The New York Giants are sticking with Daniel Jones as their starting quarterback, despite the fact that there is no evidence he can be a successful NFL starter.
The New York Giants have been all-in on Daniel Jones as their quarterback1. They drafted him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft and he has been taking snaps at practice.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — During a late-July game of golf at Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne, New Jersey, Daniel Jones was bombarded with questions in between 320-yard drives and five-iron moonshots into the greens. The New York Giants’ quarterback was in his element playing the twin roles of investigative reporter and weekend golfer, based on the complexity of the inquisition.
Between a flurry of birdies, Jones interrogated this reporter about his family, career, and history. In other ways, it seemed as though the player-reporter relationship had been suddenly flipped.
This may sound little, but it reveals a lot about Jones as a person and may help explain why the Giants think he is exceptional despite his rocky start. Jones is friendly and pleasant, but he’s also fiercely competitive, winning almost every point on the back nine of a three-man tournament that featured the club’s chief golf pro, Michael Docktor.
The Giants see these skills to connect and compete every day from a quarterback they believe is destined for greatness. However, as he approaches Week 2 of his third NFL season, the Giants’ admiration for Jones’ intangibles must convert into wins in important games, such as Thursday’s NFC East road test against the 0-1 Washington Football Team (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network).
Dave Gettleman, the general manager, has frequently said, “We believe in Daniel.”
Giants players, coaches, and front-office officials have given ringing endorsements to the No. 6 overall draft selection out of Duke in 2019, frequently unsolicited — on the record and sometimes off — asserting that he will be a high-level quarterback. And they’ve come despite his 40 turnovers in 28 NFL games, an 8-19 start record, several terrible fumbles (including a costly one against the Denver Broncos on Sunday in the third quarter of a 27-13 defeat), and 11 touchdown passes in 14 starts in 2020.
They tell you to just wait. Success as a quarterback does not come immediately.
Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, a former NFL quarterback, is leading the charge, and he has a close connection with Jones. It’s not unusual to see them staying after practice for their nearly daily contests, such as throwing footballs over the crossbar or into a trash can. Garrett sees it as a test of his quarterback’s ability to execute under duress.
Garrett isn’t convinced on Jones because of their professional connection.
“Begin with who he is as a person, his attitude, his competitive spirit, his intelligence, his toughness, everything,” he added. “Then there’s his athleticism…. The most important thing for him is to play more football, as it has been for every quarterback I’ve ever known. They need additional practice.”
The Giants have said that they want to assist Jones this summer by acquiring pass catchers. It was their main goal, possibly to the detriment of the offensive line, which was responsible for keeping him upright.
They paid Kenny Golladay $40 million guaranteed to be their No. 1 wide receiver, added speedy John Ross (who is now on injured reserve), and selected explosive Kadarius Toney in the first round. They also added tight end Kyle Rudolph and have running back Saquon Barkley returning after a knee injury that forced him to miss the first two games of the 2020 season.
Giants coach Joe Judge said of quarterback Daniel Jones, “He can guide the club in the proper way and he can make it right for the players to go out there and operate and have success.” Getty Images/Alex Trautwig
Jones, 24, has a lot of support in what is expected to be a make-or-break season.
Although Gettleman has acknowledged that this is a “critical year” for Jones and the Giants, he seems reluctant to consider the idea that Jones may not grow into the long-term solution.
When asked whether his April draft-day deal, which earned the Giants another first-round choice in 2022, was insurance against Jones failing, the GM said, “There wasn’t even a consideration. No!”
The Giants’ early and late devotion to quarterback Eli Manning, even when the on-field outcomes, such as a 1-6 record in seven starts as a rookie, didn’t reflect that confidence, is reminiscent of Jones’ fans.
“We had certain difficulties as a team, but that is to be expected…. Before you to develop, you must first struggle “Jones’ close buddy Barkley expressed his thoughts. “We’ll keep growing together, and I think he has the ability to be a great quarterback in this league. He’ll be, I’m sure.”
‘Give this man a chance to mature.’
Jones has too many qualities, according to the Giants, to be a failure. He is a football fanatic. The first one in, and the last one out. He is concerned. He is a hard worker and a great leader. He has the capacity to connect with people from all walks of life (his other close friends include receivers Sterling Shepard and David Sills, guard Will Hernandez and defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence).
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Prior to the season, Giants coach Joe Judge said, “It’s essential to let this kid develop.” “Right now, we’re concentrating on that. Allow him to continue to learn, improve, and develop.”
While the Giants remain optimistic about Jones, his detractors have been vocal since the Giants selected him as a divisive top-10 selection. Jones, according to ESPN draft expert Todd McShay, isn’t a first-round quarterback and is a talent who will likely be overdrafted before the 2019 draft. Since Buffalo’s EJ Manuel (76.0) in 2013, he was Scouts Inc.’s lowest-graded first-round quarterback (80.0) that year.
But, in the eyes of the Giants, how can a 6-foot-5, 221-pound quarterback with all that arm power and athletic talent (729 career running yards on 116 attempts), who is brilliant, extremely dedicated to his profession, and well-liked not be a huge success?
“If you don’t see it, you’re blind,” Shepard said of Jones, who stayed with him throughout training camp last summer and was blown away by his unwavering focus on football.
