The Giants evaluate their rookie quarterback each and every day. It’s like the Dan Jones Industrial Average. Some days, though, are more important than others. Those are the days when the Giants play actual games.
And Jones’ abilities seem to spike on those occasions.
“That’s a good thing, obviously,” Pat Shurmur said of Jones raising his game when the lights are on. “We want to make sure they perform well in games, period.”
While he has looked strong and competent and even flashy at times in practices in training camp, Jones has cranked it up for his two preseason appearances. He has completed 16 of his 19 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Among players with at least 10 pass attempts this preseason, Jones has the highest passer rating in the NFL (151.8) and the fourth-best completion percentage.
“There are some guys that, through the years I’ve been around, are absolutely horrible practice players and they can turn it on for the game,” Shurmur said. “You’re certainly looking for consistency. You sleep better at night when the guy practices well.”
Jones hasn’t caused much tossing and turning this summer. But practices are just a small part of the whole package.
“At the end of the day you want them to play well in games,” Shurmur said.
So far, Jones has been able to do that.
'TREE LOSES WEIGHT
Alec Ogletree said he dropped about 10 pounds coming into this season to keep up with the speed of the game.
“You have to be able to move and cover ground and use your speed to make plays,” the veteran linebacker said. “For me, I’m still doing the same thing, but you get lighter you tend to be a little bit faster than what you were.”
He is listed at 250, which is where he was last year. At 27 and in his seventh pro season, he’s already having to adjust to sweeping changes in the sport and his position.
“The guys they’re bringing in now are not your 250s, 240s,” he said. “They’re 225s and 230 at the most really if you are a linebacker… Half of the game is being able to run and chase down tackles and cover out in space.”
Trees are known for their rigidity. 'Tree wants to be more adaptable.
Ogletree said he does feel faster at his new weight. He’s been sidelined with a calf injury for over a week so he hasn’t been able to show it much lately, but he said he will be back in action for the opener against Dallas on Sept. 8. Then he’ll find out if his new sleek body fits in with today’s NFL.
He thinks it will.
“Yeah,” he said, “I feel I can definitely still run.”
SHURMUR LIKES IT HOT
Pat Shurmur said the high temperatures and high humidity this week has been a “blessing” for the Giants as they practiced on Sunday and Monday. Those workouts have slanted heavily toward the projected starters.
“This is a good little stretch here,” he said. “Very, very important these two practices are just in the big picture of getting, ultimately, 53 guys ready to play on Day One… It’s an important thing to do this time of camp.”
Shurmur noted that with games in some hot cities early in the season – Dallas may open its roof for the opener, they’re in Tampa in Week 4, and, as he said, “God only knows” what the weather will be like in the Meadowlands in September – it’s good to get a taste of such conditions now.
“The advantages are there is extra conditioning, the pressure you put on your body dealing with the heat,” he said. “I think it’s important, especially for the first five or six weeks, to have had some heat conditioning. This was a little blessing for us, this extreme heat the last two days. Guys have handled it pretty well.”
Shurmur said S Michael Thomas was excused from practice to attend to NFLPA business and LB Tae Davis did not participate since he was feeling “under the weather” … Projected starting CB DeAndre Baker did some drills with the team on Monday. “We’re going to move him back in there as quickly as we can,” Shurmur said.