Gilbride: Backup QB job up for grabs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride says there is a "legitimate" competition to back up Eli Manning.

David Carr, Curtis Painter and Ryan Nassib are in the mix, and all three got snaps in the preseason opener. The expectation is that the Giants could keep three quarterbacks, with Carr and fourth-round draft pick Nassib behind Manning.

"I think there’s no question, it’s a legitimate competition," Gilbride said.

The Giants have typically kept two quarterbacks on the roster in recent seasons, but that could change since Nassib likely needs time to be groomed.

"Most places do keep three," Gilbride said. "We’ve been kind of a rarity, and we’ve kind of rolled the dice. But now, when you go with a young guy … drafted him to keep him, who knows what’s going to happen. But that’s what you would think would happen.

"Is he far enough along at the end of preseason camp that you’re saying he can be No. 2 [on the depth chart]? That’s a long way from being decided, and if it’s not, then that will probably determine what the numbers are that we keep. We’ll keep three instead of two."

Gilbride said Nassib has "played pretty well."

"He didn’t get as much protection as some of the other guys got," Gilbride said of Nassib's preseason debut. "But I thought he hung in there, and he was throwing the ball to the right spot. When he had the time, he made some good throws."

Good blocking: While the running backs didn't gain much in terms of yardage against the Steelers, Gilbride was pleased with the way David Wilson and Andre Brown blocked.

"Having to block live for the first time, I thought they did a terrific job in chipping," Gilbride said. "David did a tremendous job the first time. He missed the second time, but he was very physical on the other ones. That was very, very encouraging."

Randle and Jernigan: Gilbride is extremely pleased with what he's seen from Rueben Randle.

"He’s light years from where he was last year," Gilbride said. "The consistency of performance, reacting the right way on all the different looks that you get, in the professional ranks. That wasn’t at the level that you needed, but in terms of his work ethic, his leadership has been phenomenal, and he’s always had great hands. He’s always been a smooth route runner. He’s always going up and gotten any throw that was close."

"In terms of making the right decisions off the coverages, he’s not being fooled," he added. "I mean, who knows what’s going to happen, but I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t continue to play at a high level."

And Gilbride praised Jernigan for his effort Saturday night. Jernigan had two receptions for 28 yards.

"He was excellent," Gilbride said. "He ran a hook-and-up that he was wide open. He ran a corner route where he was wide open. Just couldn’t get him the ball. Biggest thing is he’s got to stay healthy."

"He’s always shown glimpses, he’s always shown flashes," Gilbride added. "As a coach, that’s what’s frustrating because you see it there and you want to get it out on a play-in, play-out, day-in day-out basis. He played really well, so, hopefully, that will continue."