John Mara: Premature to call Davis Webb Eli Manning’s heir apparent

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After the Giants took quarterback Davis Webb in the third round of the draft, it wasn’t hard to find people talking about him as the heir apparent to current starter Eli Manning.

Manning turned 36 this year and the team spent time with several quarterback prospects after a down season for the offense in 2016, leading to discussion inside and outside the team about how long Manning might continue to be the man for the Giants. While it’s natural to draw a line between those things and the Webb selection, Giants co-owner John Mara said it is one that should be written in pencil at this point.

“I think it’s a little premature to be anointing this guy as the heir apparent to Eli, he hasn’t set foot on the field yet. But he’s got a lot of talent and we’re looking forward to seeing what we got when he gets here,” Mara said on The Rich Eisen Show. “As Bill Parcells used to say, let’s not get his bust ready for Canton just yet. Listen he’s a talented guy, but let’s let him get on the field, let’s let him get on the field, let’s let him play in the preseason and develop. If he’s the successor, that’s great. If not, we’ll find somebody else.”

The question about whether Webb’s fit to be Manning’s successor isn’t likely to be answered at any point in 2017. They’d be fine with 2018 as another year of learning and watching, although it won’t be long before there’s some pressure to know if they will need to find somebody else for the inevitable moment when Manning is no longer under center.

22 responses to “John Mara: Premature to call Davis Webb Eli Manning’s heir apparent

  1. .
    It’s a rarity for someone to walk off a college campus and start for an NFL team. Most often fans won’t have any real evidence of a young QBs ability until preseason in year two. At that point, they’ve been in the system for a full year and will usually be given extended play time to display their talents for better or worse.

  2. Didn’t Peyton and Brady just win Super Bowls in their very late 30s? I don’t think teams should be too anxious to bench proven Super Bowl winning QBs. The media generally wants a QB controversy on every team. Teams should always be developing QBs, but Eli’s heir apparent could be 2 drafts away.

  3. As we all know, Eli has a lot of career picks (less than favre, blanda, tarkenton, snead, unitas, marino, peyton, hart, layne, fouts, moon, elway, brodie, stabler, tittle and brees)
    so obviously eli is a lousy QB who isnt going to the HOF.


  4. If he’s the successor, that’s great. If not, we’ll find somebody else.”

    This sums it up. Webb will have his shot to try to follow Manning’s shoes. But the odds are against him and if he fails, they’ll keep trying to find the next Eli. My guess is, they’ll still be trying long after Eli retires. Franchise stabilizing QBs like Eli don’t come around often. And John Mara knows this better than anyone.

  5. John Mara is a lying SOB whose claim to fame is that his daddy owned a football team. Shut up you as swipe.

  6. Eli is going to be the quarterback for another 4 years. He’s durable, hasn’t shown decline, and will not be supplanted within that time.

    Whoever they select 2-3 years from now will be the heir apparent.

  7. Clearly Webb is not the “heir apparent” because he isn’t even yet listed as No.2 on the depth chart.

    “Heir Apparent” is one of the most misunderstood and misused terms in the US – and elsewhere. People think it merely means the “apparent” successor to whatever job/mantle/prestige the current holder has, but the correct term for that is “Heir Presumptive”.

    Whilst alive, an “Heir Apparent” CANNOT EVER be replaced or supplanted by the arrival of another in the line of succession. Clearly, in sports, any backup (even one intended to succeed the current starter) can be traded or pushed down the depth chart by another, and so “heir apparent” is never an applicable term.

  8. I thought Parcells said, “Let’s not put him on roller skates for Canton, just yet.” referring to Rodney Hampton after he scampered for an 80 yard pre-season TD run!

  9. A 3rd round pick, in a weak QB class, with many QBs selected ahead of him, doesn’t say much.
    What are his odds of being an average QB – 5%?

  10. Bullcharger is correct.

    This kid webb is a safety valve who the Giants thought was the BPA…in round 3.

    Eli has 3 years left on his contract and there is nothing saying he couldnt play another 2 years after that. Eli’s actual replacement is likely in HS or a college freshman.

  11. Don’t worry, he won’t be unless the goal is to get back to the Dave Brown days at QB. Manning is near the end, but this won’t be the guy who is going to replace him long term.

  12. Considering who they have in their QB room behind Eli, it’s a reasonable belief.

    It sure isn’t Geno Smith, the turnover machine.

    It sure isn’t Josh Johnson. Who?

    So it could be very well be Davis Webb to get the next shot, who has more brains and arm talent than the other two by a long shot.

  13. Here come the Patriots* fans to bash Eli and comment on a Giants article that has nothing to do with them.

    Guaranteed. Every time.

  14. I watched all of Webb’s games at CAL, and he doesn’t scream franchise QB at the NFL level. Pluses: Extremely hard worker and a leader. He transferred as a graduate his senior year, and within a month had won over his new teammates and became captain. He’ll be a coach one day.

    If Webb fails in the NFL it won’t be from lack of effort. Who knows how he’ll do in the league. He’s in a pretty good system and will get an opportunity to learn from a very good QB.

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