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Giants rookies Evan Engram, Davis Webb have connection from the start

Evan Engram, New York Giants tight end, makes a

Evan Engram, New York Giants tight end, makes a catch during the first day of rookie minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J. on Friday, May 12, 2017. Credit: James Escher

When tight end Evan Engram was selected in the first round of last month’s draft, Davis Webb said he was “pumped” for him and wanted to send him a text to congratulate him.

Instead, he waited. Webb wanted to see which team he would be on first before he reached out to the player whom he described as his favorite target at the Senior Bowl. About 24 hours later, Webb wasn’t only a fan of Engram’s, he was his teammate.

“I was hyped when his name came across the ticker for New York in Day Two,” Engram said. “It was pretty cool to get to know him and now we’re going to get to play together.”

On Friday, Webb and Engram were the focal points for the first practice of Giants rookie minicamp. Together they provided a surprising level of stability to a workout that can often be a choppy and chaotic session.

Anyone who remembers Eli Manning’s first rookie minicamp, when the future two-time Super Bowl MVP was so bad his errant passes hit nearby tackling dummies instead of receivers, knows that these events aren’t always an accurate portrayal of the future. Still, watching Webb and Engram work together, it was hard not to consider it a possible glimpse down the road for the Giants and be happy about what might one day be in store for the franchise.

“D-Webb, man, he’s gonna be good,” Engram said. “He was really comfortable out there. We were rooming together [Thursday] night and going over stuff together, so it kind of paid off today.”

“We have a good relationship off the field and hopefully that translates to a good relationship on the field,” Webb said.

Rather than catch up on old times in their hotel room on Thursday night, the two players dove into their playbook. They used index cards to drill each other on plays that, after coming from spread systems in college, must have looked like indecipherable hieroglyphics when presented to them on Thursday.

Webb said he used that index card trick when he was learning new offenses in the past — he played at two high schools, two colleges, and this will be his third different team in three years — but after the Giants selected him he also spent time working with former NFL quarterback and coach Jim Zorn in Seattle to get a head start on the finer points of a West Coast offense.

“I want to make it like my baby,” Webb said of the playbook. “I want to make sure that this is my thing. I want to treat this right, I want it to be my only part of life that I’m focusing on, really dive in and get focused with it and learn it like it’s the back of my hand. That’s the most important thing a quarterback can do.”

There still is plenty of learning to do, and Friday was far from perfect.

But it was a step in the right direction for two players who, over the next few years, might be integral pieces of the Giants’ offense.

New York Sports