Much has been made of Davis Webb’s performance in the first preseason game this past Thursday night. Giants fans, myself included, have been part of the debate all offseason to draft a QB or take Barkley. Some are already looking at the grass in the neighbor’s yard and seeing Darnold + Mayfield flashing. It’s safe to say that the first, second and third picks have all “hit” on the requisite talent. All 3 showed they belong on the big stage. Can the Giants get their heir apparent at QB?
Webb’s problem is his accuracy. Right now it looks like he has enough command for many of the other parts of the game. I’m not worried about the clock running out at the end of the first half. As long as my coach isn’t Andy Reid, that shouldn’t be a problem. It’s the accuracy. Can that be corrected? Maybe. Maybe not.
There once was a time when it took many years for QBs to find their way in the NFL. Then Dan Marino came along and broke the mold. As the years went on, QBs made more progress earlier, benefiting from playing Pro-style offenses in college. We want QBs to make the jump faster and faster. It’s a question whether Jim Harbaugh, who took ~6 years to get his groove, would make it today.
Webb’s mechanics look better. He was “just” too high and too far on his WR throws. When he checked down to the RB, he was better. Not great. Better. Can he get the accuracy? Bulls are on Twitter saying be patient, it’s his first game in a year. Bears are saying that he should have been much further along. I’ve got a little of both.
Can accuracy be found? Troy Aikman, like him or not, has said that that is what you scout in college. I’m in agreement. Wonder wants the arm, believing that good mechanics can be taught, which will bring requisite accuracy. He explains that a strong arm plus good mechanics enable a QB to make throws with better accuracy over time. I want to see that natural accuracy. There are QBs who have it and everyone else does not.
It’s very early, but it looks like Mayfield and Darnold have that “natural” accuracy. We put that in quotes because anyone who watched Montana would know he had that, but that Bill Walsh would make his players practice the intermediate throws incessantly in the “West Coast Offense” so that the timing/accuracy was there. He strived for perfection because he knew that that delivered the YAC. Can accuracy be found in practice? Absolutely.
QBs like Eli Manning and Phil Simms won Super Bowls. Neither were naturally accurate. They practiced over and over. And then 4 years later Manning hit Plaxico in Green Bay and he looked the part. And then Phil Simms hits Bobby Johnson on 4th & 17 and he looked the part. I’ve never seen a more perfect pass ever than the one to Mario Manningham on the left sideline that set up the go-ahead score to win XLVI.
Davis Webb will either get accuracy in time or he will not. The good news is that Pat Shurmur is the QB whisperer, so if anyone can help him, it’s the Giants head coach. The great news for Giants fans is that Webb still has time. This is what Wonder refers to when he talks about being drafted to the right team. Webb has the right situation here in NY to develop. Patience and time are required. He has both because he plays behind the human gumby.
Kyle Lauletta has accuracy. He looked good. For all of this talking about Webb, Lauletta had greater ease at finding his receiver. We will have to watch that as well.
Gettleman has chosen the roster’s path. The one thing I know I am right about is this: if you give a mediocre QB a solid OL, he’ll be able to play, and if you give a good/great QB a bad OL, he’ll struggle. Keep building that OL and good things will happen. Blake Bortles is a reminder that if you protect your QB you can get it done. The Giants have enough right now at QB. They need more at OL. Maybe, just maybe, by the time Manning is done, Lauletta or Webb will be ready along with an OL that is ready to help them. (It’s really a shame how many years of Manning’s prime were wasted without adequate help up front. That’s a discussion for another day.) For now, Webb has the luxury of time to find his accuracy. I think Manning will have two more years (18 and 19). Webb needs to find his accuracy in that time.