Daniel Jones’ Giants evolution encapsulated in gadget play

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There was a moment in the second quarter of the first postseason game of Daniel Jones’ career when it was tempting to see what was happening on the field and think to yourself, “Who is this guy wearing No. 8 in white and what sorcery did Brian Dabol engage in such risks?” Daring? “

Long before Daboll came on the scene, Jones was untrustworthy with the ball in his hands. He had trouble holding on and was a huge hurt in his formative years in the NFL.

This is the once flawed quarterback He was very confident Sunday in Minneapolis, so he is in control of his body and mind that Daboll had no remorse bless him upon hearing offensive coordinator Mike Kafka call the little trick often known as the Statue of Liberty play. It didn’t mean much in the Giants’ 31-24 victory over the Vikings, but it did mean a lot when viewed through the prism of Jones’ development.

“I mean, it’s something we’ve practiced and again, Daniel is a good athlete,” Daboll said Monday. “He’s got a good feel for a lot of different things in terms of handling the ball, so it’s something we put him in that we thought would give us a chance.”

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) warms up before the NFC Wild Card
The Giants called the Statue of Liberty play, a sign of the coaches’ confidence in Daniel Jones.
Corey Sipkin for NY Post

That playing the organ was on the order sheet, and that Daboll trusted Jones to play it without incident, is another sign that the coach-with-the-center relationship is heading toward a lifelong commitment. Jones was in the final year of his contract but it became clear that the Giants were not going to look for a replacement and instead looked to secure Jones on a multi-year deal.

“He really evolved,” said Saquon Barkley after Jones passed for 301 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 78 yards to overwhelm a flailing Vikings defense. “He’s an elite player. This is where you create a legacy – the playoffs – and what a way to start that.”

The Giants were ahead 14-7 in the second quarter with a first and goal from the Vikings’ 9-yard line. Jones picked up the shotgun, and Matt Breda lined up behind him. Jones placed the ball in his left hand—he has two large hands—and his right arm (and right, empty hand) faked a quick throw to Barkley leaking out of the backfield. Barkley helped sell the fake by putting his arms in the air as if he were jumping to fetch the ball.

In the same movement, Jones kept the ball in his left hand and put his left arm behind his back, with Buraidah moving forward to take the pass, which actually came a little high. Buraydah only picked up 3 yards on a drive that ended in a Graham Gano field goal.

“You didn’t get a whole bunch of it, but these are the things you try every week to look at and see if you can steal something,” Daboll said, “whether it’s third, back up, wherever it is. That’s why we put it in.” ‘

Daboll put it on because he believed Jones would complete the ball-handling maneuver without an unforced error. This is another area of ​​growth for the 26-year-old quarterback One comma victory on his resume Heading into a Saturday night meeting with the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

It was such a knock on Jones that for all his athletic talents, he didn’t deliver the special, “wow” play. Those methods are displayed on the door. There were plays Jones made in his first playoff game that separated him from the NFL quarterback rank and file.

On the game-winning run in the fourth quarter, Jones’ Throw to Isaiah Hodgins at left sideline For 19 yards that belongs somewhere on the Best Throw list, not quite the Eli Manning-to-Mario Manningham connection in Super Bowl XLVI but impressive in its difficulty.

New York Giants head coach Brian Dabol greets quarterback Daniel Jones (8) prior to the NFC Wild Card game
Jones and head coach Brian Dabul turned out to be a rookie duo.
Corey Sipkin for NY Post

Jones felt the pressure straight up the middle and immediately relied on his drill and footwork, passing just enough to his left to give himself an open lane. He readjusted his body and placed the pass where only Hodgins and not cornerback Patrick Peterson could play. Hodgins has made a huge leap, but on the big points in the big games that’s what it takes, and it’s the quarterback’s job to give his goal a chance.

There was another play with a more subtle edge from Jones. It came on the opening drive of the third quarter with the Giants at the Vikings’ 44-yard line. Jones first took the shotgun and looked into the middle for his first read. When he didn’t like what he saw, Jones quickly walked out of that reading without hesitation – a real sign of progress. A sprint to the right provided Jones plenty of space and bought enough time for Hodgins, who had lined up wide right, to drive the distance to get fullback Eric Kendricks tipped the wrong way. With Kendricks in full pursuit mode, Jones put the pass on goal and Hodgins had no problem rushing to the right sideline for a 32-yard drive before running out of bounds at the 12-yard line.

“He led us,” said Hodgins. “He’s a field general. I’m glad to be a part of it.”

They are all part of it, none more than Significantly improved Daniel Jones.

Source link: https://nypost.com/2023/01/16/daniel-jones-giants-evolution-encapsulated-in-gadget-play/

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