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New York Giants coach Brian Daboll does not want Daniel Jones to hold back. Instead, he promotes a more aggressive approach that encourages his new quarterback to get out on the field and fling the ball around without hesitation or fear of a foul.
Especially in practice.
“Yeah, look, we want to make sure we protect the ball,” Daboll said before the Giants’ third OTA training session on the field Thursday afternoon. “But again, you can not go out there and play scared. Be smart, not ruthless if you will. If he has a shot to the right, let it go.
“Things are going to happen in every game. The defense is going to play a good game that can be a tipped ball. We have to do a good job of taking care of the football, but I want him to loosen it. “
It’s a change from the last few years, when Jones worked tirelessly to eliminate revenue. It seemed to breed a more conservative approach with fewer turnovers, specifically wiretaps. Jones threw 17 interceptions the past two seasons, right on a 20th-place finish in the NFL.
Josh Allen, who had Daboll as his offensive coordinator at Buffalo, threw 25 interceptions over the same period, just as second most among all quarterbacks. Allen also threw 75 touchdown passes and was an MVP candidate both seasons.
“The facts were that we turned the ball around a lot. I turned the ball around a lot,” said Jones, who has 49 total turnovers since joining the league in 2019, in third place in the NFL. “But I do not know. I think as a quarterback you have to be able to do both – you have to be aggressive, take shots, but also protect the ball. It’s about finding the balance there, and the best guys do. So I always work on improving that part of the decision-making process and being smart. “
Daboll, in his first season as head coach, is not trying to reprogram his quarterback completely. He’s just looking to find a suitable middle ground that includes some of the aggression that Jones showed in his first professional season under coach Pat Shurmur, and the more responsible version that existed the last two years under playcalls Jason Garrett and Freddie Kitchens.
It begins with training for the spring. Jones threw a pass deep into the middle of the field at Thursday’s practice. It was intercepted by security Julian Love.
“Yes, you will never throw bugs,” Jones said. “But just the idea of being aggressive. Take your shots. Make something happen. Let the recipients know we will do it. We will give you every opportunity to play and we expect you to make play in situations .I think it’s a kind of mindset he needs to attack a defense, attack down the pitch. And as a quarterback and decision maker you’re a big part of it. It’s something we’ve talked about and he will look into practice.”
Jones, however, does not make too much of it. He insists it does not stand in stark contrast to what he did under Shurmur or Garrett and Kitchens.
“It’s not like a hard change in mindset. A lot of it is just understanding acting, understanding situations, understanding philosophies about when to be aggressive, when not to be aggressive. I think they are all specific for certain situations, “Jones said. “I do not think it’s a great overall mindset you use aimlessly every piece. I think it’s specific to what the piece is trying to do, what the cover does and the understanding of that piece.”
But the hope is that it might give some better results.