ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Davis Webb hasn’t played in a game in over a week.
Yeah, that explanation won’t hold much water if the Giants’ backup quarterback has another clunky performance in Friday night’s preseason meeting with the Lions. It worked much better last week when his disappointing outing against the Browns could be talked away due to rust and amped-up excitement following almost a full year without seeing any live reps against an opposing team. Which is why this is the game that Webb really needs to stand out in to establish himself as the clear backup quarterback in the Giants’ hierarchy.
There are no more excuses.
“I think young players tend to improve,” Pat Shurmur said. “It was his first time in our system, playing really in a new system. So yeah, I certainly hope he’s better.”
The key seems to be getting Webb to calm down, and he’s had plenty of voices in his ear reminding him of that.
“It’s just like steering a ship,” Shurmur said of handling Webb and other players. “We’ve just got to guide him through and part of that is helping him, just reminding him, ‘hey, listen, just settle down, it’s all good’. Nothing more complicated than that.”
The Giants have about three weeks until they need to trim their roster to 53 players, but each day they go through the exercise of making those decisions.
“Personnel is a daily, constant conversation, Shurmur said. “We’re always kind of in our mind thinking, and we ask the question frequently during training camp, ‘If we had to play tomorrow, who are our guys?’ But you put it in pencil and we’re allowed to change our minds, because guys either perform better or worse than we thought as we go through the preseason. And then you pick it based on that.”
Shurmur was satisfied with the work the Giants got during their three days of joint practices with the Lions, which culminated on Thursday with an hour-long walk-through. “It’s always good to go against another team,” Shurmur said, indicating the Giants may do this in the future during his tenure. “When you can do it against another team that you’re not going to play this season unless we meet in the playoffs, then it’s a really good thing for the players, and so that’s why I think this is valuable” … Besides the unlikeliness of Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. playing on Friday, LB Connor Barwin, WR Travis Rudolph (quad), S Darian Thompson (hamstring), CB Donte Deayon (hamstring), TE Ryan O’Malley (ankle) and LB Thurston Armbrister (hamstring) will probably be held out.