The New York Giants rebounded from a dreadful 1-7 start to complete 2020 with a 6-10 record and a second-place finish in the NFC East. Furthermore, their quarterback ended the year on a high note, completing a season-high 68.0% of his passes in a Week 17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. In other words, It would seem the arrow is pointing up for the G-Men heading into the offseason.
With that said, the jury is still very much out on whether Daniel Jones is the guy capable of leading Big Blue over the hump and turning around a team who has lost double-digit games in six of their last seven seasons. Or at least, that is the sentiment shared by the masses. Just don’t dare bunch head coach Joe Judge into that group.
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Coach Judge Backs Daniel Jones
Coach Judge joined “Boomer & Gio” on WFAN on Tuesday where he discussed a slew of topics – from the Giants retaining defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, to enjoying Wild Card Weekend on the couch with his son, to the more pressing topics such as if Daniel Jones is the guy at quarterback.
“Specifically with Daniel, and I shared this with him earlier in the year, I told him, I said, ‘Look, part of the thing we have to evaluate this year is I have to evaluate you.’ [I had to] see if he was really the answer and see if he was the guy we could build with,” Judge said, in regards to people “busting his chops” for choosing to omit names when discussing specific players with the media.
By the sound of it, Judge’s questions on whether Jones is the guy New York can build with are no more. Despite a rocky 2020 performance where he tossed just 11 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and endured a 7.3% drop in QB rating from the year prior, Judge sounds fully committed to Jones for the long haul.
“There hit a point in the year where you could see there were different traits that he had that the team really responded to and his level of play was raised,” Judge said. “Look, there were a lot of things you could argue in terms of statistical output, this and that, but I’m telling you, when you watch the guy and how he handles the huddle, when you watch how he has command of the offense, when you watch how he adjusts with game plans, when you see the level of toughness he plays with, when you watch him prepare away from the field better than anybody else on a daily basis – and that’s saying a lot because our guys empty the tank every day – there’s a lot of things you look at him and say, hey, this guy gives us confidence going forward with him because we know he’s going to be prepared. We know he’s going to compete, and we’ve seen improvement from him.”
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Judge Speaks Highly of Backup Colt McCoy
Barring some highly-unlikely blockbuster deal for a disgruntled Deshaun Watson or a surprise move on draft day, the Giants are almost certainly moving forward with Daniel Jones as their quarterback.
The question of who will back him up, however, remains open-ended.
Veteran Colt McCoy served as the team’s No. 2 signal-caller in 2020, even drawing two starts over the final five weeks of the season due to numerous injuries to Jones. While the Giants may have split those games down the middle, McCoy earned himself some backers in the locker room for his play and work ethic.
“When his number got called, I think the team rallied around Colt so much because they saw how hard he worked in practice on a daily basis and how much of a team guy he really was,” Judge said.
With McCoy’s one-year deal coming to an end, and him turning 35-years-old by the start of next season, there have been questions looming around the future relationship of both parties. Yet, by the sound of it, Judge is more than happy having an extra coach on the field.
“I think one of the funny things is the defense had such a close connection to Colt because he played so much against our defense in practice and was great in terms of giving us feedback as coaches,” Judge said of McCoy. “We would do certain things for whether it was for third down or red zone game plan, we’d sit down after practice with Colt. Between him, myself, and Pat Graham, he would kind of give us some insight – ‘Hey, I see what you’re doing here, I can tell what the coverage is going to be based on this guy’s alignment, or this disguise is tough for me to pick up on.’ So he gave us a lot of feedback, and those defensive guys really got challenged by him on a daily basis. Colt wasn’t going out there just to read the card [on the scout team]; he was going out there to make a play and try to win the drill.”
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