Davis Webb sat on the couch and asked for a depth chart.
This wasn’t his home couch or the quarterbacks room couch. This was the couch beside the basketball hoop and cubicles that form the New York Giants’ pro personnel department workspace.
Each Friday morning last season, Webb visited.
He didn’t spend last year as just the Giants’ third-string quarterback, readying for relief snaps that ultimately came only in a Week 18 start. Webb also delivered advance scouting reports to quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney each Friday evening or Saturday morning for the opponent who loomed not that week but the next.
What coaching philosophies and backgrounds should the Giants heed as they develop a game plan? Which looming cornerback was stiff but flashed good ball skills, and how best should the offense attack him? Webb embraced spirited debate.
“An extra set of eyes that you wouldn’t think would come from someone on the roster,” Giants pro scout Nick La Testa told Yahoo Sports. “He was always so prepared that it was easy to forget he was actually a player, too, with those responsibilities.”
Such depth of study is unusual even for a roster member compensating for scarce physical reps. But it wasn’t that unusual for Webb, whose contributions during his six-year NFL playing career ranged from playing safety for the Buffalo Bills’ scout-team defense to helping the Giants acclimate to head coach Brian Daboll’s offense before the OTA phase in which coaches were fully permitted to install it.
So after news broke Feb. 23 that the Denver Broncos were hiring Webb as their quarterbacks coach, head coach Sean Payton admitted it was “very unusual” to snatch the Giants’ 28-year-old backup for a team whose No. 1 goal this year should be to revitalize 34-year-old Russell Wilson. The nine-time Pro Bowler debuted in Denver last season with his worst career year, his passer rating dropping from fourth in the league to 27th in just one season. Webb is the most surprising hire of the group tasked with spearheading a rebound.
“It was a little bit happenchance, because I didn’t have the tie,” Payton told Yahoo Sports. “Then, the deeper we kept researching [Webb], the more we were like, ‘Holy cow.’”
Yahoo Sports tracked down previous NFL QBs-turned-coaches and Webb’s colleagues to understand: How will Webb’s perspective as a former player shape his perspective coaching Wilson?
Davis Webb’s coaching career unofficially started years ago
Payton doesn’t remember which endorsement came first, Daboll’s or that of Bills head coach Sean McDermott. But after both vouched for Webb, Payton texted Eli Manning about the rookie who backed up Manning in 2017. Another vote of approval.
So the Broncos interviewed Webb for a staff that features a combined 43 years of NFL coaching experience from Payton and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells taught Payton the importance of including fresh and young perspectives on a staff. Payton says such viewpoints leave him “energized.”
The deeper we kept researching [Webb], the more we were like, ‘Holy cow.’Broncos head coach Sean Payton
Webb’s knowledge, communication skills and poise “blew away” the Broncos, general manager George Paton said. Payton also marveled at Webb’s level of organization and detail when learning Webb has kept and organized every game plan from each of his high school, college and NFL stops. Webb’s personal coaching notes accompany each file.
Those 14 seasons span Webb’s Texas Tech years playing for Kliff Kingsbury and backing up Patrick Mahomes as well as his school record-setting campaign at Cal under Sonny Dykes, which capped off a collegiate career totaling 9,852 yards, 83 touchdowns and 34 interceptions.
Webb has collected game plans that Ben McAdoo tailored to Manning; Todd Bowles tailored to Sam Darnold and Josh McCown; and Brian Daboll tailored to Josh Allen. His 67 career snaps and 40 professional pass attempts — Webb did score a touchdown each by air and ground in his lone start on Jan. 8, 2023 — don’t come close to capturing the perspective he carries into his first official coaching opportunity.
Daboll says Webb helped prepare Allen for games in Buffalo with Friday night call sheet reviews. Webb met with running back and tight end groups to explain a quarterback perspective of an install, also staying after training camp practices and season weeknights to throw routes to skill players. When Daboll was hired as Giants head coach after coordinating the Buffalo o