The New York Giants' back-up quarterback scenario isn’t exactly where they would like it to be. Despite descriptions of abysmal play from second-year player and former fourth-round pick Ryan Nassib, he still represents the best option for the Giants as the backup quarterback and showed why in preseason opener. It’s not that there aren’t better options available elsewhere, Nassib simply has more upside than his current competition in Curtis Painter, but at the moment is only arguably better than the veteran.
Though Nassib had himself a good showing against the Buffalo Bills and was able to move the team down the field with 139 yards passing on some tight throws, as well as a 73-yard touchdown pass to Corey Washington, he struggled a few times as well, looking like a rookie on occasion.
With an intentional grounding call, a would-be interception thrown right to a defender (it was called back due to a penalty), and a slightly underthrown deep ball to Washington to name a few errors, Nassib was still able to produce an effective outing that should provide him with confidence entering the Giants second preseason game. Head coach Tom Coughlin echoed similar sentiments regarding Nassib’s performance.
“I thought Ryan, for the most part, did a good job,” Coughlin told the New York Daily News. “For the most part, he did direct his team and he did throw the ball well enough.” He later added, “The one interception that was overruled was a very bad play.”
Nassib led the Giants to a win and seemingly outplayed Curtis Painter, who for the second year in a row did nothing special or even average. At this point the Giants should know that their chances of winning any games without Eli Manning are pretty slim considering their current options. At the very least Nassib has upside and could grow to be at least a game manager if given the playtime. Painter has had years in the NFL and hasn’t really shown much.
Keeping Painter on the roster simply because he is a veteran would be a waste of a roster spot. One can understand the decision to keep him last year, as Nassib was a rookie, but not in his second year, not if the other play is Curtis Painter, and not when other young and even rookie quarterbacks have had glimpses of success just by being thrown in the fire. In the hypothetical instance of injury to Eli Manning, the Giants should rather have Nassib play and learn than have Painter try to manage a few games while not really doing anything.
The best case scenario for the Giants at the quarterback position would be if Nassib can really outplay Painter and win the job in the team’s second or third preseason game. This way the competition would essentially be over and Nassib would get the majority of the playing time for the remainder of the preseason and that could help him develop even faster. The Giants would also save a roster spot if Painter were cut, that spot could be filled by potentially signing another veteran running back if Peyton Hillis’ ankle continues to bother him or perhaps even another wide receiver like Corey Washington or Marcus Harris if either continues to impress in the preseason.
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Tags: Corey Washington, Curtis Painter, Eli Manning, Football, Marcus Harris, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Peyton Hillis, Ryan Nassib
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