Giants’ new offensive coaches are developing a new Daniel Jones, but is it too little, too late?

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“Turn it loose,” New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll said regarding Daniel Jones being aggressive within the newly installed offense.

“There’s going to be things that happen in every game. The defense is going to make a good play, there might be a tipped ball. We’re going to have to do a good job of taking care of the football, but I want him to turn it loose.”

One thing is for sure, the Giants certainly haven’t let Jones be himself on the football field. In fact, it’s almost seemed as if the coaching staff was controlling him like a robot, forcing him to stare down specific reads.

Every elite quarterback has a healthy blend of instinctual decision-making and the proper reading of progressions, understanding opposing defenses. The Giants did very little to help Jones gather knowledge before the snap last season, running pre-snap motion at 7.5% when other modern offenses were hitting +20%.

The New York Giants are modernizing, but it takes time to build:

The Giants are expected to feature a far more potent offense when it comes to a pre-stop motion and gathering information before the snap. That should help Jones decipher coverages and progress through his reads more efficiently. New offensive coordinator Mike Kafka has already started to see the type of work ethic that Jones brings to the table.

“He’s a smart kid,’’ Kafka said. “He works hard. Those are all things that I had heard about him, but being able to see it in person has been great. Right now, just developing that relationship with him is the most important thing, and out here in practice seeing him operate, seeing him communicate with the players and how he talks to each and every group has been really cool.’’

The new coaching staff has slowly developed relationships with the fourth-year quarterback, but that doesn’t mean his job isn’t on the line. The Giants recently declined Jones’s 5th-year option, making the 2022 season ever more important for his legacy in New York. When he was drafted back in 2019, the hope was that he would replace Eli Manning and develop into a franchise-caliber quarterback, but that reality hasn’t come to fruition.

“That was certainly out of my control, out of my hands, and that’s the business part of it. I understand that. My job is to prepare to play as well as I can, help the team win games, and that’s certainly what I’m focused on.’’

Jones has managed to stifle the negative thoughts that accompany your team abandoning the fifth-year option, but he still has an opportunity to rewrite the story and earn an extension.

Jones is impressing thus far in practice:

So far, during OTAs, Jones has shown his veteran leadership and ability to consume knowledge and replicate it on the football field.

“He’s absorbing it, and he’s able to spit it back out, get guys fixed and cleaned up on the field,’’ Kafka said. “Those are things I’m looking for just out of the gate, getting guys lined up correctly, getting the huddle, sharp, crisp. Those are things that are important for pre-snap stuff.’’

A far more advanced offense is being installed; Jones will have to learn how to be a modern quarterback. Jason Garrett has completely stifled Jones’s development and growth the last few seasons, setting him back years.

The Giants desperately need to find out what Jones can accomplish this upcoming season. The cards are stacked against him with a new offensive line and system. It is going to take a monstrous effort to convince management he can be the future of the team, but it is not impossible.

Daniel Jones most underrated player on New York Giants, says PFF

daniel jones, new york giants

The New York Giants are entering the 2022 NFL season with many question marks surrounding their quarterback. Daniel Jones was a shocking selection with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Since then, his career has been filled with inconsistency and injuries as he enters a pivotal fourth season. This is Jones’s make-or-break year as the team opted not to pick up his fifth-year option, meaning he has this one last season to establish himself as a franchise quarterback. Many fans and analysts are disbelievers in Daniel Jones, but one outlet suggests he is being underrated. Pro Football Focus listed the most underrated player on each NFL team entering this season, and Daniel Jones was their selection for the New York Giants.

Is Daniel Jones the Giants’ most underrated player?

Some might view Pro Football Focus’s opinion of Daniel Jones as a hot take. The Giants quarterback threw 10 touchdown passes in 11 games last season. He missed time with injuries and failed to produce wins. With DJ as a starter, New York went 4-7 in 2021. For his career, the Giants are a miserable 12-25.

Granted, Daniel Jones has been playing with a putrid supporting cast for his entire career. The situation surrounding Daniel has been far from ideal, causing many of the losses in which he participated. He has also thrown only 21 touchdown passes to 17 interceptions over the last two years. But Jones’s failure to produce statistical numbers does not seem to concern PFF.

PFF recognizes that Daniel Jones is no star, but they explain that he “has played better in a bad situation than people give him credit for.” Looking ahead to the 2022 NFL season, PFF views the Giants’ recent roster upgrades as a reason to believe his play will significantly improve. Jones recorded a 71.6 overall PFF grade last season. PFF will not be surprised if they see a “significant bump in Jones’ PFF grade from the 70.0s into the 80.0s.”

