The Giants come into camp with three QBs behind starter Eli Manning in 2002: No. 1 overall pick David Carr, 2008 sixth rounder Andre Woodson and 2009 fifth round selection Rhett Bomar. Carr played only sparingly last year, but is seen as an improvement to former beloved backup Jared Lorenzen. Here is my breakdown of each player.
Starter: Eli Manning
In 2004 when the Giants traded Phillip Rivers, along with the draft picks that netted the Chargers LB Shawn Merriman and K Nate Kaeding, some thought that the Giants had given up too much just to have the name "Manning."
Eli has not quite played up to the expectations of his surname, but since being named the starting QB for a full season in 2005, the Giants have made the playoffs every year, something that only his brother Peyton can say over that same span.
Manning has yet to miss a start even after injuring his shoulder in Week One of 2007, where he was thought to miss a month. While his numbers don't jump off the screen to impress you, he has played his best when the pressure had been at its highest.
He has delivered the Giants a Super Bowl title, in which he was a part of arguably the greatest play in sports history. Overall, a 76.1 career QB rating ultimately is mediocre at best.
This season will be a true test for Manning without 6'5" WR Plaxico Burress, who shot down his (literally) and the team's chances of winning a second Super Bowl in a row last year. This year, he will also be without the club's all-time leading receiver in Amani Toomer. Manning will have to make due with Domenick Hixon, Steve Smith, and 2009 first rounder Hakeem Nicks.
The big positive for Manning, though, is that he has the big game experience and has never missed a start. The Giants know who their field general will be game after game. Eli Manning is also not a celebrity QB like Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys. Manning also cut his interceptions down from 20 in 2007 to 10 in 2008, but with that led to decreasing TD numbers from 23 to 21.
After this season, the Giants will have to re-sign Manning to a big deal, which I'm not so sure he deserves based on his numbers. No matter what he does the rest of his career, he will ultimately live in big bro Peyton's shadows, and he will always be remembered for the 2:07, 83-yard drive in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII.
Backup: David Carr
David Carr came into the league in 2002 to be the face of a new franchise when he was taken with the No. 1 overall pick. He failed to do that, mostly because of a poor offensive line in front of him.
Carr showed last year against the Vikings, a team that was playing to get into the playoffs, that can be a more than ample backup. Carr, who could go elsewhere to compete for a starting job, chose to re-sign with the Giants and backup starter Eli Manning.
If Manning were to miss his first start ever, Giants fans shouldn't worry about Carr stepping in.
When Woodson was drafted by the Giants in 2008, they were coming off of a Super Bowl win, and this pick was puzzling to Giants fans. GM Jerry Reese said that he was the best player on the board, and he threw for 40 TD his senior year while playing in the ultra competitive SEC while at the University of Kentucky.
Woodson spent the entire 2008 season on the practice squad. He has only attempted nine passes in two preseason games, making it really tough to tell what he will develop into.
He was once a top recruit at the University of Oklahoma, until he was expelled from school for getting paid at a local car dealership without actually showing up for work.
Bomar has talent, though, and if the Giants can develop him, he could become a backup to Manning, or eventually he could start somewhere else.
This season, he will compete with Andre Woodson for the job on the practice squad.