarterback waiting for an opportunity.”
Until then, everyone simply is guessing.
“You can certainly see guys have flash in practices, scrimmages, preseason games,” Sullivan said. “You can even argue that a quarterback particularly can go through a regular season and maybe he’s never tested. Maybe the offensive line is so dynamic and so strong that he’s able to rely on the run game. Maybe he’s got some phenomenal receivers. But until a guy is down by a score in the fourth quarter and has to do a two-minute drive, until he’s had to make an adjustment against pressure, handle a third down, I would say it’s hard to really get a sense. You can be optimistic and feel like I’d make a pretty good bet if I was a betting man, which I’m not, that he can get it done. But until someone gets an opportunity to not just play a game but to really be tested, put their feet to the fire so to speak . . . ”
Webb’s feet won’t be anywhere near flames against the Eagles.
“As far as the approach this particular week, Eli is our guy and Geno [Smith] will be the backup,” Sullivan said.
But even Spagnuolo has said the entire process is on a week-to-week basis. Spagnuolo also noted, somewhat cryptically, that the Giants won’t necessarily be advertising any changes in Webb’s routine or status.
“You’ve got to give me some time to put my arms around it,” he said on Monday. “I can’t promise that that’s going to be a public thing. I mean, we’re going to function as an NFL football team. We’re going to try to make sure the opponent doesn’t have any extra info.”
Might that opponent be the Cardinals in Week 16?
No one is saying no.
“As far as where we go from here after Philadelphia,” Sullivan said, “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”