Three quarterbacks are vying to be Eli Manning's backup in 2013, but only one has a clear-cut future with the New York Giants.
Ryan Nassib, drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, is a sure bet to stay on the Giants roster for this year and the foreseeable future, leaving uncertainty surrounding longtime veteran backups David Carr and Curtis Painter.
As Manning's backup for four of the last five years, Carr has the obvious edge. He's familiar with Kevin Gilbride's offense, he's comfortable with Manning and he's been steady in his reserve role.
Painter, on the other hand, is just returning to the NFL after a year away from the game. The former Purdue standout got a chance to start with the Indianapolis Colts -- the year Peyton Manning was out due to injury -- and was unable to show he's capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Interestingly enough, both Carr and Painter put up similar numbers during the Giants' preseason opener. Carr went 7-for-11, passing for 64 yards and taking a 13-yard sack. Painter went 5-for-11 for 55 yards, taking a seven-yard sack.
While both vets posted pedestrian numbers in their preseason debuts, when they see extended action it'll likely allow Carr to take better control of this No. 2 battle. Carr is more battle-tested, has achieved more in the league, and not to be a broken record but understands the Giants offense much better.
The next test will come in the form of Painter's former club, the Colts, on Sunday, Aug. 18.
Following Saturday's outing, head coach Tom Coughlin spoke about one quarterback -- Nassib -- in particular.
"He needs to keep getting his feet wet just like anybody else does," Coughlin said. "It’s a brand new experience and we’ll keep that in mind as we set the order and the number of snaps as they are to be divided up for the next game."
So while it looks like Nassib's snaps are going to increase, Carr and Painter will vie for the third set of snaps, with the better performer likely to seize the backup job. Based on the respective track record of each, Painter must not only outperform Carr but do so in an overwhelmingly convincing manner. Carr, on the other hand, just has to continue to show he's comfortable with the offense, can manage the game and play without making mistakes.
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