One of the first orders of business for interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo was reinstating Eli Manning as the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys. Less clear is how and when he will bring rookie quarterback Davis Webb into the mix.
It was a desire to see Webb in game action at some point this season that sparked the botched plan that resulted in Manning watching from the sideline on Sunday in Oakland. But now that the architects of that Wile E. Coyote scheme have been fired and Manning is back in his familiar role, there is essentially no blueprint for elevating Webb from the No. 3 and inactive quarterback role to getting him on the field.
“Probably not this week,” is all Spagnuolo could offer in terms of a timeline.
That would leave three games to give Webb a taste of regular-season action before the season ends and the Giants head into the offseason with a top-5 draft pick and no sense of what their third-round pick from a year ago looks like in a uniform. Webb has been inactive in each game this season.
“There has been an ongoing plan,” Spagnuolo said of Webb’s increased workload in practices (although he still works exclusively with the scout teams). “You don’t see it behind the works, but there have been efforts there. I’ll call it drills where Davis has done things where he would do as he prepared to be a one or a two. So, that’s ongoing. Where we go with whoever the two is, we’ll just take it week-to-week.”
While the Giants’ quarterback situation has been a crazy roller coaster these past two weeks, Webb is the youngster on his tiptoes hoping he’s tall enough to get a seat on the ride.
“It’s not up to me,” Webb said. “I don’t get to pick and choose what happens, all I get to do is control what I can control and that’s being a good quarterback for the scout team right now and being a great teammate to Eli and Geno . . . I’m still doing the same cutups, still getting up here early and staying up here late. That’s out of my control, so I don’t really think about it.
“I’m going to continue what I’m doing and I think I’m doing just fine.”
Last week, in an effort to explain why Manning was benched, co-owner John Mara said he initiated the process with a desire to see Webb in particular.
“I don’t know if this is going to give us all the information we need, but it’s going to be better than nothing,” Mara said of evaluating the quarterbacks. “It’s better than just watching them run scout team out there every day. With quarterbacks in particular, you don’t know what you have until they’re out there facing a pass rush, making decisions at critical points in the game and making plays. So we want to get whatever information we can. Obviously we’re going to have a high draft pick this year and there are going to be some quarterbacks available. So that’s going to be a decision that we’re going to have to make, but I’d like to make that decision at least having watched some of these guys play.”
That sentiment seems to have gone by the wayside.
Asked if Mara delivered to him similar instructions to the ones he gave Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo regarding the other quarterbacks on the roster, Spagnuolo said: “No. That wasn’t the top priority.”