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Coronavirus or not, Daniel Jones focused on improving both personally and as a team this season

The Giants QB has high expectations for his sophomore campaign

Daniel Jones at Thursday’s practice.

Second-year players in the NFL have the added benefit of comfort and familiarity when they return for their sophomore campaigns. New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones however, like so many athletes in the NFL right now, is being forced to adjust to unforeseen circumstances amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.

Not only is Jones adjusting to football life within a pandemic. He is also without veteran QB Eli Manning and he is learning a new offense under coach Joe Judge and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

Jones has approached each of these obstacles in stride.

“A lot of other teams have this situation,” Jones said. “We’re all operating under the same rules. So all we can do is prepare as well as we can in the time we have and make sure we are getting the most out of every single day leading up to the first game.”

Jones also praised the Giants staff for creating a safe environment to practice in at MetLife Stadium.

“I think our organization have done an unbelievable job setting up the facility here at the stadium, wearing masks and socially distancing,” Jones said. “It’s different, but it’s not hard and it’s not getting in the way of us doing our work.”

Just as the changing circumstances around COVID-19 have forced everyone to be more flexible and open-minded, Jones has approached learning a new offense with the same measure and focus.

“I think there’s obviously some similar concepts and ideas because it’s a new system but we’re all learning it together,” Jones said. “We’re taking it day by day and install by install and trying to learn it as quickly as we can and as well as we can.”

With ample time to prepare for his sophomore campaign this past offseason, Jones said that he feels he is as strong as he as ever been. He was in Charlotte training for the majority of the offseason and focused on gaining additional weight in order to improve his overall pocket presence. He said that he weighed 220 pounds last season and he now weighs around 228-229.

“For what that does for every part of my game, standing in the pocket, running when I need to and throwing the ball as efficiently as I can, using my strength and lower body,” Jones said. “Each piece of that is part of the goal this offseason.”

Jones also spent time training with teammates in the offseason in order to prepare for the 2020 season. Jones explained that though the virtual zooms were valuable, there is nothing more helpful that being out on the field.

“It helps having a relationship with guys, knowing how they learn and communicate,” Jones said. “We are all trying to learn this system and make sure we’re on the same page, so that continuity has definitely helped in that process.”

One of the teammates Jones spent time with this offseason was breakout wide receiver Darius Slayton. Jones said that he is looking forward to seeing how Slayton performs in his sophomore campaign.

“He’s a guy that comes to work every day, knows what to do and knows what is expected of him from the coaches,” Jones said. “I know he’s excited going into this year. He’s attacked this offseason and this new system the right way so I’m excited to continue to work with him.”

Though the upcoming season will be like no other with fans absent from stadiums and players opting out, Jones is focused on improving upon last season’s weaknesses in order to return to the field even stronger.

“Right now, my focus is on this camp and trying to make sure that I am as prepared as possible physically and mentally,” Jones said. “Obviously, we’ve talked about a new system and new offense to learn, so my focus right now is what we’re doing day to day here, making sure we’re improving every day and taking the right steps forward. I want to improve on a lot of things from last year personally and as a team, but I think in order to get there and to get there the right way, we need to focus on what we’re doing day to day in this camp.”