Davis Webb did all he could this summer to make the team. Kenny Golladay didn’t do much of anything, really, to stick around.
Webb will find out soon enough if he is on the roster as the No. 3 quarterbacks or once again shipped out to the practice squad. Golladay, the enigmatic wide receiver, is almost impossible to jettison.
These are two of the main takeaways from the Giants out of Sunday’s preseason finale, a 31-27 loss to the Jets at MetLife Stadium that featured the best of Webb and very little from Golladay.
Head coach Brian Daboll opted to keep Daniel Jones on the sideline, with most of the starting players, using backup Tyrod Taylor at the beginning of the game. Webb expected to play the final three quarters but was summoned earlier than that. Taylor, after completing a 25-yard pass to rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger, was leveled by Jets rookie defensive lineman Micheal Clemons, who landed on him with the full weight of his 263 pounds.
Taylor left the game with a back injury and did not return.
“He should be OK,” Daboll said. “I don’t think it’s anything. He just landed hard. I talked to him at halftime and he said he’s OK.”
Webb handled the workload with the second- and third-team players, completing 30 of 38 passes for 202 yards, including a pinpoint 18-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Austin Allen on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the Giants a 24-17 lead.
“He’s been in the offense for a while, I think you can tell he feels fairly comfortable in our scheme,” Daboll said of Webb, who was with Daboll in Buffalo on the Bills’ practice squad the past three years. “We know what he likes. He’s done a really good job since he’s been here. “I have a lot of confidence in Davis. I’ve seen him grow a lot the last few years I’ve been with him. The fundamentals, the way he plays the position, his decision-making process. The last few years he’s gotten better and better.”
Webb completed 60 of 81 passes for 457 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in his three preseason games. Is he on the roster as the No. 3 quarterbacks? The roster gets trimmed to 53 on Tuesday.
Webb was selected by the Giants in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, spent one season on the practice squad but was cut the following summer, passed over for Kyle Lauletta. He looked far more poised and polished in his second go-round with the Giants.
“This was the best preseason I’ve had,” Webb said. “I think that was a credit to the offensive line, the coaches, [offensive coordinator Mike] Kafka did a great job calling plays. It was a lot of fun this preseason. Hopefully it works out.”
Taylor should be ready to serve as Jones’ backup in two weeks in the season opener against the Titans. How much time Golladay gets on the field in Nashville remains to be seen.
The most noteworthy personnel deployment by Daboll was the decision to start Golladay at one of the wide receiver spots. The veteran put in an uneven and often quiet training camp and did little in the first two preseason games — one reception for 6 yards, plus a drop of a Jones pass near the goal line.
Daboll said he started all his healthy receivers — Kadarius Toney was not available and Sterling Shepard was held out. In his limited work (14 snaps) against the Jets, Golladay was targeted once and did not have a catch. In the preseason, Golladay played 51 snaps and was targeted only four times, with one reception for 6 yards, according to NexGen Stats.
“He’s done a good job with what we’ve asked him to do,” Daboll said. “Played multiple spots for us. He’s continued to learn our offense, I think he’s done a good job of learning it. I know numbers and catches and all that, I got all that. He’s done what we’ve asked him to do.”
Huh huh? The previous front office gave Golladay a four-year contract worth $72 million and he is virtually uncuttable this season, as letting him go would cost the Giants $4.3 million against the salary cap and create more than $35 million in dead money.
Asked if Golladay’s roster spot is in danger, Daboll said, “Look, all those receivers are competing. Kenny’s had a good camp. [General manager] Joe [Schoen] and I will sit back and we’ll talk about everybody.”
Told this did not sound like a commitment to Golladay, Daboll said, “I’m not going to commit to anybody being on the roster or not being on the roster until I sit down with Joe. We have a lot to talk about. That’s really not what I meant.”