“We see him on a daily basis,” Barkley said. “I’m aware of the effort he expends. I’m familiar with his work ethic. I like to be thought of as a hard worker. That’s someone whose work ethic I believe will test me. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. To be totally honest, it’s Kobe [Bryant]-like.”
Given Jones’ unwavering commitment, it seems that something will have to go after this season if the team’s on-field performance don’t match the team’s faith in him.
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His career has had a rocky start.
Jones has 40 touchdowns in his career after completing 22 of 37 passes for 267 yards and one touchdown pass in Week 1 with no interceptions.
Those watching from afar, though, are wondering whether he’ll ever be a high-end starter because of his turnovers. Last season, he lost six fumbles in 14 games, down from 11 in 13 games the previous season. However, his mistake occurred with New York down 17-7 at the Denver 15-yard line on Sunday.
Dan Orlovsky, a former NFL quarterback and ESPN commentator, stated, “I would not be very optimistic.” “The No. 1 problem I’ve had with him since he was kidnapped is that when he’s in a panic, when he’s dealing with a high-stress situation, he doesn’t play as intelligently as he should.” He’s a sloppy football player. And in his first [two seasons], it hasn’t altered.
“There are a number of variables that play into this. There are, of course. But, in my opinion, you can’t have that characteristic if you want to be a high-end quarterback.”
Jones was sacked three times and threw one of those mind-numbing interceptions in the end zone in a 26-16 defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers to start the season. Barkley tore his right ACL in Week 2, making things much worse.
In New York’s Week 1 defeat, the Denver Broncos sacked Giants quarterback Daniel Jones twice. Getty Images/Alex Trautwig
In 2020, the Giants were a disaster, ranking 31st in overall offense and 31st in points. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Jones was pressed on a league-high 41% of his dropbacks, and it took him four weeks following Barkley’s injury to throw another touchdown pass.
Even Jones had high expectations for his second season.
During the golf excursion, he remarked, “I definitely did.” “As a team, we go into every game expecting to win.” That is the attitude. If you want to be successful, you must think like this.
“At times, it was discouraging. There were many positives to build on from last year, and now all that counts is how we prepare for this year.”
It was difficult to identify the positive aspects of last season that Jones highlighted. He ended with a QBR of 53.9, which placed him 20th in the NFL, ahead of former Chicago Bears starter and current Bills backup Mitchell Trubisky.
To be a great quarterback, Orlovsky also emphasized the need of going above and beyond what the play requires. Jones hasn’t shown he can play above the Xs and Os, according to him.
Last season, Jones threw for 235 yards outside the pocket. Teddy Bridgewater, Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, and Philip Rivers were the only quarterbacks to start at least 12 games in 2020. It’s an unusually low amount, given Jones’ age and abilities.
Factors that contribute
The Giants feel that the quality around him in his first two seasons, especially a line that has often failed (Jones has been sacked 83 times in his first two seasons, including twice last Sunday), has been a barrier.
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They remember some of their great quarterbacks, such as Phil Simms and Peyton Manning, and understand that it doesn’t always connect.
After the quality surrounding him was improved, they saw a guy they passed on in the 2018 selection, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, grow into an MVP contender in his third season.
The Giants, maybe most importantly, perceive improvement. Jones’ skill is evident on the field on a regular basis. This summer, they focused on getting the ball out faster, and they are pleased with the results.
Logan Ryan, the Giants’ defensive captain, went out of his way to designate Jones the team’s offseason award winner for his tireless efforts.
So the Giants are still as high on Jones as they were when Gettleman fell “head over heels” in love with him before the 2019 draft.
“We’re looking forward to seeing what he does in his second year in the system,” Gettleman said. “It was his third system in three years before [the 2020 season]. You’re well aware of the kid’s diligence; we’ve discussed it often. He puts forth the same amount of effort on and off the field. He’s more at ease, and he’s more prepared. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when we eventually put him on the field with a full complement of guys.”
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Are we nearing the end of the road?
The most significant viewpoint on Jones comes from Judge, who believes there is more to his quarterback’s play than meets the eye.
“I’m not a big numbers person when it comes to evaluating people, particularly quarterbacks and how they handle the game and facilitate around them,” Judge said. “When you see him in practice and see how well he knows the offense, I think [it’s remarkable]…. He has the ability to lead the squad in the correct way and to make it possible for the players to go out and operate and succeed…. These are the steps he’s made.”
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Jones has demonstrated leadership by arranging for some of his best wide receivers to join him for throwing sessions in Arizona, North Carolina, and New Jersey over the summer. And at the line of scrimmage, Judge has given him complete authority.
The criticism will get louder until he begins winning.
Jones is well-versed on the situation. Even if he doesn’t read or listen to much, he isn’t entirely immune to criticism. Prior to media engagements, he typically receives his breakdown of the current storyline from the Giants’ public relations team or, on rare occasions, his mother, Becca Jones, who acts as his uninvited eyes and ears on the street and informs him if the discussion about him is good or bad.
The Giants’ conviction that Jones is suited for the rigors of being a starting quarterback in the limelight in New York has been confirmed by his handling of criticism.
Jones commands the respect of his whole team. Is he capable of rewarding such trust with victories?
“When you see someone putting in the work and effort, you know they have the ability; all it takes is time,” Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton said. “That is all there is to it. And I’m simply glad I’m here to see it all.”
The gmen hq is a blog that covers the New York Giants. It has been reported that the team will remain all-in on Daniel Jones as QB1.
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