MIAMI – Daniel Jones is eager to learn both the Giants' new offensive system and about the man who will teach it to him, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. The first time the two met was a postgame handshake after Garrett's Dallas Cowboys defeated the Giants in MetLife Stadium on Nov. 4.
Jones knew where to go for valuable intel on Garrett and his scheme. While here at the site of Super Bowl LIV this week, he spoke to Dak Prescott, the quarterback who started each of the Cowboys' last 67 games, including three in the postseason.
"I actually met Dak -- well, I've seen him on the field -- met him for the first time down here and talked to him a little bit," Jones said. "Everyone who has worked with Coach Garrett speaks very highly of him and I think Dak was certainly the same way. Guys respect him and it seems like he's done a lot for a lot of peoples' careers, so I'm excited to work with him."
Jones spoke at a Citi Football ProCamp at Miami Central High School. Because of the offseason rules in the NFL's collective bargaining agreement with the players union, Garrett cannot yet begin teaching the offense to Jones and the other players. How can Jones prepare to play in an attack he knows little about?
"I'm just gonna try to work on the things I need to improve," said Jones, who threw for 3,027 yards and 24 touchdowns in 13 games (12 starts) as a rookie. "It's tough to install the offense and learn the offense with the way the rules are and the way that's set out, but I focus on stuff I need to work on, stuff I need to improve from last year, and kind of go from there. But I'm looking forward to working with them."
"Them" includes head coach Joe Judge, Garrett and the rest of the new-look offensive coaching staff.
"I like them a lot," Jones said. "I've met with them a few times and trying to get to know them. But I like them. Coach Judge, he's very straightforward. He's what you saw in the press conference. He's a football guy, a lot of energy, looking forward to working with him. And obviously Coach Garrett is a proven coach in the league. He's won a lot of football games, coached a lot of great players, so I'm excited to work with him, too."
Counting his final year at Duke, Jones will play in his third offensive system in as many years. As a rookie, he played under head coach and play-caller Pat Shurmur, who was dismissed the day after the season ended.
"It'll be a challenge, but it's part of the job," Jones said of playing in another scheme. "I learned a system this year so we're doing it again, but it'll be a challenge and it's something I need to spend a lot of time making sure I'm working toward and making progress with. But it's part of the job. I think we'll all be able to do it, we'll all attack it the right way and try to pick it up as quickly as we can."
Jones said he will spend most of the offseason close to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, though he will likely work out when possible at his alma mater, Duke – where in recent years his predecessor, Eli Manning – worked with Giants receivers in informal workouts prior to training camp.
"I'm going to be up in New Jersey for most of it and working out there," Jones said. "A lot of guys are up there, so we'll get together. As far as a trip where we go train for a little bit, kind of get together and all work together somewhere, still working on that, but we'll probably do that at some point. … We'll figure it out and see what everyone is thinking and try to do the best thing for everyone."
The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs meet in Super Bowl LIV and being here has given Jones a close-up view of the excitement and attention the game generates.
"It's exciting to see it and feel the buzz around it, feel the energy about it," he said. "I definitely won't go to the game, but it does kind of get you excited. That's certainly the goal to be playing in one of these."
The diplomatic Jones declined to select a Super Bowl winner.
"No one has really stopped the Chiefs recently, but I also didn't expect the 49ers to beat the Packers like they did," he said. "So, I don't know. I think it'll be a good game."
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