New York Giants: Daniel Jones talks new offense and progress

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have reported to East Rutherford, New Jersey for NFL Training Camp. Among the many storylines surrounding the Giants is the progression of quarterback Daniel Jones.

Jones impressed in his rookie season under center for Big Blue. Across 13 games, 12 of which were starts, Jones threw for 3,027 yards while posting a 24:12 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Jones also ran for 279 yards and two touchdowns.

The Duke product is learning a new offense with former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett taking over as offensive coordinator under new head coach Joe Judge.

Jones finds Garrett to be “extremely detailed” (quotes are all courtesy of tweets by Giants.com’s Dan Salomone).

“He’s extremely detailed in his teaching and what he expects on the field.”

Jones says he and the Giants are taking training camp “day to day.”

“We’re taking it day by day, install by install, trying to learn [the offense] as quickly as we can.”

“My focus is on this camp and making sure I’m prepared mentally. … My focus is what we’re doing day to day here.”

Jones mentions how he has grown stronger.

“I feel like I’m as strong as I’ve been. … I wanted to get stronger.”

Jones’ receiving core is headlined by veterans Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard and the second-year Darius Slayton, who lead the Giants in receiving yards (740) and touchdowns (8) last season.

Jones commends what Slayton brings to the table.

“He’s a guy that comes to work every day and knows what to do…He can really get out and run, a big frame, a big target…I know he’s excited going into this year.”

The Giants have a lot of new faces on their offensive line: rookie tackles Andrew Thomas (4) and Matt Peart (99), rookie guard Shane Lemieux (150) and former Cowboys tackle Cam Fleming.

Veteran tackle Nate Solder, though, opted out of the 2020 NFL season. Jones supports Solder’s decision.

“He’s got an extremely tough circumstance. He’s got to do what’s best for him and his family. All the respect and support to him.”

New York Giants: Ranking Daniel Jones’ top 3 throws from 2019

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

After one season, the New York Giants can feel confident they have their next franchise passer in Daniel Jones. The Duke product managed to post successful statistics despite having a lackluster offensive line and dealing with a bevy of injuries with his playmakers.

Jones finished his rookie campaign with 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a 61.9 completion percentage. However, he was sacked 38 times in 13 games and fumbled 18 times, losing 11 of them. There is plenty for Jones to refine and improve upon, which is a massive positive, considering the positive traits he displayed in 2019.

Some of the things we should expect improvement in are — footwork, awareness, ball security, and anticipation. Adding nine extra pounds of muscle should also help his arm strength on the passes.

Despite the lack of efficiency around him, Jones managed to complete impressive players throughout the course of the season.

Let’s take a look at three of his top throws from 2019:

3.) Jones hits Slayton across the middle rolling to his left

This was the first of many Jones’ highlights. From the play-action, Jones immediately feels the pressure coming from his right side, which forces him to roll back to his left and throw across his body toward the middle of the field with poor momentum and stability in the pocket. Luckily, his throw is right on the money and hits Slayton in stride, bringing him down to about the 3-yard line.

This toss gave us a small glimpse into what he’s capable of and the mobility he has within the pocket.

What Should The New York Giants Do With Nate Solder In 2020?

New York Giants, Nate Solder

The New York Giants made it an emphasis this offseason to improve their offensive line this offseason. The Giants spent three draft picks on offensive linemen in the 2020 NFL Draft. One of those picks was an offensive guard but their other two were both offensive tackles (Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart). In addition to those they drafted, the Giants also signed offensive tackle Cameron Fleming in free agency.

Now, with three more offensive tackles on the roster, the Giants have plenty of depth and options heading into the new season. But what will the team do with its starting left tackle from 2019? Nate Solder is due to make $19.5M this season. He was recently named the “most overrated player” in the NFL by CBS Sports. With all of these options at offensive tackle, what should the Giants do with Nate Solder and his huge contract in 2020?

Start Him At Left Tackle?

Of course, the Giants could keep Nate Solder around as their starting left tackle. This would provide continuity for Daniel Jones and continues to pay Solder for what he was signed to play. However, in my opinion, this would be a mistake.

The Giants should start Andrew Thomas at left tackle as soon as possible. Why should they move him to the right side of the offensive line for his rookie season if they plan to start him at left tackle for the rest of his career? This could stunt his development, but more importantly, it could stunt Daniel Jones’s development.

