Oxymorons can make for fun turns of phrase, or intriguing philosophies. For instance, New York Giants back-up quarterback Davis Webb says that his approach to playing quarterback this season is to be “Aggressively Patient.”
Webb, known for his size, athleticism, and arm strength, knows that he can’t rely solely on those traits to carry him to success in the NFL. Speaking after the Giants’ final practice before their first preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, Webb stated that he knows he needs to use his brain before unleashing his cannon arm.
“I think just having the mindset of don’t chase and be aggressively patient,” Webb said. “Understand down and distance, the situation of the game. In practice, it’s four reps or three reps and you’re trying to do the best you can for that play and it’s on to the next one. You kind of just have to understand the flow of the game and the situation and again don’t chase and take what the defense gives you.”
Where did that term come from?
“That’s a Coach Shula phrase. I’m not going to take credit for that, I steal it from him,” Webb said. “I’ve kind of elaborated on it a little bit, just kind of taking what the defense gives you and if there’s a chance to take a shot, you take a shot. If not, you go through your progressions and we are all coached great by two great quarterback minds and our job is just to be coachable and complete the ball to the open guy on time and accurately.”
While Webb’s elite arm talent makes for some gorgeous deep passes, it can also be as much a curse as a blessing. With that arm strength often comes the belief that the ball can be fit in any window, that a couple seconds’ hesitation is fine because velocity can make it up.
Webb, at least, is aware of the fault, saying, “I think the biggest thing is just translating what I’m doing on the practice field to the games. Take what the defense gives me, not try to do too much. I have a habit of doing that sometimes. When I’m really feeling good and there is a tight window, I feel like I can make most of them. Sometimes it gets us in trouble. I just have to play smart and play the best I can. I think that will be plenty good enough.”
“I think I do an okay job of it right now,” he added. “It’s just at the same time, understanding the situation. If it’s third and long, there’s nothing wrong with taking a check down and flipping the field position. You don’t have to force anything downfield, just have to know the situation and be patient, don’t chase – don’t try and chase something that you want to be there but it’s not there.”
On practices with Pat Shurmur
Webb wouldn’t draw a comparison, or contrast, between Pat Shurmur and Ben McAdoo. He did, however, complement his new coach on his communication with his players.
“The biggest thing,” Webb says, about playing for Pat Shurmur, “Coach Shurmur has done a great job of asking our opinions, if we like morning or afternoon practices better, really giving us time to get home at night so we’re able to get eight-plus hours of sleep so that we can recover to come back with 100 percent the next day and give it our best. Meetings have been great, every single position group has been learning a ton and you can see at practice – the linebacker group is getting better each day, the DBs are (too), the O-line has done a great job communicating and coming together as a unit. It’s a credit to Coach Shurmur and the coaching staff for bringing us all together.”
Webb’s role as a backup quarterback
What is Webb’s job as a New York Giant? Easy, he says, out-work everyone, be a great teammate, and be ready.
“My job description, in my opinion, is to be the hardest working player on the team, be the best teammate on the team and to try to be the best I possibly can at quarterback,” he said. “If that’s the backup, third string or maybe even the first guy, just do the best you can, be the best teammate you can and be the hardest worker. I don’t make decisions like that, I just try to do those same three things each and every day.”