When Giants backup quarterback Ryan Nassib started watching the cutups of the Browns defense on Monday night as part of his preparations this week, it took him longer than usual. That’s because of a familiar face playing for Cleveland. Nassib’s younger brother, Carl, is a rookie defensive end for the team.
“I found myself having to watch every play twice,” he said. “I would first kind of see how Carl was doing and then I’d realize ‘Jeez, I didn’t even watch the play!’ It took me a little longer to get through it, breaking it down, but now I’m back. Now it’s settled in.”
If all goes according to plan, of course, the two brothers won’t actually “play” against each other. Carl Nassib has been getting snaps for the Browns, but has already far eclipsed his brother in terms of on-field experience. Ryan Nassib has the misfortune of being the backup quarterback behind one of the most durable players in NFL history, Eli Manning, so he seldom sees game action. He has yet to take a snap this season.
So this isn’t quite Eli vs. Peyton in terms of sibling rivalries.
But it certainly means as much to the Nassibs as those other games meant to the Mannings.
“It’s definitely different,” Ryan Nassib said. “I never played with him, never played against him, so this will be a first for me being on the same field as him. It’s going to be interesting, but once the game gets started and the ball gets rolling it’s going to be like any other game.”
Ryan Nassib said he was impressed breaking down his kid brother. “He’s playing well,” he said. “He plays hard. You see at times that he’s a young guy but he plays hard and he’s getting better, which is good.”
Carl Nassib is also playing through a broken hand, which has hindered him somewhat.
The first meeting between the teams of the two brothers takes place on the weekend of a national holiday that most already associate with families coming together, and Ryan Nassib said that will make it extra special.
“I know some family will be going out there just because of the holiday,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see a nice contingent.”
Ryan said he’s not exactly sure how many will be attending. That’s not his problem. He’s not hosting. Carl Nassib is on the hook for all of the accommodations, along with the tickets to the game.
“He’s got that,” Ryan said. “Let the rookie take care of it.”