When the New York Giants traded up and chose quarterback Ryan Nassib in the 2013 NFL Draft, it left a large number of people scratching their heads. Why would a team with a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback possibly spend a mid-round pick on a project back-up?
That question was only compounded when the Giants opted to go with three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, leaving Nassib as an inactive for all 16 games behind Curtis Painter. But, while making the media rounds on Thursday, General Manager Jerry Reese finally addressed all of those questions and concerns.
"You always want to have a guy that can back up. … A guy you think can carry a team and win a couple of games for you," Reese said. "He was here for the whole season, went through all the practices and OTAs and leaned what the National Football League is about. He's gonna be fighting for the No. 2 spot next year"
"We always want Eli to stay healthy, but if Eli's not healthy, we hope [Nassib] is a guy we can put in there, a talented football player that's been a winner, that we can put in there and he can win some games for us."
Reese went on to add that he felt Nassib got more confident as practices progressed on this past season, and that "without question" the youngster was able to pick up on things he'd need to succeed at an NFL level.
For co-owner John Mara, practices may not be enough. While making the media rounds himself, Mara was quite blunt in that he wants to see a lot more out of Nassib, primarily in the preseason, next year.
“I want to see [Nassib] play as much as possible,” Mara said, referring to the preseason. “I want to know what we have.”
Ultimately, Nassib doesn't sound like a potential Manning replacement so as much as a security blanket in the event Manning goes down at some point in his career. Odds are we'll see plenty of him in next season's four preseason game, but little else beyond that. Such is life behind the NFL's ironman.
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