The Giants improved the offensive line in front of Daniel Jones significantly this offseason. They also added a couple of extra rotational playmakers into the mix. Jones has flashed potential with solid performances in the past, but the good has outweighed the bad thus far. Under Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka’s new offensive scheme, Daniel Jones could finally let the good outshine the shadows of bad and have a breakout season as the New York Giants quarterback.

Why the New York Giants would be better off with a tough 2022 schedule

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The NFL is preparing to drop the 2022 schedule, and the New York Giants are expected to have a bit of a lighter group of opponents compared to 2021.

HOME:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Football Team
  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Baltimore Ravens

AWAY:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Football Team
  • Green Bay Packers (London)
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Seattle Seahawks

On paper, the Giants have a fairly light schedule given their opponents. Facing off against multiple rebuilding squads, including the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Seattle Seahawks, would suggest that Big Blue has a good chance at walking away with some wins in 2022.

However, having a tougher schedule would be more beneficial for the Giants, allowing them to properly evaluate Daniel Jones and the progress he can make. Having Jones dominate against lesser squads does not suggest he can win in a playoff atmosphere against teams that are considered above average. Gaining false hope he can develop into an elite quarterback could hurt the Giants significantly in the financial department.

A tough schedule would not only give the team more information on Jones’s potential ceiling, but if he fails, it would likely guarantee GM Joe Schoen a top pick in the 2023 NFL draft, which could end up becoming their next quarterback.

There are always a few surprise teams that make significant strides in the second year of a rebuild, and while the Giants have plenty of easy teams on the schedule, I wouldn’t underestimate them just yet.

The Lions could end up becoming a decent team, having shown signs of development last year. There’s no telling how much better Justin fields could look in his second season, and the Bears have a stout defensive unit. The NFC East is always competitive with one another; the Giants have struggled considerably to overcome them in the past.

Another variable to consider is that the Giants still have an unproven roster and team, so any schedule, no matter what it looks like on paper, should be considered difficult until proven otherwise.

New York Giants HC Brian Daboll wants QB Daniel Jones to play more aggressive

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants are entering the 2022 NFL season with a brand new coaching staff. Brian Daboll is taking over as the new head coach after spending 2018-2021 as the Buffalo Bills’ offensive coordinator. Daboll sat down today for an interview with the Tiki and Tierney Show on WFAN and discussed his upcoming first season as the Giants’ head coach. When asked about his quarterback, Daniel Jones, Brian Daboll gave a hint as to what the future could hold.

Brian Daboll wants to see a more aggressive Daniel Jones

In this interview with Tiki and Tierney, Brian Daboll had this to say of quarterback Daniel Jones:

“I want him to be himself and not be afraid of consequences, pull the trigger and attack.” – Brian Daboll on what he wants to see out of Daniel Jones this season

Only 6.6% of Daniel Jones’s passes traveled more than 20 yards downfield in the 2021 season. Former offensive coordinator Jason Garrett rarely utilized Jones’s ability to throw the football downfield despite the acquisition of Kenny Golladay, one of the NFL’s best deep-threats entering last season.

Jones connected on 8 of his 24 deep passing attempts, scoring 4 touchdowns in the process. Since 2020, Daniel Jones has been an efficient downfield passer. Two seasons ago, Daniel Jones posted a 95.6 Deep Passing Grade according to PFF as he completed 20 of 43 deep attempts and threw 6 touchdown passes with 0 interceptions.

After posting such an impressive deep-passing stat-line in 2020, fans expected Daniel Jones to throw the ball downfield more frequently in 2021. Instead, the opposite happened. Daniel Jones threw 19 fewer deep passes and the Giants’ offense was inept all year long. This will hopefully change under Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka’s new offensive scheme.

The Buffalo Bills (Brian Daboll’s former offense) and Kansas City Chiefs (Mike Kafka’s former offense) both threw the ball deep at a high rate last season. Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw 87 passes 20+ yards downfield. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw 76 deep passes. These two quarterbacks were some of the highest-graded and most productive deep passers in the NFL.

The New York Giants need to jumpstart their offense. Brian Daboll is inevitably going to call more deep shots this season. It is now on Daniel Jones to be the aggressive quarterback his head coach wants him to be and lead the Giants’ offense to success.

