Jerry Schuplinski has worked with enough young quarterbacks to know that they all make mistakes. It’s why he is not surprised by the couple of miscues that Daniel Jones has made in each of his first two games this season, the ones that have led to turnovers and overshadowed the many more positive things he has been able to do.
But most of the time, the quarterbacks coach of the Giants said on Tuesday, those young players he has tutored have had the luxury of committing those gaffes in private. They normally take place while watching from the bench, experimenting in practices, and learning in the meeting rooms.
Jones’ development is happening in actual games. And the mistakes? Like teething and temper tantrums for parents, they’re just things the Giants know they have to wait out.
"We all hope we don’t have to wait too long," Schuplinski said, "but it is part of the process and it is part of the growing pains sometimes."
At some point — maybe very soon — Schuplinski expects Jones to outgrow that stage of his career.
"I think I’m seeing a lot of that to be honest with you," he said. "I love coaching this guy, I love the way he competes. I mean, this guy is a tireless worker. I would say he works as hard if not harder than any young quarterback I’ve been around for sure and close to any quarterback I’ve been around."
Schuplinski was on the staff in New England for several years, so we all know who he is talking about with that last part.
"All of that stuff will continue to pay off," he said. "I think it has already, and I think it will continue to do so for him."
Jones has yet to have that near-flawless game that can trumpet his arrival as a fully matured starting quarterback. He’s shown a lot of the good stuff, including at least one touchdown pass in 13 of his first 14 starts, and some terrific individual throws. But there is always a "but." Whether it is an interception deep in the red zone against the Steelers or a fumble while being stripped from behind against the Bears, there always seems to be a snap or two that defines the losses.
"We’re just going to continue to harp on the fundamentals, being strong with the ball in the pocket, making all of the good decisions on every play," Schuplinski said. "I think the big thing is just focus on every play, you know? He’s a focused kid. He works hard. We just need to have that focus and concentration on every play … Every single play is so important. We can’t give anything away right now. We just have to keep stressing it and keep working on it."
Once that happens, Jones can graduate to the next level of his career.
"I’m impressed by what I’ve seen from him so far," Schuplinski said. "We’re putting a big emphasis on him stepping up in the pocket, protecting from inside-out, being able to step up, get the ball out on time. Taking what the defense gives you. I think he’s done a really good job of taking those things on and improving on those each week. We’ll continue to do that with him and obviously try to clean up some of the mistakes."
Patiently waiting for the day when they disappear for good.
Notes & quotes: With Saquon Barkley placed on injured reserve, the Giants pulled CB Ryan Lewis up from the practice squad to fill the roster spot. Lewis was promoted for Sunday’s game against the Bears but did not play. "He really competes hard and he has familiarity with the system, having been with Pat (Graham, the defensive coordinator) last year (in Miami)," defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson said. "He’s a guy who competes and wants to do the right thing, plays hard. I really like the kid."