The New York Giants couldn’t have hoped for a better start from Daniel Jones in the first pre-season game. There are certainly nits to be picked and the team pulled him from the game before his pristine passer rating could be sullied, but his first time on an NFL field went about as well as anyone could reasonably ask.
It’s also now in the rear view mirror as the Giants look ahead to the Chicago Bears on Friday night. The goal isn’t to revel in last week’s performance but to continue building toward the 2019 regular season.
Jones said, “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. I think with each group, it’s just building off what we’ve done.”
Making mistakes and the learning process
Nobody expects perfect football in training camp and pre-season. There are always mistakes to be made — after all, if mistakes weren’t made, there wouldn’t be a need for this time of year — and mistakes are part of the learning process. Very often, a big part of learning is doing the wrong thing, finding out what or why it was wrong, then figuring out the correct way to do something.
Mistakes are okay this time of year, but not learning from them isn’t, said Jones, “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.”
“I think just learning from each one of them [mistakes],” Jones added. “I think when you understand why it happened or what really happened, you can be more confident in making sure it doesn’t happen the next time, and that kind of frees you up to stay aggressive. So, like I said, not making the same mistake twice and correcting it, but understanding what exactly it was that you did wrong and keep from doing that and staying aggressive.”
The other part of pre-season is the coaching staff putting more on the players’ plates. Not only to see how they respond, but to prepare them mentally for the full load of scheming and wrinkles the team will use in the regular season. With the second week of the preseason approaching, Jones knows the coaches will put more on him than they did a week ago.
“I know there will just be more to it now with the second game,” Jones said. “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.”
When the Giants signed T.J. Jones following their spate of injuries early in camp, those who had watched him in the past said to keep an eye on him. So far the former Detroit Lions wide receiver has impressed since coming to the Giants. He played both out wide and in the slot against the New York Jets, running good, crisp routes and making a terrific twisting catch for a touchdown. But more than just a good pre-season game, Jones has earned his teammates’ respect with his work on the practice field.
“Yeah, he’s done a really good job for us,” Daniel Jones said of T.J. Jones. “He’s a guy who’s been in the league for a long time, played a lot of games. So, he’s able to come in right away, pick up the playbook, he’s talented, runs good routes, and it’s been a lot of fun working with him, for sure. He’s done a really good job.”
T.J. Jones isn’t the only new addition to the Giants’ offense who has been impressing. The Giants have generally been good at finding tight ends in the back end of the draft — or undrafted free agents — who are able to come in and produce. It seems they have found another in the line of Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard in C.J. Conrad out of Kentucky. Conrad turned heads early in the spring and hasn’t let up over training camp and into pre-season.
Jones said, “C.J., I think he’s done a great job also. He was my roommate for rookie mini-camp, so I got to know him pretty early. He’s done a great job, a really hard-working guy, going to be in the right spot and know what he’s doing. Yeah, I’ve really enjoyed working with him, too.”