New York Giants position coaches were available to media via videoconference on Tuesday. As usual, those sessions were both busy and informative. Let’s go through some of the takeaways.
Jerry Schuplinski: Daniel Jones has gotten better
Giants quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski said he “definitely” believes second-year quarterback Daniel Jones is better now than he was when training camp began.
“Some of the emphasis points we made with him he’s improved on that, whether it be his ball security stuff, his coverage reads, his coverage recognition, getting the ball out on time, better understanding of the offense in general, where we want to go and what the goals are,” Schuplinski said.
“I think he’s done a nice job of that. Keeps progressing. He’s definitely I think better now than he was on Day 1.”
Schuplinski said he doesn’t get caught up in Jones’ statistics which, truthfully, are not impressive.
“Wins is the ultimate measure of our success as a team, of us as coaches, of us as players,” Schuplinski said. “I know he’s been doing a much better job taking care of the ball the second half of the season, I know he’s been doing a much better job of getting rid of the ball, playing on time, seeing the coverage … the rest of it I think is going to have to come. We’re going to have to do better all the way around.”
Schuplinski added that he has “a lot of confidence” in the idea that wins and higher-scoring offenses will eventually come with Jones at quarterback.
‘I’m happy that he’s here. I’m happy that he’s our guy,” Schuplinski said.
Tyke Tolbert: Darius Slayton’s sophomore struggles
Darius Slayton has been quiet the past few weeks, and wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert admitted that Slayton hasn’t had the impact in his second season that he had as a rookie in 2019.
“Still a young player … hasn’t had the success to this point that he had last year, but I still see him with less mental mistakes. He’s still growing as a player … he’s still in the process of figuring it out. Sometimes you’ve just gotta grow up fast and go make a play on the ball,” Tolbert said.
Slayton has 48 receptions in 15 games/14 starts. Last season he had 48 receptions in 14 games/9 starts.
Slayton has six drops in 2020 after only two a season ago. His drop percentage is 6.5, up from 2.4 in 2019. His passer rating when targeted is 80.4, down from 98.3. Slayton has broken only one tackle in his 48 receptions after breaking five in the same number a season ago.
Slayton couldn’t come up with an over the shoulder catch on a deep ball in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
“He’s gotta make that play,” Tolbert said. “He’s made that play before … there’s only so many chances you get in the NFL as a receiver to make plays. Any chance you get you have to take advantage of ‘em.”
Kevin Sherrer: Double duty
With Bret Bielema having taken the job as head coach at Illinois, Sherrer now coaches all of the Giants linebackers. It’s been an adjustment.
“We’re going one big meeting. All the linebackers are in one room, which with COVID protocol is a little bit different. The rooms are set up for five or six bodies or whatever,” Sherrer said. “The room being 10, 11, 12 guys from 4 to 5 that’s a little bit different. It takes a little bit more time. The guys have handled it really well.”
Sean Spencer: Keeping the band together
The Giants’ defensive line is led by the trio of Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams. Tomlinson and Lawrence can be free agents at the end of the season.
“I’d like to coach all three of them multiple years,’ said defensive line coach Sean Spencer. “Those guys have a chance to be special. They do a great job against the run and equally against the pass, so I’m really excited about those guys moving forward. I love to coach them.”
Jerome Henderson: Xavier McKinney’s future
The Giants drafted Xavier McKinney in the second round, but have really only gotten to see a little of what McKinney might become for them in the five games since he returned from a fractured foot.
“You see his instincts, you see his passion, you see his ability,” said defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson. “Obviously we drafted him where we drafted him because we thought he had great ability, and he’s showing that he is going to be a very good player in this league.”