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Special Report

Sent: 10-16-20

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.


By Dave Klein
Enough about Daniel Jones.

He is the current Giants' quarterback, for better or worse, unless you would be happier with Colt McCoy - and of course you wouldn't be.

Should the Giants have taken him in the 2019 draft with the sixth overall pick? Yes, if their mind was made up to draft a quarterback. Could they have tried to convince Eli Manning to play one more year? No, that would have constituted elder abuse. What about signing a veteran for a year or two until another draft rolled around?

Yeah, that might have worked, and if they had not taken Jones with that sixth position, they could have wound up with defensive end Josh Allen, defensive tackle Ed Oliver, linebacker Devin Bush, offensive tackle Jonah Williams or defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, all of whom were taken shortly after that sixth spot.

But they didn't, and Jones is the quarterback, and if the team had much of an offensive line ... and if Saquon Barkley hadn't had the bad taste to tear up his knee in the second game of the season, Jones might be a lot better.

Oh, he would probably still turn over the ball too much, but if he had linemen protecting him and receivers who were able to get separation from the guys covering them, he would be more effective, and the Giants wouldn't be 0-5.

One intriguing question: If the Giants somehow wind up with the top draft pick in 2021, would they take Trevor Lawrence, the 6-6, 235-pound super-quarterback from top-ranked Clemson?

Well, the Giants will host the equally embarrassing Washington No-Names Sunday (they're 1-4) in MetLife Stadium, and one of the more unusual facts about this game is that a team without a single victory is favored.

By 2 points, but you should know that generally the home team is given three points no matter what.

Remember, both the Giants and the No-Names are in the dreadful NFC East Division, where the leader is the 2-3 Dallas Cowboys who are suddenly without their All-Pro quarterback, Dak Prescott.

So how will the offensive line protect young Daniel? Well, rookie first-round pick Andrew Thomas will line up opposite monstrous defensive end rookie first-round pick Chase Young, the second overall selection (Thomas was the fourth). So how does offensive coordinator Jason Garrett analyze this match?

"Andrew has faced really the elite rushers of the NFL in his first five games," the former Cowboys' head coach said. "If you think about the guys he has faced, like Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt in Pittsburgh, Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn in Chicago. The guys in San Francisco, were a little banged up but still pretty stout up front.

"And the Rams, obviously, have the best defensive lineman in the league, Aaron Donald [and he moves around all game]. Then you go to Dallas and there are two really elite defensive linemen in DeMarcus Lawrence and Aldon Smith.

Garrett paused, then continued with his analysis of the young tackle. "Andrew has certainly gotten his indoctrination in the NFL by playing against really good players. That's really the nature of his position. The biggest challenge that he'll have and one that all offensive tackles in this league have, is you're not always going to win.

"I think about a guy like Tyron Smith who we had in Dallas. When we first got him there, he was going against Ware in practice every day. To be honest with you, right at the start he didn't do very well. DeMarcus really got after him. As it went along Tyron started to win some. Then he started to win some more of them and then it would be back and forth and then it was 50/50.

"Then he started to win more than half. That's really what these guys have to do. They have to keep battling, keep learning from their experiences. Be mentally tough, be physically tough. Technically, become better and you'll grow and improve as a player over time. There's no question it's one of the most challenging positions in football. To block these elite rushers every week - Andrew has done a nice job so far. He's going to get better and better as we go."

And what does Thomas think about all this testing and these ferocious opponents? "I think I see progress," he says, "but there are definitely things that I need to get better at. Things that I've been working on, just focusing on, because it's every week in the NFL. There are no days off, there are no plays off. I'm just trying to cut down my negative plays as much as possible."

For a team with a questionable offensive line, which is sometimes disguised as tissue paper, the Redskins front five presents an extraordinary challenge - all five, you see, are former No. 1 picks. They are Young, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Ryan Kerrigan.

And they'll go against Thomas, Will Hernandez, Kevin Zeitler, Cameron Fleming and Nick Gates.

Doesn't seem fair, does it?

EXTRA POINTS - The Giants activated inside linebacker David Mayo from the practice squad Friday and it is likely that he'll see considerable action.

Check out Dave's website at E-GIANTS where you can subscribe to his newsletters which run much more frequently than what is available here.
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