New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is preparing to start his fourth season in the NFL, which will also include his fourth offensive coordinator. Since his rookie season, Jones has worked with Pat Shurmur, Jason Garrett, Freddie Kitchens, and now Mike Kafka.
The latest offensive system should provide a much more positive experience, harping on modern analytics and trends to formulate a competent unit that isn’t based in the year 2000.
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Building around Jones’s strengths:
First and foremost, new head coach Brian Daboll and Kafka have begun asking Jones what he’s comfortable with and devising a system that works off his strengths rather than his weaknesses. Last season, Jones finished with 2,428 yards, 10 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
The Duke product tried to supplement deficiencies by running the football, which unfortunately got him injured on a number of occasions. A nasty-looking hit against the Dallas Cowboys rattled his brains, and a poor slide resulted in a season-ending neck injury against Philly. Luckily, those injuries are in the past as new management is looking to keep their quarterback safe in the pocket, throwing the football behind a rebuilt offensive.
Brian Daboll said on the Giants Huddle podcast that they’re gauging what Daniel Jones feels comfortable with:
“I think that’s important to get input from the quarterback in terms of what he feels comfortable with, while at the same time, showing him some new things that maybe can help him,” said Daboll. “At the end of the day, the offense is obviously going to go through our quarterback and there’s got to be good give and take with that between the head coach, the coordinator, and the quarterback. That’s I’d say a pretty special relationship between the three of those guys.”
An important statistic:
There is one statistic that stands out as a catalyst for Jones’s success in the future. When looking at Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen (relevant to Kafka and Daboll), they are so successful because the offensive schemes manufacture production through their playmakers. There is no reason for Jones to be doing the heavy lifting when he has electrifying playmakers on the roster who can pick up yardage in the open field without putting him in danger.
For example, Mahomes tossed 151 completions behind the line of scrimmage last season, totaling over 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns. He earned a 92.1% completion rate in that category. On the other hand, Allen completed 90 passes in that category for 479 yards and three scores, recording a 90% completion rate. Looking at Daniel Jones, he put together just 46 completions for 204 yards and zero scores. However, he did record a 93.9% completion rate, stating his accuracy.
By those numbers, you can see that the Giants missed out on a ton of easy production because of poor schematics. With better blockers on the offensive line and healthy playmakers, Jones should have a much easier time generating yardage without forcing him to pick up the slack. Some will point to down-field throws as the catalyst for success, but execution and 2nd level blocking can be just as beneficial. In fact, it even sets up opportunities downfield since the defense will be concerned about the short concepts.
That is one primary reason that DJ will likely have his best season as a professional in 2022.