- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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Manning called Nassib not long after the Giants traded up for the Syracuse quarterback in the fourth round of the draft to congratulate him.
Nassib was fortunate to even answer the call, "I usually don’t pick up numbers I don’t save but at that point I was picking up anything from New Jersey," Nassib said. "So I might as well take that one.
"At that point we didn’t have much to talk about," Nassib added. "My house was a little bit crazy, I had a tough time hearing him."
On Thursday, the two quarterbacks got to meet face to face at the Giants’ facility and spent nearly 15 minutes talking. Nassib hopes it’s the first of many more talks over the next few years. As his backup, Nassib plans on hearing and soaking in everything Manning says to him.
"It is definitely a smart career move for a guy like myself to sit back and develop," Nassib said. "There are kind of stories out there like the [Aaron] Rodgers and the [Joe] Montanas of the world [and] Steve Young -- there are success stories that have happened. That is kind of my goal right now, kind of where I am heading."
In his first snaps as a Giant, Nassib had his share of rookie moments. He threw some sharp passes but also overthrew a couple of receivers in the first practice, including one for an interception.
"He did alright," general manager Jerry Reese said after the second practice of the day. "He looked like a rookie like the rest of them. Like you expect. I remember when JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] came out here [during 2010 rookie camp]. He couldn’t get through the first five to 10 minutes. Don’t read too much into the first practice."
The Giants, though, saw some things in Nassib on Friday that were reasons they traded up to grab him in the fourth round. They saw his smarts, poise, command of the huddle and ability to adapt despite the fact that Nassib got a hold of the playbook only the day before practice.
"First day out he did a pretty good job of mastering just the nomenclature, the terminology," offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. "He didn’t seem overly confused by what we’re trying to do. There’s so much thinking going on. It’s hard to execute at a level that I’m sure we’re going to see down the road, but really, for the first day, he did pretty good."
The Giants certainly tried to make Nassib feel as comfortable as possible. Not only was his former left tackle at Syracuse, Justin Pugh, in the huddle with him, but Nassib also had Syracuse rookie wide receiver Marcus Sales at camp as well. Sales, who is a rookie tryout, caught 64 passes from Nassib last season for 882 yards and eight touchdowns. The Giants also had former Syracuse tight end Nick Provo in for a tryout.
"Yeah, you can’t get any more comfortable than that," Nassib said. "I completed a couple of balls to Marcus today, which was pretty funny, and having Justin in the huddle again and seeing Provo after not being with him for a couple of years, it was pretty fun."
Nassib and Pugh are rooming together during camp. The two Pennsylvania natives used to drive together for hours from Syracuse to their respective hometowns (Malvern and Holland). Now they find themselves trying to help each other make the transition to the pros.
"He is comfortable out there in the huddle, he takes command of the huddle," said Pugh, the team’s first-round pick who lined up at right tackle during both practices. "It is something he has always done. He has that presence when he walks in.
"When people asked me after that first round, 'What is going on with your quarterback?' I said whoever gets him will be real, real lucky," Pugh continued about Nassib, who fell to the fourth round. "We are lucky to have him. It is good going out there and me seeing him and him seeing me, and we are able to bounce things off each other in the hotel room."
Nassib plans on doing the same with Manning once the two get to spend more time together in the quarterbacks room and at practice. He has spent the past few years studying Drew Brees and emulating the Saints’ quarterback, since former Syracuse coach Doug Marrone was previously the Saints’ offensive coordinator.
Nassib might now wear No. 9 like Brees does. But he plans on emulating Manning.
"I want to try to learn as much as I can from him," Nassib said as he looked over at Manning’s locker stall. "Because he is definitely one of the best and he knows what he is doing. If I can just take a little bit from him each and every day, who knows what I can be like."
2dDan Graziano and Adam Caplan