New York Giants: What to watch for in Daniel Jones preseason debut

Daniel Jones, New York Giants. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Daniel Jones, New York Giants. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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New York Giants
Daniel Jones, Duke Blue Devils. New York Giants. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Audibles and Reads

Since the days of Air Coryell in the late ’70s, college and NFL offenses have become exceedingly complex. Every play has variations, offshoots, and contingencies. There are receiver check-downs and pass route variations. It’s up to the modern-day quarterback to see what the defense is going to do and react almost before it happens.

Daniel Jones got his New York Giants playbook the first day he arrived at the team’s training complex back in April. It should have been stuck to him like fresh gum on the bottom of a sneaker since then.

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Thankfully, he played for a college coach at Duke, David Cutcliffe, who is known for his understanding of the game. Additionally, a rookie signal-caller could have no better mentor than Eli Manning. The veteran’s mental preparation and attention to detail are almost unparalleled.

The two of them along with backups Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta have been breaking down the plays for months. It’s also safe to say, Big Blue’s QB corps have been spending hours a day, every day, studying game film and reviewing practice sessions. In this aspect of the game:

  • How well does Jones read the defense pre-snap?
  • Can he work his receiver progressions and check downs?
  • If necessary, does he buy time with his feet for receivers to get open?

These are the next-level skills. Almost anyone can run base plays. What separates the average from the good, and the good from the great quarterbacks is their ability to think the game, and follow through physically.

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While failure Thursday doesn’t spell doom for Jones, success should also be taken with a grain of salt. He’ll likely be playing with and against backups and subs. It would be nice if he can answer the above questions positively in his first live game action.