Already, it is clear Pat Shurmur is not interested in publically evaluating his depth chart. Even what seems to be obvious is not up for discussion.
All summer, Eli Manning has taken the first-team reps, befitting his status as the starting quarterback. Davis Webb has taken the second-team reps, commensurate with his role as the No. 2 quarterback and rookie Kyle Lauletta picked up the third-team work. This certainly appears to be the pecking order, further highlighted by the way Shurmur handled the final preseason game. Manning did not play and neither did Webb. Lauletta started and played into the third quarter before giving way to Alex Tanney, who is expected to be among the cuts when the Giants on Saturday trim their roster.
The Giants will keep three quarterbacks this season and, after Manning, neither Webb nor Lauletta has ever played in an NFL regular-season game.
Asked how confident he would be if the backup, Webb. would have to play, Shurmur on Friday said “I feel confident with all three of those guys,’’ referring not only to Webb but also Lauletta and Tanney.
Shurmur has never officially stamped Webb as the backup. The previous regime of general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Ben McAdoo made Webb a 2017 third-round pick. The current regime of Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman made Lauletta a 2018 fourth-round pick.
Webb did not exactly know what to think of not playing at all in the final preseason game and said he hoped it was because he he set as the No. 2 quarterback.
“With regard to his game reps, we felt like he’s had lots of reps this year whether it be practice, and really he had the most of anybody in the games as well,” Shurmur said of Webb. “As it had less to do about Davis and more to do about Kyle. We wanted to see what we had in Kyle and so that’s why we started him behind the second line. I just didn’t want to put Davis back in there at the end. We also wanted to take a really good look at Tanney. That was what went into it.’’
The cut-down from 90 players to 53 might not be kind to safety Darian Thompson, who has missed several weeks with a strained hamstring.
“We’ve just got to sort through that,” Shurmur said. “Unfortunately, he’s been dealing with that hamstring and he hasn’t been able to get out there and show us what he can do, so we’re just going to have to see how this weekend plays out.”
Thompson, a 2016 third-round pick, started all 16 games at free safety in 2017.
Manning knows about dealing with contract negotiations while getting ready for a season and said he hoped Odell Beckham Jr. would not get distracted by his talks. Beckham last week signed a five-year extension worth up to $95 million.
“I was excited for Odell because of that reason,” Manning said. “I didn’t want that to be a distraction going into week 1. I think he has done a great job of not making it a distraction. Not talking about it, not making it an issue with the team. He has been at practice and done everything he is supposed to do.”
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