EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants are Tyrod Taylor's sixth NFL team. He is currently working in his 12th NFL training camp. Since entering the NFL with Baltimore in 2011, Taylor has played in "four or five" offensive systems before he immersed himself in Brian Daboll's offense this spring.
Given the time he's put in and the number of schemes he's learned and the plays he's called, Taylor, the Giants' top reserve quarterback, is perhaps uniquely qualified among the players to gauge the progress of the offense through the first week of camp.
"I think we've taken a step in the right direction each day," Taylor said today. "Thrown a lot of information in the spring. We were together, what, nine weeks? I got a chance to get familiar with the offense so once we were able to get into training camp, it wasn't necessarily zero. We were already leaving on a high note, so we wanted to keep that energy rolling.
"I think (Daboll) has done a great job of mixing different concepts but also allowing guys to do what they are most comfortable with. That's going out there and making plays. You see (rookie wide receiver) Wan'Dale (Robinson) being moved around in different areas. You see KG (wideout Kenny Golladay) and (receiver David) Sills, and I can go on and list (everybody). I don't leave receivers out saying that guys are outperforming others, but you see guys moving around in different spots making plays."
Does learning new terminology several times and storing hundreds of plays in your brain make it easier or harder to learn yet another system?
"Easier, because you get familiar with concepts," Taylor said. "At this point, there's not too many schemes I haven't seen. It's just about changing the name of something that I've learned already. I think it kind of helps speed up the process versus someone who's never seen the scheme, has to learn the name and get familiar with the scheme."
View the top photos from Wednesday's training camp practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
It's not unusual for quarterbacks who have played in multiple systems to surprise their new teammates with a call from the past.
"When I first got here in the spring, yeah," Taylor said. "Coach Daboll spent time in New England and me being in Houston last year learning from (Texans offensive coordinator) Tim Kelly, I'm going to bring it all together. Tim Kelly learned offense from (former Texans coach) Bill O'Brien, and it all has a New England background. A lot of our schemes are the same from here and Houston; they're just called different things. So, in OTAs and early in the first veteran minicamp, there was a lot of carryover. I was like, 'Hey, you got to put the old stuff behind. It's time to call a new offense.'"
Is Daboll's system harder or easier to learn than those Taylor has played in?
"It can definitely be complicated to a younger guy," Taylor said. "I could see the challenges that people can face learning it. It's a lot of information thrown at you. But it all makes sense once you put it together. I think coming into it, you kind of get – not for me – but I can see how some people would get overwhelmed by just the information. But as you learn, you understand the freedom within it. It's player-friendly. Very player-friendly. And very quarterback-friendly."
Taylor brought plenty of experience to the Giants' quarterback room. He has played in 78 regular-season games with 53 starts for Baltimore, Buffalo (where he started 43 games), Cleveland, the Chargers and Houston. He has thrown 1,542 passes, completing 946 (61.3%) for 10,736 yards, 59 touchdowns and 25 interceptions for a passer rating of 88.2. Taylor joins Russell Wilson, Josh Allen and Cam Newton as the only quarterbacks since 2015 with at least 10,000 passing yards and 1,800 rushing yards.
In 2017, Taylor started 14 games and led the Bills to their first postseason berth in 18 years. Since then, he has played in just 20 games, starting 10. Last season, he started all six games in which he played for Houston.
Though he is currently Daniel Jones' backup, Taylor's mentality remains that of a starter.
"You can go back to my draft prep interviews; I've said this from day one -my job is to come in and prepare like a starter each and every day," Taylor said. "I think that's just the mindset, that's not everybody but it's the mindset for me and I know it keeps me in a competitive state of mind. Also, it builds trust within your teammates. If there is no drop-off from the first, second and third group, the better our team is.
"I came in here ready to compete and that's what the nature of this game is. There is only one quarterback that can play, and you have to be ready at any time when that opportunity presents itself. I'm working each and every day just trying to get better and ready for the opportunity that presents itself."
Taylor and Jones didn't know each other before the veteran's arrival, but like many players in their position, they have become close.
"Great competitor, friendly, southern," Taylor said. "Much respect for Daniel. The way he approaches his job each and every day and the way he goes out and leads. I think just the quarterback room as a whole, we all bring out the best in one another. Whether it's in competitions, whether it's in the weight room, whether it's on the field. We tally up who has the best throws for the day. If you see our board of tallies, it can get crazy but much respect to Daniel. He's doing a great job throughout camp."
Taylor is rooting hard for Jones to have a big season. But he's aware that Jones has missed games due to injury in each of his first three seasons. Last year, a neck issue cost him the final six games and the Giants lost every one of them with Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm as the quarterbacks.
Taylor will be ready if he's needed.
"I know what I'm capable of doing in any setting and I think I've proved that every time I've had a chance to play," he said. "The opportunity presented itself for me to come in – I thought that it was the best decision out of the choices that were available. I'm happy with the decision I made, glad that I'm around such a great group of guys in the locker room as well as a great group of guys in the coaching staff as well, too."
Giants Fan Fest returns to Metlife Stadium
Free and open to the public, the Giants Fan Fest will feature a Blue & White intrasquad scrimmage, autographs by Giants Legends, and a fireworks show.