College teammate of Patrick Mahomes? Check.
Teammate of Eli Manning as an NFL rookie? Check.
The past three years, a teammate of Josh Allen? Check.
Davis Webb has been in the same meeting room with three greats at the quarterback position, a room he now shares with Daniel Jones in Webb’s second go-around with the Giants. Webb’s eyes are more educated than most, as he declined the position of quarterback coach with the Bills for the 2022 season to keep his playing career alive for as long as possible.
One day, Webb will indeed be coaching quarterbacks in the NFL. For today, he is getting to know Daniel Jones and says something about the Giants’ starter that sounds somewhat starting.
“He’s the hardest-working quarterback I’ve been around,” Webb said Thursday after organized team activity practice No. 9. “He’s probably the smartest quarterback I’ve been around.”
Now, hold on there. Webb has been around Mahomes, Manning and Allen. How can he make these claims about Daniel Jones?
“He has really good questions in meetings, takes really good notes, he’s always looking to improve, weight room, practice field, meeting room, he’s just all in, and it’s fun to have a teammate like that,” Webb said. “Cares that much and brings the most out of his teammates. He’s a dang good football player. I think he’s gonna have his best year.”
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A harder worker than Mahomes, Manning and Allen? Smarter, too? Webb acknowledged Manning was 35 when he called him a teammate in 2017 and that Jones cannot yet match that experience.
“He’s pretty smart for 25, a lot smarter than I was two years ago,” Webb said.
Webb’s indoctrination and first stay with the Giants was brief and, at times, bizarre. Ben McAdoo, the head coach and a strong evaluator of quarterbacks, never even saw or scouted Webb when the Giants made him a third-round pick in the 2017 draft.
Webb sat behind Manning, and McAdoo deemed Webb not yet ready when the franchise decision was made to get the younger quarterbacks (Geno Smith and Webb) playing time down the stretch of a lost season. McAdoo’s plan was to start Smith on the road to face the Raiders in Week 13 and then get Webb ready to move in two weeks later, against the Eagles. Manning went to the bench — ending his streak of 210 regular-season starts — Smith started and lost and, the next day, McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese were fired. Manning was reinstated and Webb never got a shot.
“It was a good learning experience, both as a player and as a coach down the road,” Webb said. “Write it down, and if that ever comes up, I have a good foundation of what to do and what not to do.”
Webb was released late in the summer of 2018, spent that season on the Jets’ practice squad and the past three years impressed the coaching staff in Buffalo on the Bills’ practice squad. His NFL totals: One game played, consisting of two kneel-downs in a rout of the Jets last season.
Webb could have launched his coaching career this season with the Bills but eschewed that offer to sign with the Giants, reuniting with head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen. Webb knows Daboll’s playbook from their time together with the Bills and should be a valuable resource for Jones and Tyrod Taylor as they learn the new offense.
“I have great appreciation for Davis, as a person first, and how he goes about his business,” Daboll said. “He’s excellent in the meeting rooms. He’s good with the other positions. It’s good to have people that know your system, no question about it, but I want him to go out there and play quarterback, too. He’s bounced around a little bit in the league. We’ll give him an opportunity to go out there and play.”
Webb says he thinks of himself as wearing two hats, one as a player and the other as a mentor, based on his intricate knowledge of Daboll’s offense.
To help facilitate the learning process for Jones and Taylor, Webb actually dialed up a fairly famous quarterback for a tutorial. The Giants, with new offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, are incorporating a portion of the playbook used by the Chiefs. Webb this offseason got in touch with Mahomes, his former Texas Tech teammate, whom helped break down film of several plays in the Kansas City offense for the Giants’ quarterbacks.
“Some things from his point of view,” Webb said. “Mike does a great job installing all the plays every single day, and it always helps to have somebody that’s run it too to speak on it.”
Webb walked in this spring and saw only three players from the Giants’ 2017 roster still with the team: Sterling Shepard, Saquon Barkley and Nick Gates. His goal is to make the 53-man roster, which will only be possible if Daboll opts to keep three quarterbacks. It could be another season on the practice squad.
“We have a good room, so it’s gonna be tough,” Webb said.
For now, Webb is a player. And also a very involved teammate.