The New York Giants open their 2020 regular season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which will host new offensive and defensive coordinators on New Yorkâ€™s side of the ball. Both Jason Garrett and Patrick Graham will experience their first games in new positions with Big Blue.
Garrett, who last called plays in 2012, spent the better part of a decade as a head coach for the Dallas Cowboys. He brings his offensive prowess and experience to the Giants, who desperately needed an upgrade. Last season, Pat Shurmur took over playcalling duties on offense and acted as head coach, which ultimately failed miserably. He was unable to spark creativity with the personnel available and ample responsibilities.
Nonetheless, new head coach Joe Judge is taking a more walk-around approach, monitoring each unit, and ensuring his players are in the right mentality. However, we can only base our expectations on the past, especially when it comes to Garrett, who hasnâ€™t called plays in eight years. He has been heavily involved in his offenses, but has otherwise taken a backseat and let his coordinators do the job.
Former Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman and current commentator had only good things to say.
In an exclusive interview by New York Posts’ Steve Serby, Troy Aikman details his confidence in Jason Garrett’s system, stating:
Without having been with Jason as a coach, I do know this about Jason: he doesnâ€™t just shoot from the hip. Whatever heâ€™s asking Daniel Jones to do, itâ€™s for a purpose, and thereâ€™s a reason for it. And knowing Jasonâ€™s philosophy, and how much I believe in that philosophy, I think itâ€™s going to be a very quarterback-friendly system, to where heâ€™s going to like the options that he has. I think itâ€™s a great fit, I really do. Jason did a great job with (Tony) Romo when he stepped in, and brought him along when he was the coordinator, I think he did an outstanding job with Dak Prescott, and heâ€™s got a great way about him in communicating. Daniel Jones being a real smart guy from Duke, and Jason is arguably the smartest guy I know from Princeton (laughs). Iâ€™m glad Iâ€™m not in that quarterback room.
Aikman was high on Jones but noted his consistent deficiency:
I like him. I watched his pro day on NFL Network, I was working out, and they happened to have the NFL Network on, and he was throwing, and I really liked what I saw. I liked the way the ball came out, I liked his placement, I like his size, I like all the measurables. But ultimately, most of these guys have that. I like everything about Daniel Jones. What has to get better â€” and we all know this â€” is heâ€™s gotta hang onto the football. When youâ€™re in the pocket, and the ballâ€™s getting knocked out of your hand, there are times when you just simply cannot do anything about it. But I tend to fault the quarterbacks when the ballâ€™s on the ground. . .youâ€™ve got the ball and youâ€™ve gotta protect it, and that has to be better. But other than that, I like everything I saw of Daniel Jones.
The New York Giants know where they need to improve:
Of course, Jones must hold onto the football more efficiently in 2020. After fumbling 18 times and losing 11 of them, he put his team in a tumultuous position regarding the turnover ratio. The New York Giants tied for last in the NFL with a -1.1 turnover margin. If the second-year quarterback is to take a step forward, he must lower that number significantly.
As for Garrett, I fully expect a heavy running game style with plenty of tight end usage. In Dallas, he loved to use Jason Witten and run the ball frequently with Ezekiel Elliott. Saquon Barkley should be busy and Evan Engram could have his best season yet, granted he remains healthy.