*Rookie QB Davis Webb took first-team snaps at practice on Wednesday: *
Wednesday was like any other practice for Davis Webb in the sense that he lined up against the Giants' first-team defense. But today he played at even strength with starters on his side.
The rookie third-round draft choice, who has been running the scout team as the third-string quarterback all season, took reps with the first team for the first time since summer. The Giants typically carve out eight plays in practice where their starting offense goes against the starting defense, as opposed to one side showing looks they expect to see from the upcoming opponent. Eli Manning is usually under center for those reps, but Webb took six of the eight today in the buildup to the team's Week 16 game at Arizona.
"We're amping him up a little bit," interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "I've told you before that he's always preparing like he's going to be a two or maybe even play in the games. So the preparation is the same, but we just wanted to make sure we got him some reps on the field."
"I was excited," Webb said. "I got told yesterday and it's an opportunity for me to work on the things that got worked on behind the scenes in my preparation throughout the year. Eli has been getting most of the reps, along with Geno [Smith], so it kind of got me a chance to be thrown in there and actually go through it myself, have the o-line hear my calls and see the receivers see my signals. It was cool, it was a cool experience, and I got better from it today."
So how did he do?
"I think I did good," Webb said. "It was my first time getting reps in a little bit and in a team setting and I think I did a pretty good job. And again, there's things I need to work on obviously, but I think I did a pretty solid job."
"I thought he made some good calls," Manning said, "and got us in some better plays, some good checks and ran the offense well."
With 11 days left in the season, Webb has yet to be active for a game, while Manning has started 13 out of 14 weeks. Geno Smith started in Week 13, which opened the door for questions about if and when Webb would see game action this season. However, following the dismissals of head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese the Monday after Smith's start in Oakland, Spagnuolo returned to Manning and has stuck with him.
"I keep going back to it and I'm just being honest with you, I'm focused on winning the football game and to me, winning the football game is with Eli Manning," Spagnuolo said. "And should it be anything else, that's – I don't know – probably something bad happened. I prefer to have Eli Manning in there winning. I'm worried about this game first. I know we have two, but that's my preference."
Manning, a 14-year veteran who threw 57 passes last week against the Eagles, the second-most of his career, welcomed the breather.
"They told me. Spags told me earlier in the week [that Webb would get those reps in practice]," Manning said. "Late in the year. You don't mind getting a few reps off and let him get some reps. It's all good."
Interims like Spagnuolo are always in precarious positions because they have to balance the present and future of the organization. But there remains no change in the depth chart at this point.
"I want to do what's in the best interest of the organization, but I do know the organization wants to win football games," Spagnuolo said. "That has never changed. That's why when I say to you that my mind is on that, it truly is on that, and we'll do whatever we can to win the football game."
*Safety Landon Collins (ankle), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion) and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) did not practice today at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The following players were limited: cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring), center Brett Jones (ankle), and safeties Darian Thompson (knee) and Nat Berhe (hamstring). Tight end Rhett Ellison (groin/finger) and wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring) were full participants.
*Dave Gettleman, a 30-year NFL veteran who spent four seasons as the Carolina Panthers' general manager and 15 as a personnel executive in the Giants organization, today interviewed for the vacant general manager's position. Gettleman interviewed with team president John Mara, chairman Steve Tisch, and former general manager Ernie Accorsi, who is consulting with the franchise on the selection process. Gettleman joined the Giants in 1998, which was Accorsi's first season as general manager.