Nate Solder was one of the worst offensive tackles in the NFL in 2020. According to Pro Football Focus, Solder “allowed a league-high 56 pressures while ranking just 70th out of 89 qualifiers with a 52.9 run-blocking grade.” This could be compared to Andrew Thomas’s prolific collegiate career in which he surrendered a total of 37 total pressures on 1,075 pass-block snaps and “only nine total pressures during his third and final season with the Bulldogs.”

Andrew Thomas should play left tackle right away because he is arguably the best left tackle on the roster already, despite never playing a snap in the NFL. Protecting Daniel Jones is the most important task for the Giants’ offensive line. The Giants are not protecting Daniel Jones to the best of their abilities if Nate Solder is starting at left tackle in 2020.

Start Him At Right Tackle?

So if Nate Solder is a liability at left tackle, could they start him at right tackle instead? Would that be an improvement? Currently, the Giants’ group of left tackles if full of unknowns; Matt Peart and Nick Gates are young and unproven players. Cameron Fleming was signed during free agency, presumably to be the team’s right tackle this season. That was before the Giants drafted both Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart.

Now there seems to be a bit of a positional battle at right tackle. Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming are both strong candidates for the position as they both provide veteran experience. Nate Solder starting at right tackle would be better than him starting at left tackle because he would be in the quarterback’s field of vision. Having Solder on the blindside led to a number of Daniel Jones fumbles. Jones is a pretty mobile quarterback, so maybe he could get away from some of those sacks and pressures if he sees them before they get there.

Trade Or Cut?

The Giants should see how Nate Solder plays at right tackle in training camp and preseason. If his performance improves and he looks like the best right tackle on the roster, then the Giants should allow him to start the regular season at that position. However, if he is unable to win the starting right tackle job before the season begins, the Giant should consider moving on from the 9-year NFL veteran.

As previously stated, Solder has a cap hit of $19.5M this season. He also had a dead cap hit of $16M, however, that was his pre-June 1st dead cap hit. Post-June 1st, Solder’s dead cap hit is only $9.5M. So if the Giants cut or trade Nate Solder before the start of the 2020 NFL season, they will free up $10M in salary cap space. That money could then be reinvested to sign a new right tackle or a new cornerback, or the Giants could save the money.

Trading Nate Solder might prove to be a difficult task. Not a lot of teams are looking for a $19M left tackle who let up 56 pressures last season. The Giants will likely not have a market for Solder if they choose to trade him, but cutting him would be a cap-friendly decision. The move would also free up $14M in cap space in 2021.

The Giants’ offensive line should be much improved in 2020; especially if Nate Solder’s performance improves. But the most exciting thing about the Giants’ new offensive line is the depth that they possess. Even if Solder doesn’t improve this year, the Giants have options- and they have not had options in a long time.

New York Giants: Victor Cruz expects Daniel Jones to become a ‘leader’

New York Giants, Victor Cruz

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones turned some heads in his rookie season. Across 13 games, 12 of which were starts, he threw for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 61.9 percent of his passes and posting an 87.7 quarterback rating. Jones also ran for 279 yards and two touchdowns.

The Giants are going into their first full season with Jones under center, as Eli Manning announced his retirement in January.

In an interview with NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano, former Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said that he thinks Jones can become a “leader” in his sophomore season (quotes via Giants.com’s Matt Citak).

“Just continuing to build on the leadership qualities he already has,” Cruz said when asked what comes next in Jones’ development. “I think obviously, coming in on another year without Eli Manning being there, he can actually feel like the leader, be himself and start to bring these guys under his leadership. I think that’s the biggest thing he has to fulfill this year.”

“Yes, the stuff on the field will kind of take care of itself. He’ll make the plays, he’ll make the decisions that he needs to make, I think, in order to be successful… Daniel Jones, this will be the year where he starts to build his own leadership with his guys.”

As Citak mentions, Manning said back in May that he thinks his departure will help Jones this season.

“I think it will be easier this year for him to kind of step up as that leader,” Manning said. “Last year was probably awkward for him, me being there, me being in meeting rooms and just kind of the whole dynamic. Me being gone and, hey, he is the quarterback, he is the guy, for him to have that control and the authority over receivers and offensive line.”

The New York Giants selected Jones with the sixth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Duke University.

