Davis Webb played like a quarterback who had not seen the field in over 11 months.
Getting his first game work since the 2017 preseason finale last Aug. 31, the second-year quarterback was a shaky 9-for-22 for 70 yards. Under center for seven possessions, the offense gained just eight first downs.
“I felt very antsy,” Webb said. “I was very excited. It was my first game in almost a year and I was pumped up. I missed a couple of throws by a foot really and I have to make those throws, move the chains and extend drives. Give us a chance to get more chances to get the ball in the end zone.”
Even when he was on target with some shorter throws, he had too much on them and made them too difficult for the receivers to handle.
“It’s not that I can’t make them,” Webb said of the passes. “I just have to make them.”
The Giants are counting on Webb to play well as the potential backup to Eli Manning this season. He’s taken every second-team snap of training camp so far. The new Giants regime, who like the rest of the world had not seen Webb play since last preseason, believed in him enough to not draft an heir to Manning in the first few rounds this past spring. Kyle Lauletta, whom the Giants selected in the fourth round, saw his first NFL action on Thursday and completed 6 of 9 passes for 48 yards.
It was Webb, though, who most of the Giants fans — and coaches — wanted to see on Thursday.
“Davis gets a little amped up at times and that’s what causes the ball to sail a little bit,” head coach Pat Shurmur said. “But he had his moments. He had some good plays in there.”
Webb did note that he felt he did a few things well. He drove the Giants down the field at the end of the first half — five of his nine completions were on that drive — even though the possession ended without an attempt at points. He had a run for six yards early in the third quarter. And he ended his right the way every quarterback would want to: With a touchdown, handing the ball off to Jalen Simmons for a 5-yard scoring run.
Webb will get a chance to play again next week in the second preseason game against the Lions. At that point he won’t be able to use the excuse of not having played in so long. Will we see improvement from him?
“That’s a good question,” Webb said. “Now that the jitters are gone, I hope so. I did my best but there’s a lot to learn from. It was the first game of the preseason and I know I’m going to get better from it.”