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New York Giants’ Daniel Jones can still be a good player

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was sacked 38 times as a rookie in 2019 and then 45 times as a sophomore in 2020. And like Eli Manning before him, the constant level of pressure led to the “yips.”

During a recent appearance on the “Inside the Birds” podcast, NFL analyst Greg Cosell addressed those issues and pinpointed what he believes to be an area Jones should focus on: ignoring the pressure and planting his back foot.

“Jones was often under duress. And again, when I say under duress, I don’t mean there were free rushers, I mean he was often surrounded by bodies,” Cosell said. “And he was not particularly comfortable. He was an unsettled player and there were too many snaps in which he did not set and plant his back foot. He probably started to anticipate that he would get pressure and when you anticipate getting pressure, you start to play fast physically and you just don’t set.”

Cosell did not place the entirety of the blame on Jones, however. While he suggested it will be Jones’ issue to handle, Cosell ragged on the Giants’ offensive line for not doing their jobs — particularly on third-down. He also pointed out that as a result of the O-line issues, the Giants continually needed to use running backs and tight ends in pass protection, leaving three wide receivers to take on the entire secondary.

“What the Giants did … is you end up having to keep a tight end and a back in to pass protect. And very often, it’s not just a chip where they then release, they become a part of the protections. And then you’re sending three receivers out and it’s very hard to attack coverage with three receivers,” Cosell said.

Despite the constant pressure on third down, Jones was actually relatively solid in those situations.

Even when hit, Jones was one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks.

Still, it wasn’t good enough — not on third down or any other down. The Giants’ offense was consistently overmatched and Jones, like everyone else, suffered in the production department as a result.

“Ultimately, all pocket quarterbacks are going to face pressure and he needs to figure out how to handle that,” Cosell said. “[But] I thought he was very decisive with his reads and throws versus man-to-man coverage. I think Jones still has the chance to be a good player and [the Giants] clearly feel the same way, which is why they did what they did in free agency and the draft.”

Assuming the offensive line plays better in 2021, as head coach Joe Judge suspects they will, Cosell believes the Giants may be the most balanced team in the NFC East.

“I think that their season can go any number of ways,” Cosell said. “This is an offense that can be consistent and I think their defense, which was pretty good last year, is only going to get better with the second year of Patrick Graham and better players. I think the Giants have the chance to be a very solid football team.”

The Giants can be a solid football team — we saw flashes of that in 2020. But let us once again beat a dead horse… They can only reach their potential if Saquon Barkley stays healthy, Evan Engram develops some consistency, their offensive line improves and Daniel Jones cuts down on his turnovers.

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