The three Giants quarterbacks keep track of everything they do. And everything the other two do as well.
Make a good throw or a smart check at the line of scrimmage? You get a point. Bring up a good question in the meeting or squeeze an extra rep in the weight room? Point. And they’re all there in the front of the room for everyone to see at any given moment who is winning and who is . . . not.
“If you could see our board of tallies, it can get crazy,” Tyrod Taylor said of the pseudo-scoreboard that ranks him, Daniel Jones and Davis Webb at all times throughout training camp.
Welcome to the Giants’ quarterback competition where they go head-to-head (-to-head) for just about everything except the thing that matters most: the starting job.
That belongs to Jones, who has taken every first-team rep in training camp and in whom the new coaching staff and front office have expressed nearly unconditional belief for the upcoming season — even if things get a little fuzzy beyond that with their decision to decline the fifth-year option for 2023 on his rookie deal.
They brought in Taylor to be Jones’ backup, period.
But Taylor sees his role a little differently, even if he has little to no room for upward mobility on the depth chart.
“I came in here ready to compete,” he said on Wednesday. “That’s what the nature of this game is. Obviously, there is only one quarterback who can play so you have to be ready at any time when that opportunity presents itself. I’m working each and every day just trying to get better and ready if the opportunity presents itself.”
That’s what the Giants want from him.
“You should love to compete,” coach Brian Daboll said. “You try to create as competitive an environment as you can whether that’s in the cafeteria, at the walk-through, in the locker room. Everything’s about competition.”
Even if, in this case, the end result is already decided.
After a slow start to training camp created some outside rumblings Taylor may be a better option for the Giants, Jones and the offense have started clicking over the last few days. On Wednesday, Jones was 6-for-6 on a brisk touchdown drive late in practice capping a second straight strong performance. He is starting to connect more regularly with Kenny Golladay, who made two of those six catches on the drive, including a leaping one down the left sideline, and has been getting a better feel for the machinations of his receivers who are in steady pre-snap motion.
Giants fans may get a chance to see Jones and Taylor square off in Friday night’s Fan Fest at MetLife Stadium. Although Daboll said he has yet to decide on the exact format, there will be a scrimmage of some sort at the event. That could simply mean pitting the offense against the defense, or it could mean breaking the 91-man roster into two sides and letting them go at it. If the latter is the case it will create a clash between Jones and Taylor in a very public forum.
That could be dangerous for the Giants since Taylor decidedly is a much more exciting and fun quarterback to watch. His constant changing of arm angles, ability to scramble and throw on the run, and strong deep passes that fly effortlessly off his hand are much more eye-popping than Jones’ physical abilities. Does that make him a better quarterback? Probably not. But in a small sample size, it may have fans leaving the stadium on Friday clamoring for Taylor, especially if Jones struggles just a little bit.
Taylor's electricity was on display in a practice last week. The 32-year-old ran a quarterback draw into the end zone for a touchdown and to celebrate the score he jumped into the air and slam dunked the football over the goalpost.
Was that part of the quarterback competition? Will a slam dunk contest find its way onto the board?
“Can’t nobody do that but me,” Taylor bragged.
He eventually conceded Jones, a 6-5 high school basketball star, probably could, but Webb would have no shot. That’s about all he is conceding, though, even if it seems the only way Taylor can become the starting quarterback of the Giants is if Jones gets hurt. Given the fact Jones has yet to finish an NFL season without missing a game that could very well happen in 2022. Taylor will be ready.
Until then, Taylor will keep finding other ways to push himself — and Jones and Webb — besides the allure of a starting job.