New York Giants offensive playmakers missed a crazy number of games in 2019

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants were one of the unlucky teams in 2019 regarding players missing time due to injury. It seems as if that has been the reality for a Big Blue the past few seasons.

Dealing with injury is part of running an NFL team, and former head coach Pat Shurmur simply didn’t have enough depth talent to supplement the loss of his starters.

The Giants have made it a priority to allocate resources toward historically healthy players this off-season, which will hopefully turn the tides in their unfortunate luck. However, the team also faced suspensions last season, specifically with Golden Tate.

Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones was stripped of most of his playmakers throughout the campaign. He didn’t play a single contest with all of his weapons readily available to utilize. Nonetheless, the Duke product threw 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions to start his NFL career, a fantastic number when you break down how many games his playmakers were out for.

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Let’s take a look at how many games the New York Giants played without some of their star offensive weapons:

Daniel Jones: 4

Evan Engram: 8

Sterling Shepard: 6

Golden Tate: 5

Darius Slayton: 2 (started only 9)

Saquon Barkley: 3

Aside from Jones, who missed two games due to injury and another two when Eli Manning started the season, top tight end Evan Engram suffered a foot sprain midway through the campaign, missing the final eight games of the year.

Shepard, who is arguably the Giants’ top receiver, missed six games with concussion symptoms. He suffered two concussions, one against Dallas Cowboys to start the year and another against the Minnesota Vikings. Symptoms lingered for several weeks, limiting Shepard’s appearances.

Tate, who was suspended for the first five games of the season due to a PED suspension, has been healthy throughout his career. The suspension stemmed from a substance he was taking to improve his chances of having a child, which was evidently successful. However, a drug used in the concoction was on the list of illegal substances listed by the NFL.

Most don’t remember, but Darius Slayton missed the first two games of the season with a sore hamstring. He returned and played the remaining 14 games of the year, starting in nine.

Barkley, who heroically only missed three games due to a high ankle sprain, was limited for most of 2019. He started to return to his normal self later on in the season, but he was visibly affected by the injury.

Overall, including Jones, the Giants’ offensive playmakers missed 28 total games, 26 due to injury or suspension. That is an astronomical number that needs to be decreased if the Giants wish to compete moving forward.

New York Giants: 3 hot takes going into the 2020 season

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

The New York Giants have a long way until the 2020 season is underway, with training camp under a month away and several legal proceedings still being ironed out.

Nobody knows if DeAndre Baker or Aldrick Rosas will see the field again, but we must push forward nonetheless.

Let’s take a look at three hot takes for the New York Giants going into the 2020 campaign:

1.) Leonard Williams will be in the Pro-Bowl

When general manager Dave Gettleman sent a third-round pick to the New York Jets in return for Leonard Williams, the fanbase was up in arms. Prior to joining the Giants, Williams had posted 0 sacks, 20 combine tackles, and five quarterback hits with the Jets through seven games. In the second half of the year, he posted 0.5 sacks, 26 combine tackles, 11 quarterback hits, and miss just 3.7% of his tackles, amounting to just one.

The thing about Williams is that he makes everybody around him better, Dalvin Tomlinson and Dexter Lawrence both saw increases in production and efficiency due to the arrival of the former Jet. Leonard’s ability to draw double-teams and put pressure in the trenches and collapse the pocket is precisely why Gettleman hit him with the franchise tag, which will pay him about $16 million in 2020.

Paying him that much money comes with expectations, as the once great uncle Ben from Spiderman said, “with great power comes great responsibility.“

Williams has a lot of expectations on his shoulders, but I believe he will live up to the hype this upcoming season. With half a season of experience and an off-season worth of virtual chemistry building with his teammates, I believe he will replicate the production he saw earlier on in his career when he posted 7.0 sacks and 19 quarterback hits in 2016. We know he’s capable of much more, it’s just a matter of putting him in the right scheme and situation to succeed. I believe defensive coordinator Patrick Graham can unearth his hidden production.

New York Giants: Why Daniel Jones will have improved arm strength and ball security in 2020

New York Giants, Daniel Jones, Giants

The New York Giants should expect a more productive Daniel Jones in 2020:

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is going into the second year of his NFL career, and there are a few witnesses he has been working on this off-season to refine and improve.

