Davis Webb might be the Giants' quarterback of the future, but the Giants are really still all about the present. They are absolutely convinced they have one more championship run in them during the Eli Manning Era. They have no thoughts about pushing Manning out the door just yet.
That's why Ben McAdoo was absolutely right when he told reporters on Tuesday that Manning's job isn't to develop Webb. His job is to play well and win. This isn't another situation like it was in 2004, when Kurt Warner was here and winning was secondary because everyone knew Manning was the Giants' immediate future.
The Giants need Manning so they don't waste what could be a golden opportunity. And McAdoo needs Manning, because if they can't win together than in 2020 Webb may end up playing for some other coach.
"Eli needs to do his job, he needs to focus on getting ready to go out and play at a high level this year and be a good teammate like he always is,'' McAdoo said. "I'm sure the young guy is going to have some questions for him, but it's not Eli's job to get anybody ready to play this season and it's not Eli's job to go out and develop another quarterback. That's not his job description. His job is to prepare and perform."
That should be a no-brainer, of course, given that the Giants have spent millions upon millions the last two offseasons to build a team that is ready to win now. They know how rare it is to have a championship-caliber franchise quarterback, and they know their window to win with him is closing fast. If they wanted to look to the future they wouldn't have spent $200 million on the defense last offseason or added a weapon like veteran receiver Brandon Marshall this offseason.
Those aren't the moves a team makes when they know they're about to transition to a young quarterback whose talent is untapped and future is unknown.
This is all about Manning and all about winning now. The selection of Webb was about the Giants seizing an opportunity to maybe solidify their down-the-road transition from one franchise quarterback to another. This wasn't about pushing Manning aside or McAdoo's desire for a different quarterback to run his offense. The McAdoo-Manning pairing has been pretty successful for three years - two of which featured Top 10 offenses, and then 11 wins and a playoff berth last year. Their relationship is such that Manning strongly endorsed McAdoo when Tom Coughlin was fired after the 2015 season.
And a big reason McAdoo was hired was because of his work and relationship with Manning, and ownership's desire for continuity so they didn't have to start from scratch and waste the final years of Manning's career.
None of that has changed because Webb is on board.
So when McAdoo talks about the "competition" in the quarterback room now, or even how Manning is "going to get pushed from Josh (Johnson) and Geno (Smith)" don't get too caught up in his words. Much like when McAdoo criticized Manning back in March for his part in the team's offensive struggles, it's not a sign of anything other than a coach trying to spark his quarterback.
Because McAdoo needs Manning to be at his best for the Giants to succeed.
"Any time you have players in the room with the skill sets that they have, you want to go out and perform well," McAdoo said. "I think Eli is going to prepare to go out and play at a high level, like he always does."
That's his hope for the present, without any regard for the future. Manning's contract runs through 2019 so there's plenty of time to get Webb ready. That's not what Manning needs to worry about right now.