How the Giants’ red-zone offense is set to change in 2022

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Looking back at Daniel Jones’s rookie season, he posted a 53.1% completion rate and 13 touchdowns in the red zone for the New York Giants. However, since then, his efficiency has dropped off significantly, completing just 38.1% for five touchdowns in 2021.

If the Giants want to be a more explosive team on offense, they need Jones to be more productive in the red zone. Looking at the team’s schematics and personnel gives justifiable excuses for Jones, but he has also made poor decisions in the passing game and failed to find receivers, flowing through his progressions properly.

At some point, Jones is going to need to take a big step forward if he wants to stick around with the Giants for the long term. Luckily, Big Blue hired Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka as their head coach and offensive coordinator to lead the charge.

Daboll, who was previously the OC for the Buffalo Bills, enjoyed the top-ranked red zone offense in football with a 66.28% touchdown conversion rate. Kansas City landed at 62.20%, so clearly, the Giants have two bright offensive minds who know how to get the ball in the end zone.

Of course, it is fair to mention that the Giants don’t have Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen, so they will have to find different ways to increase their efficiency. Adding Wan’Dale Robinson out of Kentucky will undoubtedly be a key factor in the team’s offensive plan, utilizing a shifty receiver who can make defenders miss in the open field. In fact, Robinson ranked 6th in all of college football last year with 22 missed tackles forced, but also ranked 6th in deep catches with 16. His screen catches landed at 35, good for 3rd in college, and 268 yards from screen passes, which ranked 4th.

Clearly, the Giants have a vision of what Robinson can achieve in the NFL, and pairing him with Kadarius Toney will only force defenses to be even more careful. The new offense will include a big uptick in pre-stop motion. The Giants used pre-snap motion just 7.5% last year. Buffalo hosted a 34.3% pre-snap motion rate and the chiefs at 64.5%.

Pre-snap motion is essential because it gives quarterbacks more information about what the defense is trying to do. It uncovers the coverage and shifts defenders out of alignment, making them adjust on the fly. The NFL is a game of inches, and every slight advantage you can create is beneficial to a team’s success.

The Giants, last season, failed miserably to get anything done in the red zone. Their best receiver, by the numbers, was Sterling Shepard, who recorded 35 yards on just six receptions, failing to score. Dante Pettis scored the only red zone touchdown for a Giants receiver last year on a 5-yard catch. The Giants paid big money to one of the NFL’s best red-zone receivers in Kenny Golladay, who posted just one reception for 5 yards.

The Giants have the personnel to be an effective team in the red zone, but it starts with schematics. Daboll and Kafka will likely construct a West Coast-style offense that spreads out a bit more, giving more space to their playmakers.

With so many versatile pieces and open field maestros, the team’s poor red-zone efficiency should see a tremendous uptick in the future, but they need Daniel Jones to play with more confidence and aggression. A re-tooled offensive line should help him tremendously.

New York Giants decide on Daniel Jones and Dexter Lawrence’s 5th-year options

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With the 2022 NFL Draft quickly approaching on Thursday evening, the New York Giants made a decision on the 5th-year options for quarterback Daniel Jones and interior defender Dexter Lawrence.

According to Judy Battista of NFL.com, the Giants declined the 5th-year option for Jones, who failed to take a step forward last season under the leadership of Joe Judge and Jason Garrett. Jones tossed 10 touchdowns and failed to breach 2,500 yards, a number he reached in both his rookie and sophomore seasons.

With the decision to decline his option, the Giants avoided guaranteeing $22 million to Daniel in 2023, putting the ball in his court to justify an extension or moving on with a clean slate.

Since Jones was a Dave Gettleman selection back in 2019, this was the right choice for new management, who owe no allegiance to the former first-round passer. Nonetheless, new management does believe that Jones has all the tangible trades to become a quality quarterback in the NFL, but his time is quickly running out if he doesn’t take the necessary steps forward. If Jones ends up playing will in 2022, the Giants can offer him an extension well under the projected $35+ million franchise tag, given his small sample size of play. That would be best for both sides, giving him a big pay-day and allowing him to progress under Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka.

Aside from Jones, the Giants picked up the 5th-year option for interior defender Dexter Lawrence, who will now count $10.73 million against the salary cap for the 2023 season.

Given the Giants have upward of $100 million projected for next year, they can easily afford to retain Lawrence, who should take a nice step forward with defensive line coach Andre Patterson coming over from the Minnesota Vikings. Patterson is known for developing Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen into the pass rushers they are today, suggesting that Lawrence could gain a solid bit of knowledge from the veteran coach.

