Davis Webb came prepared for the Eli Manning questions
Davis Webb came prepared for the Eli Manning questions:-Davis Webb knows this has not gone well, and he promised to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.
No, the disappointment he is feeling has nothing to do with football. The 22-year old rookie quarterback has gone unshaven for a few days and is dismayed with the image he sees in the mirror. The beard has not grown in to the standard he set for facial hair, and so it will soon be gone.
If only everything in life could be solved with some water, shaving cream and a sharp blade.
“This has been an unbelievable experience for me,’’ Webb said Tuesday. “I’m living my dream. I’m in the NFL, not many people get to say that. And not many people get to say they get to learn from one of the best quarterbacks to ever play this game. The things he’s accomplished for this franchise and the things he’s helped me, in my short time here, I’ve learned 100 things in one minute from Eli.’’
A few minutes earlier, as Eli Manning spoke, the media encircled him listened intently — until Webb made his way to his own locker, adjacent to the area Manning has inhabited for years. Then, the group splintered, with a good share of the crowd shifting to Webb. It is not yet out with the old, in with the new, but there are rumblings as the Giants continue to lose, and it has sparked a situation that likely is uncomfortable for both Manning and Webb.
Manning remains the franchise quarterback and will make his 208th consecutive regular-season start Sunday — tying him with older brother Peyton for second on the all-time NFL consecutive start list — as the 1-7 Giants face the 0-9 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Ben McAdoo has no plans to be the one to end that streak, but he has opened the door for Webb to get some action in the second half of this long-lost season.
McAdoo on Monday, the day after a hit-rock-bottom 51-17 loss to the Rams, said, “Eli, he’s our quarterback. But that doesn’t mean at some point in time, we won’t throw another guy in there to get a look at him.’’
Geno Smith is the backup and Webb has been inactive for all eight games, but McAdoo is not talking about the veteran Smith when he mentioned throwing “another guy’’ into the game.
Webb, a third-round pick from California, has upside, and the Giants need to know what it is as they — unexpectedly, to be sure — are headed for a high — possibly top-three — pick in the 2018 draft. Up so high, they need to strongly consider a top-prospect quarterback, with Manning’s age (36) and performance beginning to become a factor. That is why the coaching staff and front office — even if they are all swept away in an end-of-season purge — must find snaps for Webb to better understand his potential.
Manning wants no part of stepping aside. Webb? He is not going there.
“I want to be a great teammate first, work really hard and continue to put hours in learning this offense and the NFL game,’’ he said. “I’m here to help people win, that’s my role on the team right now.’’
Webb has not played in a game since leading the Giants on a game-winning field goal drive Aug. 31 in New England in the preseason finale. That is a long time ago. If he gets in a real game, how ready could he be?
“I can’t answer that question,’’ Webb said. “I just can’t. I think I’m a good player and I’ve played football since seventh grade. At the same time, my job, my role on this team is to be a great teammate and be the best teammate I possibly can be. Whenever my number does get called, whether that be 10 years from now or never, I want to be ready.’’
Webb said he can answer whether or not he would be confident if he got the call, but wanted to make sure his response was not misconstrued.
“That’s an easy question,’’ he said. “I’m confident in everything I do. It can be playing checkers, I’m confident. So don’t blow that out of proportion, because that can be a question that can be deceiving.’’
As he waits, Webb says he is “very thankful’’ to have Manning as a mentor.
“There’s not one person that sets the standard better,’’ Webb said, “to be a New York football Giant than Eli Manning.’’