McAdoo Says Smith, Johnson Remain Main Combatants For Gig, But Former Cal Star Is Getting More Reps

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The fight for the Giants’ backup quarterback job is taking on a new dimension.

Heading into the preseason opener, veterans Geno Smith and Josh Johnson seemed to be dueling for the job as Eli Manning’s understudy with third-round draft pick Davis Webb expected to be given a year to learn coach Ben McAdoo’s system as the No. 3 quarterback.

Neither Smith nor Johnson stood out in the Giants’ loss to Pittsburgh last weekend, and McAdoo Thursday left the door open for Webb to fight for the No. 2 job.

McAdoo said Webb is getting more snaps in training camp.

“Today was a little bit of a change of pace,” McAdoo said of the workout in which Webb ran a few extra scout team snaps for Monday’s game in Cleveland. “We are learning to practice on how to prepare for an opponent. So we had some ups and downs today. We were a little slow with our tempo, but that will get better as we move forward. But Davis is going to get an opportunity to take some more snaps in that environment, yes.”

Davis Webb

Giants quarterback Davis Webb in action during a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 11, 2017. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Since the Giants opened camp, Smith and Johnson seemed to be battling for the backup job with Webb not getting many snaps.

“We all have to be careful making assumptions,” McAdoo said. “Josh and Geno are competing right now for the No. 2 spot, and if that doesn’t look the way we want it to look, Davis will get a crack.”

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McAdoo said there is still a lot of time left in camp for Smith and Johnson to step up and win the backup job.

Manning did not play in the 20-12 loss to the Steelers on Saturday night.

Johnson started and completed 5 of 10 passes for 31 yards with a long of nine yards. He was sacked three times.

Smith got off to a quick start after replacing him, hitting 10 of 16 passes for 114 yards, with a long of 21 yards. However, he threw a bad interception and had another pick nullified by a penalty. He also was sacked three times.

Webb, who didn’t play until the fourth quarter, was 8 of 16 for 67 yards with a long of 19. He didn’t turn the ball over.

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How much time Webb gets in the preseason games against Cleveland, the Jets and New England in the next two weeks is uncertain.

Manning will get at least a quarter on Monday night against the Browns and probably a half against the Jets a week from Saturday. With Smith and Johnson also getting time it would appear that Webb’s biggest chunk will come in the preseason finale against the Patriots.

Smith and Johnson would have to play very poorly for Webb to jump into the backup role for the season opener in Dallas, but the veterans have not been consistent in camp. Webb has shown the poise and the knowledge of the offense to be the backup.

NOTES: S Landon Collins returned to practice after missing Tuesday with an illness. … MLB B.J. Goodson (back) also returned to practice. … CB Eli Apple was held out as a precaution because of an ankle that he hurt on Tuesday. … LB Mark Herzlich, one of four holdovers from the team that won the Super Bowl in February 2012, continues to be sidelined with a stinger. Free agent rookie Calvin Munson is pushing him for a spot on the roster. … With social problems around the country, G Justin Pugh said the team watched the movie ‘Detroit,’ a film dealing with the race riots in the city in the 1960s.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)