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Giants’ OC Mike Shula: Daniel Jones capable of starting Week 1

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Now, let’s not go and start a quarterback controversy

NFL: New York Giants-Rookie Minicamp
Daniel Jones
Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones won’t be thrown into NFL action by the New York Giants as a Week 1 starter. Unless, of course, something unforeseen happens to Eli Manning — who has never missed an NFL game due to injury.

Still, offensive coordinator Mike Shula said Wednesday he felt Jones could do that if he had to.

“I think he’d be ready to go. That’s my personal opinion,” Shula said. “I would say this: times have changed. In the years past, whenever you draft a guy, even if it was that early, those guys would traditionally not play until their second or third year. But probably ever since six or seven years ago, you started seeing more guys playing early. But I think he has that capability.

“Obviously with any young guy, whether it is Daniel or whoever you have, I think you have to make sure that those guys, you find out what they can do best and get them on the field doing that to start with and then go from there. I think he’s got that capability.”

A few other takeaways from Shula’s meeting with media Wednesday:

On what he saw when he attended Jones’ Pro Day ...

“I think he had a great pro day. Of course, we liked him all along. You know, when you see a guy throw the ball in person, I was down there at the Combine as well, but just another exposure. He throws the ball very well; he’s got a quick release; good touch. And then when he got here I thought everything was actually a little bit better. His arm was even stronger than I had remembered. His release was even quicker I remembered.”

On what he has learned about Jones ...

“He’s a solid person. He’s really smart. The way you tell that is not necessarily by, alone, how he is picking things up, but by the questions that he asks. ... The things that he was new to [at rookie mini-camp], you could kind of see how quickly he picked them up. Maybe the first day it wasn’t quite as sharp, but the next day it was like he had done it for a long time.”

On Eli Manning and his readiness for 2019 ...

“This time last year was my first time with Eli, you know, and seeing him in the offseason, I thought he was in really good shape. I think he’s in better shape now than he was.

“I just think that he’s moving around pretty good. His arm looks fresh. And maybe even with him, it is kind of maybe the comfort level of being a year in a system and kind of knowing more of what we want. I think he’s throwing the ball well and moving around good.”

On Manning’s reaction to the drafting of Jones ...

“Most of you guys probably know Eli better than I do; been around him a lot longer. You can imagine, it’s like another day at work. I can remember when we were getting ready to draft Daniel and I called him. I could barely hear him because he’s got his youngest in his arms, the baby. He might’ve been changing a diaper. ‘Oh yeah, coach. Great. See you tomorrow.” That’s how he is. That’s how his approach is.”