However, Lawrence has also disappointed the past few seasons, but is capable of being an above-average player. Given Wink Martindale requires his front forward to be stout in run defense, Lawrence is a people mover in that area, giving him solid value. While he did show up to camp a bit overweight, you won’t find many humans at 6’4″ and over 340 pounds that move like Dexy.

WATCH: Giants’ QB Daniel Jones works on his pocket movement and body control

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has been arguably the most polarizing player on the roster since being drafted in 2019. After recording 24 touchdowns during his rookie season, there was hope Jones could develop into a franchise-caliber passer before Jason Garrett instituted a lackluster scheme and the offensive line flailed to achieve even average play.

Work ethic has never been a concern for Jones, who spends his time efficiently on his craft. Jones puts in the time and effort to improve his pocket awareness and body control every off-season. That ethic hasn’t shifted this off-season, spending time at Duke with QB Country.

“My focus is on preparing myself, and I take full responsibility for how I’ve played, and we haven’t won enough games,” Jones said last week. “We haven’t scored enough points. We haven’t done things well enough. I take responsibility for that. As a quarterback, you play a big role in those things. So, that’s what I’m focused on. I’m working on improving and making sure that myself as well as the offense, as well as the team, is ready to go and we’re improving daily.”

Jones clearly carries a lot of accountability for the Giants’ performance the past few seasons, despite negative factors working against him. There’s a lot left for Jones to fix regarding his game, considering quarterbacks on bad teams have shown far more resiliency and production.

Just take a look at Joe Barrow on the Cincinnati Bengals, playing behind one of the league’s worst offensive lines. He managed to carry them to the Super Bowl, showing what great quarterback play can do for a team. Shift your attention to Davis Mills of the Houston Texans, a 3rd round rookie from last year. The Texans were expected to be even worse than the Giants in 2021. Mills finished with 2,664 yards, and 16 touchdown passes to go with a 66.8% completion rate. Altogether, Mills’ statistics dwarf Jones, who failed miserably to convert in the red zone despite having a number of offensive weapons at his disposal.

There are reasons to love and hate Jones, but the Giants have to make a decision on his 5th-year option immediately after the 2022 NFL draft. The draft will give us a good idea of what they will do, depending on if they trade back and acquire a 2023 first-round pick or stay put and take a best player available approach.

One way or another, the jury is still out on DJ, and he needs to prove a lot before management can fully commit to him as the franchise quarterback of the New York Giants.

Report: Giants targeting QB insurance with trade-back in 1st round

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

With the 2022 NFL Draft quickly approaching, the New York Giants are in a tough spot. Either they can stay put and select the best players available at 5th and 7th overall, or they can try to trade back and add a 2023 first round pick to their arsenal.

There are a few reasons the Giants may want to consider increasing their draft capital for next year, and they primarily revolve around quarterback Daniel Jones being unproven as he enters his 4th year in the NFL.

There’s a reason to believe that Jones can succeed with Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka leading the charge on offense, but it could be too little too late with the OL still in flux and the majority of the team’s playmakers proving to be injury prone.

With the Philadelphia Eagles executing a monster trade to add another 1st round pick for next year, the Giants have significant competition if they want to target a quarterback like Bryce Young or CJ Stroud. Having two first round picks in the same draft is far more valuable than trying to float future selections.

NBC Sports NFL insider Peter King believes that the Giants will look to move back:

I believe Schoen of the Giants, for instance, wants to come out of this draft with an extra first-round pick next year, even if it costs him this year’s seventh overall pick. So maybe he makes a deal for slightly less than the market rate, just to be in a pole position to take a quarterback if he needs to in 2023.

The reality is simple, the Giants have to make a decision on Jones regarding his 5th-year option by May 2 and they may prefer to restart at the quarterback position rather than pay big money to an unproven player.

Building behind the rookie quarterback financial window is how most teams find success. Just take a look at the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, the two teams the Giants looked to steal coaches from.

The question is, how great does DJ have to look to justify a big contract extension or the franchise tag?

Most would agree, he has to look like a top-10 quarterback, which is extremely unlikely. With that being the case, Big Blue needs insurance and moving back is the only way they can guarantee one of the top quarterbacks in next year’s draft.

Giants News: Tiki Barber drops a hot take on Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley retentions

New York Giants, Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen has made every indication he plans to build around Daniel Jones for the 2022 season, but that strategy could change if he fails to make the necessary jump forward with his development. Schoen also stated that the team isn’t “shopping” Saquon Barkley, despite taking up $7.2 million in salary and offering little beyond the 2022 season unless extended on a big contract, which is unlikely.