During his rookie campaign, Jones posted 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a 61.9% completion rate. However, he was sacked 38 times, and fumbled 18 times, losing 11 of them. This outrageously high number shows us one deficiency, Jones has poor awareness and bar security in the pocket.

Paul Schwartz of the New York Post spoke with QB Country coach Anthony Boone. He has worked this off-season extensively with the young passer, looking to build mass to improve upon the weaknesses mentioned above.

“He’s done a good job of putting together a good physique,’’ Boone said. “At the end of the day he wanted to get stronger and get a little more meat on his bones but still maintain being able to run and move around and being on the field the whole time. Not ‘I’ve put on too much weight and I get short-winded now.’ His thing was make sure he could stay mobile, agile and be out on the field the whole time.’’

The more prominent Jones added about eight pounds of muscle mass, which puts him close to 230 pounds. As Boone mentioned, weight can be good and bad, but the bulk that Jones put on is healthy and should help him protect the ball more efficiently and put more velocity behind his throws. These are two concerns that Jones can fix in one off-season, a remarkable feat.

“When he’s out there and he takes his shirt off or he’s wearing a cut-off or wearing whatever, you can tell physically he’s gotten better,’’ Boone said. “He’s taking care of his body, for sure.

“He really put some work in to make sure he’s a professional athlete and he’s taking care of his body. He’s doing all the right things.’’

Jones showed off his athleticism in year one, running for 279 yards and recording two rushing touchdowns. Former head coach Pat Shurmur began to shy away from utilizing him as a runner, but he showed the ability to do so on read-option plays.

I believe Jason Garrett will get him more involved in unpredictable sets, specifically on bootlegs and moving him around the pocket to open up throws. Then again, the Giants have committed to bolstering the offensive line and giving Daniel all the time he needs in the pocket. His new physique should give him more strength to sit in the pocket and throw with velocity from his legs.

“For one, as a quarterback, being able to take hits a little bit better – you have a little bit more muscle so you’re a little heavier,’’ Boone said. “You put that muscle mass on means you’re looking at a little bit more leg-drive on some throws. More velocity. Or being able to push the ball down the field a little bit further.

 

New York Giants: Expect A Bigger And Better Daniel Jones In 2020

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

For better or worse, Daniel Jones is the current quarterback starter for the New York Giants and there’s no alternative option this season such as Eli Manning.

Jones flashed potential last season as one of the better performing young quarterbacks in the league, but also showed significant problems in some areas such as turnovers. In fact, Jones’ numbers in that category were big enough to stand out for the entire league and not just compared to his Giants teammates. This offseason, however, Jones is working on some training that may aid in fixing that problem.

One of the reasons for the turnovers is that Jones didn’t maximize his athletic potential despite his good size. This season, he may come in stronger than before after focusing on it in the offseason.

“He’s done a good job of putting together a good physique,” said Anthony Boone, another former Duke quarterback who has worked with Jones this offseason and spoke to the New York Post about it.

“At the end of the day he wanted to get stronger and get a little more meat on his bones but still maintain being able to run and move around and being on the field the whole time. Not ‘I’ve put on too much weight and I get short-winded now.’ His thing was make sure he could stay mobile, agile and be out on the field the whole time,” Boone continued.

Jones’ agility was one of his bonuses even when the Giants first drafted him. With declining play on the offensive line, it became less and less viable to start Eli Manning despite Manning’s difficulty escaping the pass rush.

Another advantage from agility is being able to run for first downs. This, however, does have its downsides. One of these is increased turnover risk, which is something that can be reduced by working on strength. After all, a player that can take hits is less likely to drop the ball.

“When he’s out there and he takes his shirt off or he’s wearing a cut-off or wearing whatever, you can tell physically he’s gotten better. He’s taking care of his body, for sure. He really put some work in to make sure he’s a professional athlete and he’s taking care of his body,” Boone assured.

The Giants are resting much of their hopes on Jones this year after a promising rookie season where he threw for 24 touchdowns. That number, and his touchdown to interception ratio, are expected to improve with Jones having a full offseason to adjust to being the starter this year. That luxury combined with physical improvements may just see a big step up for the Giants’ starter during the 2020 season.

