EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – All Daniel Jones needs to do to demonstrate progress in his second NFL outing is improve on perfection.
Jones, the Giants' talented rookie, enters the team's home preseason game tomorrow against the Chicago Bears with a 158.3 passer rating, the highest a quarterback can achieve. Granted, he posted that number on a small body of work; Jones threw only five passes in his debut last week vs. the Jets. But he completed all of them for 67 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown to Bennie Fowler.
The flawless rating might not have survived an extended outing, but Jones' night ended when a 59-minute severe weather delay in the first quarter prompted coach Pat Shurmur to alter his personnel objectives.
"The plan, obviously, last week was to play him longer," Shurmur said. "But with the delay, I shut down that whole group and restarted a new group. That was the idea. Ideally, the way last week played out would have been for Eli (Manning) to play a few more plays (he took three snaps), and then Daniel Jones to play a few more plays."
Jones should get more reps against the Bears, but gaudy statistics are not what he's chasing.
"I think for everyone, it's just to build off what we've done, what we did in that first game, and what we've done since then, and kind of taking the next step as a team," Jones said. "I think with each group, it's just building off what we've done."
Jones was on the field for just 4:23, the time needed to lead the offense on an eight-play, 79-yard drive. His longest completion was a 31-yarder to Cody Latimer. But the rookie is more interested in looking ahead than reflecting on what he did on that possession.
"I think it's the same process in preparing for this week as it was last week," he said. "I don't think letting that affect your preparation is - I think that's part of being consistent, is having the same urgency to prepare every week, and I've certainly tried to do that so far."
Anything specifically he is looking to do accomplish against the Bears?
"I don't know about specifically," said Jones, whom the Giants selected sixth overall in the NFL Draft. "I know there will just be more to it now with the second game. We've had a little bit more time to prepare, and I'm sure they have, so it'll be just a little bit more, I think. But, I think the same idea is to execute, to move the ball, and score points. So, If I'm doing that, if we're doing that, I think it'll be successful."
Exactly how long Jones plays is unknown, as Shurmur has other quarterbacks he wants to evaluate, including Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta.
"I do plan on playing all four quarterbacks, like I did last week," he said. "We'll see. I'd like to see Eli get a little bit more time. We'll just see how that plays out. But there's a chance that he (Jones) could play behind the one (offensive) line.
"I think Daniel's going to play throughout (the preseason). We'll just have to see how it plays out. I think it's important for him to compete in all four of the games, and certainly you'd like him to get as many reps as you can as he gets himself ready to play."
Jones is eager to show he has progressed, which won't necessarily be reflected in his passer rating.
"I think my job is to do what I can to improve, to make sure I'm taking the right steps to make sure the offense is moving forward to the extent I can help it, Jones said. "I think, for the most part, trying not to make mistakes over and over again. I think that's how you learn, is not repeating mistakes. I think that's a big thing, and trying to focus on that. When you're told something once, to correct it and move on so you can take the next steps. I think I've done a decent job with that."
*While Shurmur revealed his desire to use all of the quarterbacks, he was less forthcoming about his plan for star running back Saquon Barkley, who did not play against the Jets. When asked whether he was tempted to keep Barkley out of all four games this month, Shurmur hinted that might be prudent.
"You make a good point," Shurmur said. "He's a valuable player, so we'll just have to see as time goes on if he's going to play in these games. I gave you a clue on the quarterbacks this week. I'll let that reveal itself.
"I just want to be smart. I want to do what's best. I think as we go through it, you see the good work he's getting in practice. We just want to continue to do that."
*Linebacker Alec Ogletree (calf), and cornerbacks DeAndre Baker (knee) and Sam Beal (hamstring) are among the players not expected to play vs. Chicago.
Keep an eye on these five players when the Giants host the Bears on Friday night.