EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants added two marquee wide receivers, a standout tight end and four running backs this offseason to meet their much-publicized goal of providing more offensive weapons for quarterback Daniel Jones.
But Jones said – more than once – that the arrival of those new teammates does not put more pressure on him to produce in 2021.
"It's on all of us," Jones said on a Zoom call following an organized team activity held exactly two months before the scheduled opening of training camp. "It's on all 11 guys to do their job every play. That's how we're going to make big plays, is everyone doing their job. It's not on any one person more than the other. It's about everyone executing together as a unit. That's how we're going to create explosive plays, be a productive offense."
Moments later, he was asked about "distributing that pressure."
"It's on all 11 of us to do our jobs," Jones said. "That's certainly something coach (Joe) Judge, coach (Jason) Garrett (the offensive coordinator) remind us as a group, as a team, especially on offense, to do our job. Each person of the 11 has to do their job in order for us to be successful.
"Certainly, the quarterback plays a role in that, communication, getting everyone on the same page. I have a lot of responsibility in that, but it's on each of us."
View the best photos from the Giants' spring practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
Today is Jones' 24th birthday. A popular narrative this offseason is that his third NFL year is crucial both for the Giants and for his career. General manager Dave Gettleman and Judge have strongly supported Jones and disputed the notion that this is a make-or-break season for the team's quarterback.
Asked today if there was a possibility of the Giants trying to "upgrade" at the position, Judge said simply, "Daniel Jones is our quarterback."
In response to other questions, Judge displayed his customary strong support for Jones.
"I'm proud of the way he works every day," Judge said. "This guy comes to work every day and whatever phase he's in, if he's in the weight room, if he's getting treatment, if he's on the field throwing with his teammates, organizing things outside this building, the guy always has a plan of how he's going to attack things and proud to watch how he's worked."
The new group of teammates Jones will work with on offense this year includes wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney (the team's first-round draft choice), two-time Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph and running backs Devontae Booker, Corey Clement, Ryquell Armstead and rookie Gary Brightwell, who are competing for backup spots behind Saquon Barkley. They join incumbents Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Evan Engram.
"I'm excited to get back out on the field," Jones said. "I think we've got a great group of guys coming in from last year. (We added) a few new pieces here and there. It's about working together and building chemistry, getting on the field. I'm excited. I think we have an opportunity to improve this spring, keep that going into training camp."
During his conversation with reporters, Jones continually responded to questions about him with answers that encompassed a larger picture.
For example, he was asked "what was going through your head" when Gettleman said after the 2020 season the Giants needed to added playmakers to help Jones.
"Like we've talked about, it's exciting for all of us to have an opportunity to bring in a couple new guys, build on what we already have," Jones said. "We have a lot of good playmakers in the building. You add a few pieces, it's exciting. Looking forward to getting out on the field.
"Really this spring, when all that stuff was happening, I think the focus for each of us was on ourselves, on improving our technique, our fundamentals, doing what we can so that when we did get the opportunity to get together now and later on in camp we're ready to hit the ground running."
Jones was asked if he thought the Giants' offseason was about building around him.
"I'm not sure I necessarily saw it that way," Jones said. "Any time we're bringing guys in, however we do it, I think it's about the team, it's about building something as a group together, trying to build for everyone in that locker room. I certainly felt that way as we went about it through the off-season."
But even with all of the talented additions, it's undeniable that Jones is the Giants' most important player. Can a great quarterback make those teammates better players?
"Absolutely," Jones said. "I think quarterback plays a big part in it. Communicating, getting everyone on the same page, getting the ball where it needs to be as quickly and accurately as possible. I think that's a huge part of the equation. I certainly respect that and appreciate that responsibility."
Judge has high expectations for Jones. But he is ensuring they're not unreasonable.
"He just has to be the best he is every day," Judge said. "That's what we ask of all our players. It's not going to be perfect all the time, but we need to be the best version you can be of yourself. And as coaches we can put you in the best position to play your strengths. That's what we ask of all our players. Daniel, he never shies away from a challenge, comes ready to work. Some is of the conversations we have, when we challenge him internally, this guy steps up every day to the plate and comes to work every day with a plan."
The Giants need both Jones and his teammates to execute it at a high level.