At one point during a practice last week Brian Daboll wanted to emphasize a coaching point to Daniel Jones that he didn’t think could wait. So for one snap he sent backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor in to run the next play with the first unit, said what he had to say to Jones, then put Jones right back in the huddle.
It was one rep, the only one of this spring or summer for which Jones was not the “starting” quarterback, but it created so many ripples in the Giants’ universe it felt as if a boulder had splashed into a puddle rather than the pebble plopping gently into an ocean that it truly was.
Such is the state of the most important position on the team, one fraught with uncertainty and debate about its present and future and further unsettled with each day the offense struggles to perform at an acceptable level in practices or preseason games. But while there has been an outside clamor for Taylor to leapfrog Jones on the depth chart this season, inside the walls of the team’s facility the commitment to Jones remains steadfast.
Even as they prepare to give Taylor a chance to play with the first unit.
Daboll said on Tuesday he intends to hand the offense to Taylor at some point this preseason. He did not say when — “I learned from a pretty good coach a while ago, usually he doesn’t tell those guys when he throws them in because that’s what the backup’s role is, you have to go in on a split second,” he said — or for how long.
It will almost certainly create a tempest of speculation, though, even after Daboll was asked if Taylor’s pending first-team reps will have anything to do with Jones’ performance and said: “Absolutely not.”
“I have full confidence in Daniel and full confidence in Tyrod and what his role is,” Daboll said. “Each day we sit there and we evaluate the guys.”
That seems fine with Taylor, who spoke with Newsday after Tuesday’s practice.
“I’m always ready for any opportunity,” Taylor said. “I’m a big believer that God puts us in different situations in life to learn about ourselves and to prove to others what you can do in those situations. Whatever opportunities come my way I just try to make sure I am ready for them.”
One such opportunity seems imminent.
Despite saying since the day he signed that he has come here to “compete,” Taylor seems comfortable in his current role with an apparently fixed outcome. Even if he (or any other outside observer) believes he is playing better than Jones, Taylor said he will live happily with the decisions made by those tasked with making such calls.
“Ultimately the coaches and front office, it’s their job to determine who is the best option to go,” Taylor said. “I’m not here to make that decision. My job is to come in each day, show great energy, give great effort, and execute at a high level any time my number is called.”
While both Jones and Taylor are well aware of the noise surrounding their ranks on the depth chart and the mounting calls for a change in their roles, Taylor said they work hard to keep such speculation out of their relationship.
“I think we do a good job of understanding the nature of our game and also doing what it takes to help better our room,” Taylor said. “Obviously my job is to help better our quarterback room whether it’s me being on the field executing and doing my job or helping the other guys in the role I have taken on and embraced. Obviously we’ve been able to show what we are capable of doing and we’ve been given the opportunity whether it’s with the ones, twos or threes. I’m thankful for that and I’ll continue to keep pushing forward and getting better every day.”
At some point, that trajectory may put him above Jones in the eyes, minds and hearts of the Giants.
But not now. At least not yet.