New York Giants: Why Daniel Jones will be a top-10 quarterback to draft in fantasy this year

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has all the weapons around him this season to be a top ten quarterback drafted in fantasy. The second-year quarterback will have all his receivers healthy and his star running back Saquon Barkley at full strength. In 2019, there were multiple games where Daniel Jones put up monster numbers in fantasy football. Not to forget, but Daniel Jones never had all his weapons on the field at the same time. If the New York Giants’ offense can stay healthy in 2020, it will be a monster year for Daniel Jones.

In his first career start, Daniel jones put up 34.24 fantasy points. These are numbers that you see from Aaron Rodgers or Russel Wilson. The week three game was madness, Daniel Jones completed 23 passes for 336 yards and threw two touchdowns. This was an electric game to watch for Giants’ fans. Especially when Saquon went down with a high ankle sprain and missed the rest of the game. I was proud of the young kid; he stepped up and earned respect from the Giants. Once Saquon went down, I expected the Giants’ offense to fall apart.

A healthy offense

It’s a huge factor that the Giants’ offense is healthy in 2020. This will lead to success for Jones because he has so many weapons to choose from; the possibilities are endless. If Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram can stay on the field, defenses will be in trouble. The Giants’ offense has five solid options, four at receiver and Saquon out of the backfield. I can see Daniel Jones averaging 20 fantasy points a week; call me crazy if you want, but if all these guys stay healthy, watch out.

An upgraded offensive line

The receiving core is not the only thing that will make Jones great in 2020. The offensive line for the Giants needs to step up. If they don’t, the Giants are in trouble. With the addition of Andrew Thomas, I think the Giants’ offensive line is completely upgraded. It’s still a mystery for fans to see who ends up where on the offensive line, but this year’s offensive line already looks better. Also, Daniel Jones took a beating last year; there were numerous occasions where Jones would throw the ball and be on his back a second later. If the Giants offensive line improves in 2020, Jones will go off. Giving him more time will be a nightmare for a defense, especially with all those weapons. He is a smart kid; Jones will be able to pick apart defenses in 2020 with the help of Jason Garrett. The Giants’ offense could be a top-five offense in the NFL next year, don’t sleep on it.

A whole new offense

There has been a lot of talk about how Jones will struggle to learn a new offensive system, I don’ think so. The Coronavirus has made it hard for players and coaches to meet up and discuss the new offensive system. I believe this year’s offense is going to be a lot better than 2019, Jason Garrett is going to be a hero in New York. I think the new system will fit Jones and Barkley well, a good mixture of play-action passes and some ground and pound offense.

In 2020, CBS Sports is projecting a big fantasy year for Daniel Jones. They have Jones going off against some of the best defenses in the league. For the San Fransico game, they have Jones dropping 18 fantasy points, and against the Steelers, they have Jones dropping 15 points. I would be very happy with these fantasy numbers. I drafted Daniel Jones last year in the tenth round; my friends thought I was crazy. Eventually, Daniel Jones was a clutch backup for me,  Russell Wilson started to struggle, and I needed the kid to step up. He was the reason I made the playoffs.

 

New York Giants: 4 things need to happen for Dave Gettleman to save his job

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants are heading toward the 2020 season with question marks all over the roster. Improvement is always a priority, but guaranteeing it is impossible. General manager Dave Gettleman allocated ample resources toward bolstering the offense of line, the defense, and bringing in an entirely new coaching staff.

On paper, it seems as if the team has taken a step forward, but development comes with its problems. The secondary ranked as one of the worst in the NFL last season, but with a year of experience under their belt, adding James Bradberry and Xavier McKinney, we can expect the group to improve their production and efficiency.

Ultimately, the Giants and Dave Gettleman need to see an improvement next season. Gettleman is on his last leg, and if the team fails to compete and show a desire to win, he will likely be out of a job.

Here are four factors that could play into Gettleman getting the acts by the New York Giants:

1.) Daniel Jones needs to improve

Jones had a solid rookie season, posting 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He showed above-average accuracy in the intermediate/short passing game but did have his fair share of struggles along the way.

Fumbles remain a major issue, as he fumbled 18 times, losing 11 of them in 2019. Jason Garrett will bring a much more detailed offense to the Giants, featuring plenty of 12 personnel and pre-snap motions. Jones will have to learn a ton in a short amount of time, but the offense has the talent to succeed moving forward. If Jones can improve and utilize his playmakers appropriately, he could be a significant reason Gettleman retains his job in the future.