When the New York Giants traded up in the fourth round during last year's NFL Draft to snare Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, all sorts of postulations were bandied about. Was he being brought in as Eli Manning's heir apparent? If not, then perhaps he'll be used as trade bait?
Both questions have still yet to be answered, but things are moving along for Nassib in his second season with the Giants. He is working in a new offense, one that is a better set for his skills. After a season in which he saw no action whatsoever, Nassib is excited to be back under center.
"I like it," said Nassib of the new offense. "It’s nice to kind of get something new, get the guys excited again. I’m just happy to be out there throwing the ball around again."
While others are hustling up to learn the new system, Nassib feels the game slowing down for him after a tumultuous 2013.
"My system in college was primarily West Coast so there was some carryover from college to Coach McAdoo’s system," he said. "It’s something that I’ve done in the past, which I kind of got away from last year. Now that we’re back in and stuff, the lessons that I’ve learned in the past are kind of becoming relevant again. It’s been nice to be able to have that background now when I’m trying to learn something new."
Nassib was asked if McAdoo's "attack-style" strategy will help more than Kevin Gilbride's vertical passing game plan.
"Yeah, more or less," Nassib said. "Getting the ball out quick, having a good running game and playing fast, which is something that I think I do pretty well and something that I fit pretty well into."
With Manning seeing limited action and Curtis Painter still laid up, Nassib, who was an afterthought once the regular season began in 2013, is getting a good share of the snaps these days.
"During his rehab I’ve gotten a chance to get a few more reps with him being a little limited. It helps me develop, helps me get a little bit of a better feel with receivers and the system as a whole," Nassib admitted.
His goal is not to replace Manning, but to win the No. 2 QB job as Manning's primary backup.
"That’s the goal right now, to secure that backup spot," Nassib said. "We have a great competition going on in our room. We have some great guys in there. We’re all learning, we’re all grinding right now, helping each other. It is what it is."
Maybe Nassib will turn out to be a useful Giant after all. The new offense and a calendar year under his belt may have been just what he needed.
"I think my progress from this offseason compared to last year is like night and day," he said. "I didn’t have to deal with the draft and all of those workouts and stuff like that like I had last year. Now all I have to do is focus in on what we have to do here."
And with most of the other QBs on the shelf, he'll get to do just that.