There has never been any doubt about Daniel Jones’ ability to unite those around him, earning their trust and support. That happened in his rookie year.
Converting the confidence the Giants have in him to win, well, that’s taking longer.
Not surprisingly, Jones this week rounded up a number of Giants offensive players – wide receivers, tight ends and even a few linemen – to travel to Phoenix, Arizona, for a few days of pitching sessions, The Post confirmed. The Monday through Friday workouts, hosted entirely by Jones, will be the first unofficial job on the field before the 2021 season.
Teammates quickly took on Jones when he arrived in 2019 as a low-key first-round pick, considered the franchise’s next quarterback after Eli Manning.
A year ago, Jones organized a week of pitching and running routes in Texas, with the help of Colt McCoy, the veteran backup quarterback, former star of the University of Texas. Expect this spring’s sessions to be much more advanced and beneficial, considering Jones and any returning offensive players have the familiarity of a season in offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s system. Last spring, the entire offseason schedule was held virtually, which made it especially difficult for a second-year quarterback to learn an entirely new offensive playbook.
Saquon Barkley, who does rehab work in Arizona, is expected to attend the sessions, although his recovery from reconstructive knee surgery will not allow him to participate. Sterling Shepard will join, as will offensive linemen Nick Gates and Will Hernandez.
Newly-hired wide receiver Kenny Golladay is also expected to participate, so this is the first time he and Jones have connected on the field and started getting to know each other.
NFL teams can open their offseason programs on April 19, but all of these meetings will be virtual at first.
This is a great season ahead for Jones. He is 8-18 as a starter, with a career passer rating of 84.1 and a second season (11 touchdown passes, 10 interceptions) that was one step below his production (24 touchdown passes, 12 interceptions). as a newbie. The Giants entered this offseason hell-bent on finding more weapons for Jones, signing Golladay and wide receiver John Ross as well as tight end Kyle Rudolph.
Head coach Joe Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman recently doubled down on their commitment and faith in Jones, as did co-owner John Mara.
“Listen, we think of Daniel’s world in this building,” Mara said last week. “We want to see him take the next step. I don’t have any specific benchmarks other than winning a few more games. I think he will have a better team around him this year than he had in previous years, so we certainly hope that he will take the next step. I just want to see him keep getting better because I think he has what it takes to be a long-term winner in this league. “
Golladay, after signing a four-year deal worth $ 72 million, said he sees Jones as “still a bit fresh in the league” and added “I feel like he and I can do some good things.” Rudolph, who needs foot surgery and will be off duty this spring, called Jones “a stud” and took a chance by comparing his new teammate to a former NFL quarterback.
“He has all the intangibles to be an Andrew Luck-type quarterback,” said Rudolph, who spent his first 10 NFL seasons with the Vikings. “Hopefully we put a lot of pieces around him and we can take some pressure off him, let him come out and play with confidence and let all those attributes and skills take over.”
Logan Ryan, the 30-year-old safety acquired last summer, spent a season with Jones and believes the only ingredient Jones is missing is time in the league.
“I love Daniel,” Ryan said. “Daniel has everything he needs to be an elite quarterback. What you need is experience, and that cannot be rushed. I know we live in a society where we want results in a week. We want results in a year. It had its first year to start. You will learn from some of those mistakes. Sometimes you have to engage them to learn from them.
“Obviously, more is expected of him this year like everyone else. I expect more from me after a full year in the program. We hope Daniel will lead us to victory this year, and I think he can. “
It all starts this week, in Arizona.