Dave Klein was the Giants' beat
writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books
and he was one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls
up until last year. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.
ENOUGH CHANCES FOR DANIEL JONES -
IT'S UP TO HIM NOW
For months, if not years,
we have been offering up every known excuse for why Daniel Jones hasn't emerged
into a star quarterback for the Giants.
You know, he had a lousy offensive line. His receivers weren't that good. His
running game was severely hampered by the injuries to Saquon Barkley. The coaches
failed him somehow.
It was always something.
Well, that's finished now. Jones has a far better offensive line than he has had,
one in which all five starters, and the replacements, know how to block, know
the value of a solid block and can protect the harried quarterback.
He has receivers who are fast and tall, who can turn invisible when they fly downfield
and can make the cut across the middle of the field without panicking.
Barkley, we are told, is fully healthy, has all his strength and speed and is
anxious to strangle all those fans who insist he was picked too high.
and the tight end who dropped one of every four passes, Evan Engram, is gone,
and as one observer put it so succinctly last spring: "Whoever they got instead
of him is an improvement."
is a critic of this Giants' offense to turn? Perhaps to Jones? Perhaps to wonder
whether he was the right pick (sixth overall) in the 2019 draft.
And perhaps, as well, to wonder whether new head coach Brian Daboll and new general
manager Joe Schoen made the right decision in releasing Davis Webb and leaving
only Tyrod Taylor as the only other QB on the roster.
Well, the time is now. It was interesting to note that the Giants chose not to
sign Jones to a fifth season, almost an after-thought in most cases, so he is
playing this season as a budding free agent, and if he has one of those magnificent
"coming out" performances, the Giants will know what they're getting
when they re-sign him to a major contract.
if he struggles again, it's good-bye time. And we should know that well before
the season ends.
As you all know, it
starts Sunday (4:35 p.m.) in Nashville, Tenn., against the powerful Titans who
are lukewarm favorites to win it all this year. But with regard to Jones, the
Titans' defense is sound. He's going to need that offensive line, those receivers,
a good tight end and Barkley at his best.
In his three-year career since being plucked from Duke, Jones had started 37 games.
His record is 12-25, and frankly, that's not good enough. Sure, he has had some
injuries. His receivers have been hurt. So, too, has Barkley. And his line stunk.
But that's all in the past. Now it's
his job to win, or his to lose, and the team's immediate future depends on which
path he's going to take.
If he suddenly
blossoms into a star, he will have taken the road less travelled. If he fails
to show immediate and overwhelming improvement, he'll be on a different road by
"When we drafted him,"
says team President and CEO John Mara, "there was no doubt he could become
a championship quarterback."
sir, there has been a ton of doubt so far, but no more. This is his year, win
EXTRA POINTS - The Giants announced
that wide receiver Darius Slayton, who has been under-whelming in his three seasons,
has accepted a modification in his 2022 salary. Instead of earning $2.54 million
this year, he'll be paid $965,000 - with a chance to earn a lot of it back through
performance incentives during the season.
The team practice Wednesday produced four players with limited participation -
SS Dane Belton (clavicle), LB Azeez Ojulari (calf), LB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee)
and WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles).
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