During his Friday conference call, Shurmur was baited with the “could there be an open competition at quarterback for Week 1 if Jones continues to play well?” question. He swam away from the bait.
“Listen, we’re not going to play the ‘what ifs,’ and I would say this: nothing has changed,” Shurmur said. “This is the first game and I expect Daniel to play well, I expect him to go out and improve, and for the people that don’t know him, impress them. That’s what we expect from him. We expect that from Eli, we expect that from everybody. So our expectations for him have not changed, and in my mind our situation hasn’t changed.”
What does Shurmur want to see from Jones going forward?
“Keep playing, keep improving. I’ve said it all along, as well as he’s been trained in college, there are many things that he is doing for the first time and those are things that need to get repped both on the practice field and in games,” Shurmur said. “Had we not had the weather delay, he probably would have played maybe eight or ten more snaps. When we went back out and restarted the game, I kind of felt like it was right to go with the twos. Just get more of the same and try to expose him to more and more things. I’d like to see him at some point get into a two-minute drive, some of the things you are going to see as you play a full game.”
On Thursday night, Shurmur told those banging the Jones’ drum to “slow your roll.”
Shurmur never said that Jones wouldn’t start at some point this season, or that the quarterback situation was etched in stone and would never change. We know it inevitably will.
At some point, whether it’s during the 2019 season or after it, the Giants are going to have to pull the plug on Manning. It’s not a decision they relish — the 16-year veteran has meant too much to the franchise. A transition, though, is inevitable. While the Giants won’t speculate on it continued good work from Jones in the preseason is going to make it increasingly more difficult for the Giants to leave the rookie on the bench should they start slowly in the regular season.