EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — There were no heroics from Davis Webb in his first appearance as a professional quarterback. In the final 6:39 of the fourth quarter Friday night there was, however, a glimpse of the talent that convinced the New York Giants to select him in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft in he hopes that he would become their quarterback of the future.
Webb entered with the Giants trailing the Pittsburgh Steelers, 20-12. There were promising moments in both drives when it looked like he might be able to engineer scoring drives, but both fizzled.
Webb ended up 8-of-16 for 67 yards.
“I’ve got a long way to go but this was a good starting point for myself, but I know I have to continue to get better,” Webb said. “The best part is I’m going to. I’m going to work really hard, get in the film room tomorrow and kind of build off this. It’s a good starting point and I look forward to getting better next week.”
Yes, it was a good starting point for Webb.
He admitted to being “amped up” for his first play, a slant route that he whipped well over the head of wide receiver Kevin Norwood.
After that, though, Webb settled down and appeared to have control of what was going on. He felt really good about his command of the huddle, something which wasn’t used at Cal.
“I felt great about that. That’s something I was really proud of that I think I did a good job tonight. I was very confident,” he said.
What he didn’t feel good about was failing to put points on the board.
“I need to do better in the last two minutes,” Webb said. “I wanted to help us win a game today and get us into overtime. Just couldn’t do it. There were a couple bad throws, and that’s what got us.”
Webb’s first drive started at the Giants’ 14-yard line. He guided the Giants to two first downs before the drive stalled.
His final drive began at the Giants’ 24-yard line with 3:10 left and the feeling that maybe, just maybe, the rookie was about to do something special. He almost did.
Webb moved the Giants to the Pittsburgh 39 with 1:55 left before a sack pushed the ball back to the 43. He then unleashed a throw deep down the left sideline to wide receiver Keeon Johnson that appeared to have a chance to be a big play. Johnson and Pittsburgh cornerback Brian Allen both got their hands on the ball, and it fell incomplete.
“When it came off the hand I felt pretty good about it. But, hey, I gotta get it more up and down. Safety made a good play. I need a better ball,” Webb said. “When I let it go I felt good about it. I thought we’d be at the 15-yard line, 20-yard line, whatever and we’d be rolling. But that’s football. Next play. I didn’t make that fourth-down play … I’ve gotta make that throw to Jerome at the end of the game.”
“That throw” Webb is referring to was the next play, a fourth-and-9 the Giants needed to convert to have a chance. Moving to his right, Webb sailed a pass over the head of wide receiver Jerome Lane, ending the idea Webb would do something heroic in his debut.
“I’m excited to get watching tonight and watch tomorrow with the coaches. I’m just really excited to dig in and get better from this. It’s my first game, I’m going to get a lot better,” Webb said. “I’m just excited to watch myself at MetLife against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s gonna be cool to watch. But again, there’s a lot of things I need to work on.”
The game didn’t end in the victory Webb and the Giants for, but both he and Giants fans have a right to feel excited by what they saw from the guy the franchise hopes will be the heir to Manning.