Pat Shurmur addressed Davis Webb's role at minicamp and Odell Beckham Jr.'s status:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – It's a popular perception that the Giants' current voluntary minicamp is a three-day audition for Davis Webb.
The second-year quarterback didn't take a regular-season snap as a rookie in 2017. He is learning a new offense and trying to impress a new head coach. And he can perhaps solidify his standing as the team's potential future starting quarterback with a strong performance, no small factor with the Giants owning the second overall choice in the NFL Draft in just two days.
But one important figure doesn't want Webb practicing with that burden on his shoulders – the new coach, Pat Shurmur.
"I think, for him, there has been a lot that has been made of this is like his tryout," Shurmur said. "Well, I don't think so. I think he's just like every other player out here. They're trying to take what we give them and then go out here and execute and try to execute at a high level. I don't think there needs to be any anxiety on his part – get trained up, come on out here, let it rip and mistakes happen in practice and you learn from them. I think that's why you practice, so I think you have to be careful about making a final evaluation on a guy in a three-day period here. He just needs to come out here and get as good as he can be."
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard is close to Webb and confident his friend and teammate can be a successful NFL starting quarterback.
"I don't see why not," Shepard said. "If he works hard and keeps doing what he's doing and has the same attitude, I don't see why not. He's been learning a lot from Eli (Manning) and what better guy to learn from than Eli?
"I've been with Davis going over the offense. He lives in the same building as me, so I'm fortunate to have him with me. I go over the plays with him every night. He's a guy that studies really hard, knows the offense like the back of his hand already. He's been in here the whole offseason, so I try to surround myself with guys like that and just work tremendously hard. That's all you can ask from a guy in his position. He knows the new offense, I wouldn't say like the back of his hand, but he knows it pretty well. He's been up here throughout the whole offseason and has been going over some stuff, so he knows it pretty well."
Barring an unexpected development, Webb will still have to wait his turn behind Manning, who is preparing for his 15th season as the Giants starter. Shurmur is enjoying his first opportunity to work with Manning.
"It's a real joy," he said. "I've said all along that he's the fittest 37-year-old that I've ever seen. I see a guy that genuinely cares. I see a guy in the latter stages of his career that wants to learn a new offense just like he's a rookie. He's got that enthusiasm and I'm looking forward to seeing him lead our team."
The Giants take the field for the first day of voluntary minicamp!
*For the second consecutive year, one of the most common offseason pursuits is discerning if Odell Beckham, Jr. is here and if so, what exactly he's doing. Shurmur got right into the flow at his initial news conference.
"He's here and he's been here," Shurmur said. "He's going through his rehab to get fully cleared, so he was able to be involved in the walkthrough (this morning), but as we get going here competitive full speed, he won't be able to participate this afternoon."
Asked if he's "planning" for Beckham to be with the team this season, Shurmur said, "Absolutely. He's an excellent player, he's part of our team and he's a very valued member of our team. Everybody that's out here, I'm planning on them being here."
Beckham missed most of last season after breaking his ankle on Oct. 8. Shepard has no doubt his running mate will return to the form that made him the NFL's most electrifying player in his first three seasons.
"I don't think he'll have a problem," Shepard said. "If you've seen the videos of him running around he looks good to go right now. I think the training room is kind of saving him from himself right now. He wants to get out and run around and do a whole bunch of stuff, but they're kind of holding him back. I've been with him and have been training with him a bit and to be honest, I forget that he got hurt sometimes."
*One player noticeably not there is Ereck Flowers, who was scheduled to move from left to right tackle after the acquisition last month of Nate Solder.
"He's not here, so there's not really much to say," Shurmur said. "That's my feelings. … We understand that this is a program that is voluntary. I tend to believe it is very necessary, but he's not here. So, when he is here, we will start to talk about him."
*When Brandon Marshall was released last week, the Giants were left with just two receivers that with more than 45 career catches – Beckham and Shepard. So it's no surprise Shurmur was asked about the team's depth at that position.
"Well, we'll see," Shurmur said. "There's a lot of players that I know but I haven't seen them work yet, so we'll know more as we go through these next three days."