Fairly or unfairly, Ryan Nassib has become the poster child for the New York Giants’ offensive woes this preseason. An impatient fan base, coupled with an incumbent quarterback, who happens to be two-time Super Bowl MVP, puts more emphasis on Nassib’s performance than it deserves. But the second-year signal caller has remained calm and focused, even if the fans and media have not.
Throughout the preseason, Nassib’s performances were not that much different than his compatriots on offense, that is, until the fourth quarter of last week’s preseason contest against the Indianapolis Colts. It was then the second-year quarterback from Syracuse University not only matched but surpassed expectations.
Entering the game with the Giants trailing 26-14, Nassib went 11-15 for 158 yards and one touchdown; the game winner to Corey Washington with 55 seconds remaining. On the final drive, Nassib completed a beautiful 26-yard seam pass to tight Adrien Robinson on 4th and 16.
It may have been the coming of age for the young signal caller.
Yet instead of focusing on what was against Indy, Nassib continues to put his full attention on what still lies ahead. In a preseason where any offensive progress should probably call for unbridled enthusiasm, the young quarterback still keeps his emotions in check. “I got hot at the right time,” was how he described his performance in the fourth quarter last Saturday.
“We knew that we put ourselves in a tough situation (being down 26-0), so I just wanted to execute what (the offensive unit) had practiced many times.”
His 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Corey Washington with less than a minute remaining in the Colts’ game, put the G-men up 27-26, climaxing an improbable comeback.
“He definitely attacks the ball,” Nassib said of Corey Washington. “He brings a unique dimension to the offense. Do defenses double him? Or do they leave their corner on an island?”
Progress has come slowly for the young QB, perhaps too slowly for some, but at practice it is clear that progress is being made. On Wednesday, Nassib was crisp in his positional drills, and more decisive in the scrimmage.
A good example of progress came when Nassib overthrew an open Marcus Harris for what would have been a touchdown. Harris had beaten two Giants’ defenders down the left sideline and had about five yards of separation. Even though Nassib and Harris missed connection, the quarterback was more decisive in his read and put the ball in an area where only Harris could catch it.
Acclimating himself to a new offense has taken some time, but Nassib is not making excuses. “This is third offense that I have run. I’ve run one in college, and now two with the Giants.”
“There are differences I need to get used to in running this offense, especially in the terminology. But as a quarterback, you can take away something from any offense you run. Learning offense schemes are like building blocks.”
Nassib ran with the twos at practice, with Curtis Painter running with the threes. And with another solid performance against the New York Jets, the former fourth round draft (2013) may be able to cement his future with Big Blue.