Notebook: Coughlin on the Backup Quarterback Decision

The Giants quarterback situation might not be as complicated as that of their stadium neighbors, but they certainly made some minor shock waves this weekend when they decided to keep Curtis Painter over David Carr as Eli Manning’s primary understudy.

Today, head coach Tom Coughlin explained the decision in a little more detail.

“What we saw was (Painter) did make, I thought, more of the throws down the field.” He said. “He did have a couple of opportunities where he brought the team down the field, with the Jet game, the field goal.”

Statistically speaking, Carr had a higher completion percentage (63.6%) than Painter’s 51.0%, and finished with a slightly better passer rating (77.5 to 74.7).

Where Painter pulled ahead of Carr, though, was in his ability to lead the team on the field on scoring drives. Working behind the same second and third-string offensive lines, Painter led the Giants to five scoring drives totaling 19 points. Carr, meanwhile managed just nine points on three drives.

What was also probably a factor in the decision was that Painter engineered five scoring drives for 19 of the Giants’ 71 preseason points while working with the same second- and third-string players as Carr, who only engineered three of 10 drives into nine points.

“They were close. They were very close, but that’s the decision we made,” Coughlin said. “I thought it was a very objective one. There were a bunch of parties involved in that. As you can imagine, pro personnel, (general manager) Jerry Reese, myself, his position coach (Sean Ryan), his coordinator (Kevin Gilbride), so we hope we made the right call.”

One thing, however, that Coughlin did sound concerned about was the ability of both Painter and rookie Ryan Nassib to simulate the different quarterbacks that the Giants will face this season in practice, an underrated yet very important job for the backup quarterback and one that Carr did extremely well in his time here with the team.

“David has done a great job for us here over the years,” Coughlin said. “He’s done a superb job as a scout team quarterback being able to really mimic whatever style we were going to play against and that has to be a consideration for us going forward now too between Ryan and Curtis.

“Those two guys are going to handle all of the quarterback positions and the way in which they differ. They’ll have to handle that throughout the year and hopefully they can do it as well as David has done it in the past.”


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