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Mailbag: Down-field threats, Daniel Jones' growth


Adam in New York: What do you think are the Giants best chances of producing a legit down field threat with who is on the current roster?

John Schmeelk: Darius Slayton is the speed guy among the receiving corps. I think over the course of the last few games, he has proven his ability to be the guy that can stretch out defenses and win one-on-one when defenses leave their cornerbacks on islands. His 44-yard catch against Anthony Brown last week showed yet another element to his game. Brown stayed in-phase throughout his route, but Slayton elevated and won at the catch-point to make a true "above the Xs and Os" play to set up the Giants' lone touchdown. It is the job of the rest of the wide receiver group to be consistent in the short and medium areas of the field and make key catches when they get open.

Brian in North Carolina: I am a huge Giants fan and was very excited when we got the pick for Daniel Jones. I know he went off to a real slow start but I see him improving all the time. What do you think about his approach to the game now and his decision making, execution, and leadership skills?

John Schmeelk: Daniel Jones' decision-making and discipline is what has impressed me the most this season. He gets the ball where he is supposed to and has improved on making quick decisions to get the ball out of his hands on-time. I use the word discipline because I think it would be very natural for Jones to try to hunt big plays, which often times can lead to disaster. Instead, he is making a quick decision and accepting a "good" play in favor of waiting for the perfect play to open up later in the progression. He has also resisted the urge to put the ball into dangerous areas of the field more frequently. Jones' willingness to run out of a collapsing pocket and pick up a positive gain or key first down with his legs has also stood out throughout the season. All of this is a big reason his turnovers are way down, which is an acceptable price to pay if the cost is fewer explosive passes down the field.

Traimayne in Kentucky: I recognize that the G-MEN need to pick it up on offense a little more but don't you think that New York has always done the job much better when they have a powerhouse defense as in every Super Bowl they have one there was outstanding defensive players.

John Schmeelk: The Giants' identity has always been defense, and the NFL is trending in that direction this season. Scoring is down with the re-emergence of dual-high safety defenses, which has led to a reduction of explosive plays and offenses relying more on the running game. A good defense is key to being a winning team. It is hard in the NFL, however, to win consistently if a team does not have an explosive offense that is capable of scoring points quickly with the passing game. This should not be a one or the other proposition. The Giants should be aiming for both a strong defense and an explosive offense.


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