Giants rookie Daniel Jones making progress, but Eli Manning remains designated starting QB
Pat Shurmur insists that Daniel Jones will be ready when his time comes.
He also said that time is not upon us.
The Giants have made it clear, especially in recent days and from the very top of the organization, that Eli Manning is their starting quarterback heading into this season. Co-owner John Mara’s vision of the 2019 campaign, he said this past week, is for Manning to play every snap. That would mean the Giants are winning. It also would mean Jones never sees the field.
“Well, you heard it from the owner,” Shurmur said of Plan A.
But what if circumstances were different? What if Manning wasn’t here, or for some reason was unable to play in the regular-season opener? What if, in some alternate universe, the Giants needed Jones to step in as their starting quarterback today?
What if the Giants needed Plan B?
Jones will be ready when his time comes, but let’s flip that equation. If his time were now, would he be ready?
“We’ve still got training camp to push through, we’ve got preseason games left to push through,” Shurmur hedged on Saturday. “I would say right now, we’re three weeks from any of us being ready. That’s sort of where we’re at. We’ve got work to do.”
For Jones, though, the work will change shortly. He has only a handful of practices left to work with the Giants’ offense. After that, Manning will take close to the full load of snaps in workouts to prepare for taking them in the games and Jones will be running the scout team. And if Manning plays the majority of next week’s preseason game against the Bengals, as Shurmur has suggested he will, Jones might have only a game-and-a-fraction of live action before the regular season begins.
That might be enough to get him ready, if not quite set and go.
“I think he’s making good progress and as he goes along here, he’s checking off all of the boxes,” Shurmur said. “I am pleased with the progress he’s making.”
Notes & quotes: Jon Hilliman scored his first NFL touchdown on Friday night and Saquon Barkley scored the first NFL souvenir for Hilliman. After the rookie running back crossed the goal line, he flicked the ball away in celebration. Barkley, who did not play in the game, ran onto the field and picked up the “fumble” to deliver to Hilliman. “Big shout-out to Saquon for finding that TD ball for me,” Hilliman wrote on Twitter. “A great man indeed.” . . . Shurmur was pleased with the Giants’ pass rush on Friday night, including sacks from linebackers Markus Golden and Oshane Ximines. “We were more disruptive,” Shurmur said. “We still have to improve, but I think it was a step forward from last week” . . . Cornerback Antonio Hamilton left the game with a groin injury. Shurmur had no update on his status on Saturday but insisted that although Hamilton, DeAndre Baker (knee) and Sam Beal (hamstring) are sidelined, the Giants are “not in a bind” with cornerback depth . . . The players were off on Saturday and return to practice on Sunday afternoon.
GIANTS CAMP FACT
The Giants did not participate in the growing trend of joint practices with another team this preseason, but it was more of a scheduling matter than a philosophical one. Pat Shurmur said he enjoyed what he got out of last year’s workouts with the Lions in Detroit, but because the Giants face three of their four preseason opponents in the regular season, they were hesitant to spend more time than necessary showing schemes and personnel to those upcoming foes. That’s unlikely to be an issue next year, though, and it should mean a series of training camp practices against another organization — maybe even at the Giants’ facility in New Jersey. So while training camp access for fans has ended for 2019, there could be a two-for-one bargain for 2020.