Eli Manning has gone on the record that Daniel Jones will have a much easier time in Year 2 because things were probably awkward for the rookie with Manning in the building.
Jones seems to agree with that assessment.
“Looking back, it was probably a little awkward at times,” Jones told reporters via a Zoom conference call. “We did a good job of working together. I enjoyed working with and certainly learned a ton from him. I don’t know. It’ll certainly be different. But I really enjoyed working with Eli last year. It was a huge advantage for me to learn from him and talk to him every day.”
While the Giants drafted Jones with the sixth overall pick, the team stuck with Manning to start the 2019 season.
After an impressive preseason from Jones, and a lackluster first two games from Manning, the Giants made the decision to hand the keys over to Jones in Week 3, which saw the rookie lead the team to a comeback victory -- throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for two more, including the go-ahead score -- over the Bucs in Tampa Bay.
Jones finished the season with a 3-9 record, but still struggled with some things, particularly turnovers, leading the NFL in fumbles.
Jones, currently training in his hometown of Charlotte, said he is focusing on protecting the football in his workouts, which include some socially distant work with local wide receivers and a quarterback coach.
“The biggest thing is ball security, particularly in the pocket, protecting the ball,” he said. “That’s a fundamental skill at the QB position… to me, it’s a fairly simple fix.”
With Manning gone and a season under his belt, the expectations have risen for Jones to take over as the true leader of the team.
“I certainly feel the responsibility of being a leader,” he said. “It’s something I take seriously. But it’s out team. I don’t know if it’s one guy’s team.”