As Big Blue zeroes in on season No. 2 under head coach Joe Judge, the two prevailing storylines have been the comeback of Saquon Barkley from an ACL tear and the pivotal year ahead for quarterback Daniel Jones.
Selected sixth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, Jones faces a make-or-break campaign in the eyes of many and he admits a certain level of pressure falls upon his shoulders.
“I think at this level and in this job, we’re all expected to perform and play at a high level every day, and that starts today,” Jones said Tuesday when asked if he feels pressure ahead of his third training camp, via team transcript. “I certainly feel that. I think everyone on the team does and I think that’s healthy, I think that’s the way it should be and I know we’re excited for the opportunity.”
Jones’ two seasons with the Giants have been marked by surges of great play that have ignited the Big Blue faithful and freefalls often kindled by turnovers that have brought about doubt if he’s the franchise’s signal-caller for the long haul.
Over 27 career games, Jones has 35 touchdowns and 22 interceptions and has also shown a fleetness of foot that’s carried him to 702 yards rushing in that span but also added up to 29 fumbles, dubiously leading the NFL in each of his two seasons.
However, his inconsistent play – which has come with injuries in both seasons – has been met by inconsistency on the sidelines. As a rookie taking the reins from Eli Manning, Jones was taking his cues and plays from head coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Mike Shula. Then he started all over again in his second season under new head coach Joe Judge and OC Jason Garrett.
Just as Jones admitted to pressure coming with the job of being QB1 on the Giants, he also professed to the consistency being a welcomed occurrence as he heads into his third season and second under the current regime.
“I think it’s valuable,” Jones said. “I think it’s valuable for all of us. I think it’s the second year in the system under coach Garrett and coach Judge. A lot of us are back and, like I said, have developed chemistry and know how to communicate with one another, but kind of the same theme, to start over and take it day by day, to start with step one and make sure we’re going about it the right way. We’ve got several new guys and had some time to get to know them during the spring and in the summer and we’ll continue to go from there, but definitely helps to be back with coach Garrett, coach Judge and a lot of the same guys.”
The pressure’s on for Jones, more so than any season prior, but the stability and support is also better than ever.
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