Daniel Jones should consider yelling “Surprise!” after the next pass he fires to the sideline into tight coverage.
Jones spent most of his rookie season with the Giants forcing a rewrite of the many pre-draft scouting reports questioning the arm strength he showed at Duke. And he continues to turn heads even as he learns a new offense.
“I did some work with him when he was coming out in the draft when I was at a different place, and [his arm] looked good,” said Giants quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski, who was with the Miami Dolphins last season. “It looks even stronger now. I don’t know if that’s a testament to his work in the offseason and what he’s been doing.”
The 6-foot-5, 229-pound Jones added about 8-9 pounds of muscle in his lower body this offseason. Arm strength — a reference to zip and not to the distance a quarterback throws — typically does not drastically improve throughout an NFL career.
“I haven’t seen a whole lot of that,” Schuplinski said. “It’s usually quicken their release. As they continue to build good fundamentals, get their hips and their lower body involved, that could increase it a little bit. That’s something that’s been a little eye-opening to me, working with him on the field.”
Jones overcame a slow start in Friday’s intra-squad scrimmage to complete 16 of 27 passes, with two touchdowns and an interception.
“He did a good job of sticking to the plan and kept doing the right things,” Schuplinski said. “I like what I saw from him.”
Coach Joe Judge’s philosophy that practice should imitate a game extends to training camp fights, usually brought on by banging bodies in pads as summer heat beats down. Look no further than the Jets on Sunday.
“We are not going to practice anything that we are not going to do in a game,” Judge said. “You have an opportunity to play as hard as you want between the whistles. We’re going to play nasty, but we are not going to play dirty.”
The penalty for fighting will be greater than running a lap.
“If you are going to get thrown out in a game,” Judge said, “you are going to get thrown out of practice.”
The Giants held a light walk-through Sunday.
Inside linebacker Ryan Connelly, fullback Eli Penny and cornerback Prince Smith trained off to the side, while safety Xavier McKinney and wide receiver Corey Coleman participated after resting during Friday’s scrimmage.
Connelly is coming off a torn ACL and his starting spot is not guaranteed with the rise of Devante Downs.
“We had several players we managed a little bit different today,” Judge said. “We came off a long, hard week and a hard scrimmage. We gave them a day off [Saturday]. Today was really a day to mentally take a step forward and physically get our bodies right.”