The Giants' new regime took a chance. They trusted that QB Davis Webb had the skills necessary to be Eli Manning's backup, and a potential quarterback of the future despite watching zero game tape.
Now, Thursday night's bout against the Browns in the first preseason matchup is Webb's chance to prove Gettleman and Co. they were right.
Webb has been doing well at training camp so far, but what the Giants really want to see first-hand is how he plays against real opponents. He has been stuck practicing for over a year now, which is why there's no surprise he's ready to finally take the MetLife Stadium field for real again.
"Go out there and play as hard as I can and translate what I've been doing on the practice field to the game field, because I think I'm doing a lot of good things on the practice field," Webb said after practice on Tuesday. "I think I've gotten better every day. I think it's easy to see from a year ago, just how much better I am and how much better I'm gonna get."
The practice field has seen a much more confident Webb in his second training camp after being a third-round pick by the Giants last season. Confidence is key in this profession, but controlling it is another thing.
Webb admits that he sometimes has too much faith in his strong arm, and that's something he must be wary of moving forward.
"I have a habit of doing that sometimes," Webb said. "When I'm really feeling good and there's a tight window, I feel I can make most of 'em, but sometimes it gets us in trouble. Play smart and just play the best I can, I think I'll be plenty good enough."
Webb was good enough in former head coach Ben McAdoo's eyes to get game action at the end of the season. After benching Manning for Geno Smith, McAdoo's plan was to have Webb start the final three games of the season.
However, the Giants quickly fired McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese following the Manning fiasco, and Webb's chance to show them what he had blew up. But new head coach Pat Shurmur is excited to see what Webb brings to the table on Thursday, as he has come to like what he sees on the practice field.
"I think along the way I've gained an appreciation for Davis and his skill set and what he's able to do, and so I'm looking forward to seeing it in a game," Shurmur said.
Offensive coordinator Mike Shula added: "He works so hard at it and you can tell it means a lot to him, and it does with a lot of guys, you're always rooting for those guys. I think the biggest thing that Davis, as well as any other young guy going into their second year, is don't try and do too much, just make sound decisions, decisions that help keep our offense on the field. Sometimes those decisions are throw-aways so we can go play the next down, but, yes, I'm excited because he prepares hard and he's talented and he's shown some really good things out there."
The Giants seem to realize Webb has all the intangibles, but Thursday will show them exactly how he can execute his game plan on the field.