For the first time in his career, Davis Webb will have to keep track of his helmet.
That’s the biggest job on gameday for a backup quarterback, keeping that headgear within reach for the instant when it is needed. On Sunday, Webb will have that responsibility. The rookie has been promoted to the No. 2 role for the finale against Washington and has been told he will be on the active roster, bringing him one step closer to making his NFL debut. After 16 weeks of preparation in the shadows of practices and pregame warmups, Webb may finally get his chance to play in a game that counts.
And he already has a plan for that helmet. One that illustrates just how excited he will be for the potential opportunity.
“I’ll probably be wearing it,” he said.
Webb normally wears street clothes on the sidelines at games, but interim coach Steve Spagnuolo met with him on Tuesday to discuss his new role. The move was announced by Spagnuolo on Wednesday.
“There’s no guarantees that we will get him in the game, but he will be the number two on Sunday,” Spagnuolo said.
The Giants accelerated Webb’s development toward that role last week when they started giving him reps in the competition periods of practice. He took 12 snaps last week but was still the No. 3 for the game behind starter Eli Manning and backup Geno Smith.
“I’m not a quarterback guru, but it was going to take more than just one week to say, ‘OK, if something happens to Eli Manning, he’ll go,’ ’’ Spagnuolo said when asked why he is promoting Webb this week. “We just needed a little bit of time.”
Webb said his practice routine this week will be unchanged from last week’s.
“I’ve been working all year as if I was actually going to play,” he said. “I’m still behind Eli doing some air throws and getting mental reps and I’m just trying to be a good teammate. That’s the only thing I’m worried about and working hard and again, that doesn’t affect anything I’m doing.”
The difference, of course, is that he may actually get to play. Is he ready?
“I’m not sure,” he admitted. “I’ve never played in an NFL game before. I have prepared very hard and I’ve taken pretty good notes from Eli and his routine, and Geno’s (Smith)… I think I’m doing just about everything I can do to be ready, but again, you never know until you play.”
Webb knew that was not a guarantee when he was drafted by the Giants in the third round earlier this year.
“Everybody in the organization was pretty blatantly honest with me about what my goals are, what my season was going to look like, and I said ‘Okay, let’s do it,’” he said. “I’m going to work really hard, we’ll see what happens. I’m going to try to get better and be the best quarterback I can be because that’s all I can control. I think I’ve done that this far and I’m excited with where I am today.”
And where he’ll be on Sunday. And what he’ll be wearing during the game.
“I am excited about that,” Webb said of getting to don the uniform. “It’s never easy to work so hard and then at the last second (be told) you’re not getting a jersey this week. That’s been up and down. I don’t let it affect me. I try to be a good teammate. But yeah, I’m excited about that.”