Giants Super Bowl Champion and franchise sack leader, Michael Strahan, played a round of golf with his friend in finance, Jones and wide receiver Sterling Shepard recently, and came away very impressed with the Giants’ third-year signal-caller.
According to Strahan, Jones took an interest in a number of different avenues, from financial advice from their fourth member, to leadership tactics from Strahan himself, a former captain of the Giants.
“Daniel latched on to him, to ask him advice in that [financial] world,” Strahan said to NJ advanced media. “He and Sterling were asking me advice on the leadership role — and how to get guys to buy into a system.
“It wasn’t [just] about: ‘Oh, let’s go play some golf and have some fun.’ It was: ‘I want to ask things that are going to help us in our careers and as a team.’ And I loved that about them. And I think [Jones] is going to be fantastic.”
With the jury still out on Jones whether he belongs as QB No. 1 in the NFL, Strahan wholeheartedly believes he is a starter in this league.
“I think he is,” Strahan said. “I love him as a kid. I think this is a big year for him. He has a lot of weapons around him. If they protect him and give him an opportunity to throw it the way he can, I think he’ll be very successful.”
And speaking of protection, the one unanimous concern surrounding the 2021 New York Giants comes from the uncertainty of their offensive line.
Jones has not received enough support from his line in his young career, so far. And if they struggle again this season, as they have all summer, it will be hard for the Giants to truly know if Jones is the guy.
“I think that probably concerns Daniel more than it concerns me,” Strahan said “And I’m sure coach [Joe] Judge is probably going to lose sleep over it more than I am. But yeah, I think that’s been an Achilles heel for the last few years, trying to get the offensive line to gel a little bit.
“Because you have to give your quarterback time. I don’t care who it is. Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time, and we saw what being hit and disrupted [by the Giants in the 2007 Super Bowl] does to him. You’re just not going to be effective. I just don’t feel like you’re going to give yourself the best chance to win — and you’re not going to give your quarterback the best chance to win — if you don’t protect him.”
The Giants may have loaded up on weapons for Jones to distribute the ball to, but as Strahan said, if his offensive line can’t give him enough time to throw the ball, it likely won’t matter.
Believe it or not, the Giants’ offensive line could potentially be worse this year.
Second-year left tackle Andrew Thomas had a rough preseason, and Matt Peart lost out on the starting right tackle job to veteran Nate Solder. This could spell trouble for Jones, as early as in Week 1, where the Giants have to contain Broncos‘ edge rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.
On the interior, the Giants have center Nick Gates, who was just named a captain. But beyond Gates, Will Hernandez has been underwhelming at the guard position since the Giants drafted him in the second round out of UTEP in 2018.
As for their left guard, Shane Lemieux has a partially torn patellar tendon in his knee, which he is going to try to play through this season. But if Lemieux does in fact need surgery, the Giants will be forced to plug a hole with either Billy Price, Ben Bredeson or Matt Skura.
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