New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo opened the door ever so slightly on Thursday for rookie quarterback Davis Webb to earn the team’s No. 2 quarterback job.
The common belief, and still the overwhelmingly likely scenario, is that Webb will begin the season as the No. 3 quarterback, with either Josh Johnson or Geno Smith serving as the backup to starter Eli Manning.
Still, neither of the veteran quarterbacks has been consistent enough as of yet to win the job outright. Smith appeared to have the advantage coming out of last week’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but McAdoo forced him to run a lap Tuesday (along with running back Wayne Gallman) after back-to-back mishandles by Smith that led to fumbles.
“I think we all have to be careful making assumptions,” McAdoo said. “Josh and Geno are competing right now for the number two spot, and if that doesn’t look the way we want it to look, Davis will get a crack.”
Prior to Thursday, when his workload went up, Webb’s only practice reps had come during 7-on-7 “opportunity” sessions with young players.
“We are giving him some more team snaps. Today was a little bit of a change of pace. We are learning to practice on how to prepare for an opponent. So we had some ups and downs today. We were a little slow with our tempo, but that will get better as we move forward,” McAdoo said. “But Davis is going to get an opportunity to take some more snaps in that environment, yes.
McAdoo has said in the past that he felt if would be difficult for a rookie quarterback like Webb to be No. 2. That is still the case. while Webb had some good moments Friday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, there were enough erratic throws to let you know he isn’t ready yet. That isn’t to say he won’t be in a few months, but he’s not ready to succeed if he had to be called up Week 1 vs. the Dallas Cowboys.
Most likely, all of this is a message to Smith and Johnson that neither has yet played well enough to earn the job of caddying for Manning.