EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Daniel Jones continues to grow and improve running Brian Daboll's schemes, and he is confident the rest of the Giants' offense will rise with him.
"I think going into year four, I'm a more experienced player," Jones said today. "I think I'm a better player than in years past. So, I feel more comfortable from that standpoint and from what I'm seeing and making decisions. And as it relates to this offense and this scheme, it gives a quarterback a lot of options, and it allows for a quarterback to use what he knows and distribute the ball based on that. So, I've enjoyed working in this offense so far, and like I said, we've got a lot of work to do. But it's been fun working with coach Daboll and his staff and working in this offense."
Daboll's offense is the third Jones has had to learn in his four seasons. That means scrubbing old systems and terminology from his mind and learning the new attack so well he could coach it himself.
It's no surprise when Jones was asked where he's made the most improvement from the offseason through the first 10 days of training camp, he focused on the system and not himself.
"I think a lot of it is specific to this offense, to the scheme we are installing and plays we are running," Jones said. "I think every day you make progress with that kind of stuff as a group. Personally, you've got things you are working on, but I think collectively as a unit in the pass game and the run game, you're getting on the same page. I'd say from a chemistry standpoint, from an overall understanding of the offense, of seeing things the same way, I think that's where we've made the most progress and that's what we'll continue to focus on.
"I'm getting more comfortable every day, I think. We're still early in the process. We've got a lot of work to do. That's certainly my mindset, I think that's coach Daboll's mindset and the whole group's mindset. We've got a lot of work to do and we're eager to do it. I'm comfortable and continuing to work to get more comfortable."
Daboll has been a strong supporter of Jones since joining the Giants and is pleased with the quarterback's performance early in camp.
"I think he's steadily improved since we got here," Daboll said. "He's learning a whole new language. It's not just for Daniel, it's any young quarterback or new quarterback in a new system. There's a lot to learn. There's a lot to handle. So, he's making progress. We're constantly teaching and we're evolving as to what we do. Still, we're trying to figure out what we do well, too. What our pieces are. The routes that are good. There might be a certain route concept that we ran yesterday where after we tried it three or four times, I'm telling (offensive coordinator Mike) Kafka, 'Let's just move on from that play.' But we need to practice it to see if that's something we're good at. And I think the quarterback has to have some input on that as well. So, he's making improvement each day."
Jones also has a fan in running back Saquon Barkley.
"He comes to work every single day," Barkley said. "He's out there making plays for us. It's his third offense in how many years. I would say he's coming in every single day trying to get better. He's continuing to do a great job leading and rallying the guys up. Getting us ready to practice, and eventually when we're out there to go out and play a game, he'll do the same thing."
*Daboll will coach in MetLife Stadium for the first time this evening when the Giants practice in front of thousands of fans.
"I think it's awesome," he said. "The more fans you have, the more juice you get as a player and as a coach. And I think it's good. It's the next step. Spring ball is obviously a lot different than training camp. You have the fans out here. There's energy. There's a lot of people watching. You try not to let the outside affect your performance. You try to concentrate on your job. But everybody's human. So, the more people there are, there's added pressure at times for certain players. And other times they can handle it. So, I think it's just another step in getting ready for our preseason game."
The Giants play their preseason opener Thursday night in New England.
*Safety Xavier McKinney was among the many players looking forward to the public showcase.
"It'll be our first time everybody as a group, out there in the stadium," McKinney said. "It's going to be fun. I know the energy is going to be up, we're excited, and we're ready to kind of get that little first glimpse of how we're going to be playing and know what we're going to be doing. So, it'll be fun, and we're looking forward to it, hopefully, we don't get rained out or anything like that, hopefully, we can just be in the stadium the whole time."
*A year ago, the Giants were cautious in training camp with Barkley, who had missed most of the 2020 season with a torn ACL. This week, he fully participated in the first full-pads practices and ripped off some impressive runs in 11-on-11 drills.
"It felt good to get out there," Barkley said. "For me personally, I didn't really get to experience this last year with rehabbing. But it feels good to get out there. We are doing some great things, but I also think the defense is doing some great things. That's what you want to do. If you want to be a competitive team, both sides got to compete. Some days it's going to be offense, some days it's going to be defense, some days it's like we really don't know. We kind of have the arguments and conversations. Whether it's me and (safeties Julian) Love or (Xavier McKinney) and Daniel after practice. At the end of the day, we are just coming out here trying to compete and trying to get better every single day."