You could make a strong argument that trading Barkley now is the best decision, but the Giants haven’t shown they are necessarily interested in executing that method. Barkley is coming off his third consecutive down season, dealing with multiple ankle injuries and a torn ACL in 2020.

The most logical reason behind keeping Barkley is to help prop up Jones in his development. Taking away a prime offensive player may do more damage than good, but that extra $7.2 million could be re-allocated toward the offensive line, which is a legitimate argument.

Former Giants running back Tiki Barber had a few hot takes regarding Barkley’s retention and building around Jones.

Barber dropped a few hot takes on his WFAN show “Tiki & Tierney,” stating:

“The reason I think they should try to trade Saquon is because if you’re going to zero to get your cap in order, just do it,” Barber said. “Don’t try to mitigate the pain by keeping a popular player here. If you’re resetting, it’s a new regime, new philosophy…go all in. if you’re doing this and it’s gonna be painful, you’ve got to just go all in.

Barber’s first take has a logical standpoint, especially when considering the salary cap situation the Giants are currently in. Schoen has spent every last penny trying to improve the roster without dipping below the salary cap, but with the 2022 NFL draft coming up, he will have to trade either James Bradberry or Barkley to sign his rookie class.

Barber didn’t stop at the idea of moving on from Barkley, also making the argument that if Daniel Jones isn’t going to be a top 10 quarterback, what is the point of continuing to build around him?

“If [Jones is] not gonna be a top-10 quarterback, then why are you worried about figuring him out and trying to get a little bit above average quarterback? He’s never gonna be a top 10, maybe he’s 15. Do you trust him to be like Eli [Manning] was? You trusted Eli because even if he was average, because if you got in a critical situation, he was showing up. You could count on that from Eli. Can you count on that from Daniel Jones?”

On paper, these both read as hot takes, but they’re legitimate questions the Giants have to answer this upcoming season. There is a realistic possibility that the team moves on from both offensive players next off-season, hitting the reset button fully.

Giants’ Brian Daboll breaks down how he will deploy Daniel Jones in 2022

brian daboll, giants, bills, daniel jones

When the New York Giants drafted Duke quarterback Daniel Jones 6th overall back in 2019, they saw a mobile quarterback with solid arm talent.

Jones had the tangible traits to become a franchise passer, but a lackluster offensive line and poor schematics doomed him from the start. Despite throwing 24 touchdown passes during his rookie season, Jones has been plagued with turnover issues, fumbling the ball 19 times in 2019, 10 times in 2020, and seven times last year.

One of the reasons ownership hired Joe Schoen, and Brian Daboll from the Buffalo Bills was due to their offensive acumen. Having built a successful offense in Buffalo led by quarterback Josh Allen, replicating that in East Rutherford was the catalyst. Co-owner John Mara recently indicated how poor the offense has been over the past few seasons, specifically during Jones’s tenure with Big Blue.

The question is, how will Daboll and new offensive coordinator Mike Kafka utilize Jones this upcoming season?

“He’s athletic, he’s big, he’s strong,’’ Daboll said Tuesday. “I know he’s had some injuries. It’s always a balancing act. And at the end of the day you’ve got to try to use your players the best way you can use them to try to win a game. Sometimes it might not start early in the season like that but as you figure out what you are and what you need to do you can evolve to that.

Jones ran the ball 62 times last year for 298 yards and two touchdowns. Interestingly, he ran the ball 65 times in 2020 for 423 yards and one score. The Giants have heavily utilized him in that way, specifically on zone-read options. Allen, up in Buffalo, tallied 122 rushing attempts for 763 yards and six scores last year. Of course, he’s a bit more agile with the football in his hands and contains power with his style, something that Jones doesn’t exactly feature.

“With Josh, how many quarterback runs did we really run him by design? Probably more a little bit later in the year when it was crunch time. That’s knowing the player, too. Where a guy wants the ball in his hands in the most critical moments of the game and you can count on him to do that. We’ll find out with Daniel, I think he’s got a really good skill set in that regard. How much of it we’ll do, you never know.’’

Listening to Daboll, it is clear that it will take time for coaches to understand what Jones’s strengths really are.

The problem is that the Giants have to decide on Jones’s 5th-year option by May 2, and they may not have enough time to extrapolate on his strengths. One season’s worth of sample size is not much, given Daboll needed three years to bring the best out of Allen.