New York Giants quarterback Davis Webb is a long-term project. There are no plans to play him in 2017 or 2018. He may not see the field until after incumbent Eli Manning’s contract expires in 2019.
Webb is not carrying himself like a player who has a two-year, possibly three-year, cushion.
This Week in NFL History: This Week in NFL History: June 25 through July 1
In Memory of Buddy Ryan: Buddy Ryan and the 46 defense blitzed Giants in ’85 Divisional Playoff game
Brandon Marshall: Brandon Marshall working to build chemistry with Eli Manning
NFL Top 100 Players of 2017: Four Giants players named to NFL Top 100 Players of 2017
Martellus Bennett: Martellus Bennett thinks Jay Cutler is better than Eli Manning
His work ethic has been on full display ever since the Giants selected him with the 87th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Every day Webb had specific questions for Manning and backups Geno Smith and Josh Johnson. He also had questions for offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan and quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti Jr.
Webb has gone out of his way to not overwhelm Manning, recognizing that the NFL’s iron man quarterback has better things to do than school a wide-eyed rookie.
“He’s been very helpful,” Webb said of No. 10. “Some guys you just don’t know, when veterans and rookies come around. First of all, I think it’s a lot of fun to sit in meetings with him. I have a ton of questions. Eli and I have good conversations off the field, but I try to keep it football-related.”
Webb’s biggest asset going into the draft was his work ethic. There is nothing in his personality that suggests a lax attitude towards preparation.
“You can’t get laid back, you can’t relax, and he doesn’t seem to be the type of guy that is going to relax,” head coach Ben McAdoo said.
Webb hit the ground running as soon as he was drafted, taking in an abundance in information during the team’s organized team activities (OTAs) and mandatory three-day mini-camp. He’s not going to slow down even though the players are off until they report for training camp on July 27.
He will attend a football camp in Odessa, Texas ran by Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Bradley Marquez for a few days. Marquez was Webb’s roommate at Texas Tech. His family will come for a visit around the Independence Day holiday.
Other than that, Webb plans on working during the weeks leading up to the start of training camp.
“This month’s huge,” he said. “I plan on studying that script and the playbook just about every day. This is important to me. This month’s a good time to kind of get away. But for me, I’m in no situation where I can do that. I can take a couple days off here and there, but I don’t really plan on doing that.
“I don’t really have a family of my own or anything like that. For me, the first 10 OTAs I was thinking a bunch. This is brand new. I think the last three days in mini-camp I did a better job. I have a long way to go.”
Webb has the size (6-foot-5, 229 pounds), arm strength, and intelligence to succeed as an NFL quarterback. What he doesn’t have is experience running an NFL offense. He ran a spread offense at Texas Tech and California.
Quarterbacks in a spread offense receive plays from the sideline and rarely, if ever, make adjustments at the line of scrimmage. Webb had never been in a huddle until practicing with the Giants.
Webb knew his flaws before he was drafted, so much that he hired former NFL quarterback and head coach Jim Zorn to teach him about quarterbacking in the NFL. The lessons paid off as he improved his draft positioning in the Senior Bowl.
Webb says that the game is slowing down for him as he learns more and becomes comfortable with what he is doing.
“Here it’s a little slowed down, you’re in the huddle, you’ve got a 15-20 word play to spit out in the huddle, looking your teammates in the eye and they go out and execute it,” he said. “Sometimes I feel I’m going too fast, going through my reads a little too quick instead of slowing down.”
Webb is not going to take the field for at least two years. He’s off to a very good start learning how to quarterback in the NFL, even if he doesn’t give himself any room to breathe.
“I’m a perfectionist, so I’m very hard on myself, very critical,” he said. “I can get better and there’s a lot of things I need to improve on.”