Ex-Giants QB Warned About Entering ‘Raging Inferno’ in New Coaching Gig

Davis Webb

Getty A former New York Giants QB has been warned he's entering a "raging inferno" in his new job.

Davis Webb swapped trying to become a Pro Bowl quarterback for coaching one. It’s a bold career change, but Webb’s decision to leave the New York Giants and become Russell Wilson’s position coach with the Denver Broncos could be a cautionary tale, according to NBC Sports’ Peter King.

In his latest Football Morning in America column, King warned Webb will be entering “into a raging inferno” in his first year of coaching. King also marvelled at how quickly the stakes of Webb’s career have changed and gone up a notch: “Webb goes from starting for the Giants in their regular-season finale to coaching Wilson six weeks later.”

Webb, originally a third-round pick for the Giants in the 2017 NFL draft, faces the imposing task of getting Wilson back on track after a horrid 2022 campaign. If he succeeds, the Giants will be left wondering why they didn’t add Webb to the staff, especially since the team may need a credible succession plan for offensive coordinator Mike Kafka a year from now.

Former Giants Quarterback Davis Webb Took Risk With Career Swap

Webb’s decision to join the Broncos was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

As Schefter pointed out, Webb has traded in playing to coach a player six years his senior. The age gap isn’t prohibitive to his success, but the difference in the track records of Wilson and Webb could damage the latter’s credibility on the practice field and sideline.

While Wilson has nine Pro Bowl berths and a Super Bowl title on his CV, Webb played in just two games, starting one, in six years. His nomadic career included stints on the practice squads for the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Giants.

Wilson may find Webb a curious source of advice, even if new Broncos’ head coach Sean Payton is likely to take the lead in reshaping the veteran QB1. Payton also has connections to the Giants after serving as offensive coordinator from 2000-’02.

Helping Drew Brees win a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints cemented Payton’s status as a QB whisperer, but he needs all the help he can get with Wilson. The latter threw 11 interceptions, compared to just 16 touchdowns, after the Broncos traded five draft picks and three players to get him.

Wilson had two multiple-interception games, including against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 15:

He was guilty of 70 poor throws and posted an on-target percentage of just 73.3 from 292 completions, per Pro Football Reference. There have also been reports Wilson angered those within the Broncos organization by being allowed to work with his own support staff, including a personal coach, nutritionist and physical therapist, according to Kalyn Kahler, Mike Sando and Jayson Jenks of The Athletic.

It all adds up to a tall order for Payton and Webb to revive Wilson’s career. This is a particularly daunting challenge for a young coach who was playing for the Giants against the Philadelphia Eagles as recently as Sunday, January 8.

Interestingly, Payton began his stint with the Giants as quarterbacks coach in 1999. Going from QB coach to OC is a common path for many in the NFL, including Kafka, a play-caller already in demand within head-coaching circles.

Giants Urged to Prepare for Inevitable Coaching Change

Kafka arrived at MetLife Stadium last offseason after serving as Patrick Mahomes’ position coach with the Kansas City Chiefs. His success refining Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones made Kafka a favorite when teams began interviewing for new head coaches this year.

The 35-year-old “interviewed for four of the five openings and was mentioned as a potential candidate for the Broncos job before they hired Sean Payton. Kafka also secured second interviews with the Texans and Cardinals,” per Dan Duggan of The Athletic.

Kafka’s burgeoning reputation as a coach on the rise means Daboll needs a plan to eventually replace him, according to Duggan. The latter has tipped QBs coach Shea Tierney as the next man up thanks to his familiarity with Daboll.

Tierney “has worked with Daboll since they were at Alabama together in 2017. Tierney followed Daboll to Buffalo for four years.”

Promoting the man most closely connected to the improvements in Jones’ mechanics and production makes sense, but the Giants would need to act fast. Tierney has already been tabbed for a coordinator role by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo:

The Bucs ultimately hired Dave Canales, but as Garafolo pointed out, Tierney is on the radar of teams throughout the NFL. Losing one or both of Tierney and Kafka would surely make the Giants regret not giving Webb easy access to a start in coaching.

It’s not as if Daboll didn’t know about Webb’s potential to coach. He was offered the Bills’ quarterbacks coaching job last offseason, according to The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider and Charlotte Carroll.

They also reported, “if the cards fell right, Webb could have potentially been the Giants’ quarterbacks coach this upcoming season.” The move would have made sense.

He knows Daboll and his playbook well and has a rapport with key players such as Jones and running back Saquon Barkley. Webb would have ensured a seamless transition for this staff and Jones.

If he helps Wilson, Webb will soon be considered a rising star in his own right and one who got away for the Giants.