If there’s anyone who can relate to New York Giants’ rookie quarterback Daniel Jones’ fumbling problems it’s former Giant great Phil Simms. Also a first round pick (No. 7 overall in 1979), Simms was under the microscope as a young player who the franchise was putting their hopes on.
Simms was also known for his fumbles. His 93 fumbles over his 14-year Giants career was a record until Eli Manning reset it with 124 of his own. Jones is off to a roaring start in the category, fumbling 14 times (losing 10) this season which put him atop the league in the infamous category.
Simms believes that the Giants can fix Jones’ fumbling issue. Not that his own was ever really fixed. At age 30 in 1985, Simms fumbled 16 times, which was a Giants single-season record until Kerry Collins broke it with 23 in 2001.
But still, as an analyst and soothsayer Simms had these words of advice for his old team during a radio interview on WFAN earlier this week.
“A lot of things have disappointed me about the New York Giants’ season this year, one of them is definitely not the quarterback,” Simms said. Of the many things that have disappointed Simms about the Giants this season, sophomore running back Saquon Barkley topped the list.
Turnovers continue to be a concern for the Giants young quarterback, but Simms believes his fumbling issue can be corrected, calling Jones a silver lining for Big Blue.
“I know he’s fumbled a lot, but that we can fix. We can fix how to make him get rid of the ball a little quicker and quit trying to make the play so perfect. But you can’t give him a quick release, you can’t give him the size, you can’t give him the speed he has, and he has a good arm. Those things we know we have, now we just have to keep him from fumbling the football.”
It’s true, Jones has forced things and his habit to hold onto the football longer than he should had led to many positive plays but it also has resulted in him turning the football over. Simms believes that Jones will learn to give up on certain plays over time and either run out of bounds or throw the football away.
He was asked if Pat Shurmur was the right head coach to take the team – and Jones’ development – into the future.
“If the Giants make a change at coach, even if they don’t win another game this year I think it would be a huge mistake,” Simms said. “For no other reason than the quarterback. The quarterback has done enough, they’ve handled him well enough where we can see that he can get this done if given the chance.”
The Giants are 2-9 and headed for no more than four wins and that is being optimistic. With the team in disarray, it may not be feasible to keep this coaching staff on after this season.