More On: Daniel Jones
Nice going, Daniel Jones. Now, never do that again.
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Nice going, Daniel Jones.
Now, never do that again.
Jones sticking his nose in amid a wild melee, winding up at the bottom of a very large pile of very large and overheated men shows the quarterback of the Giants has some guts.
“I’m part of the team,’’ Jones said Tuesday after, as they say, cooler heads prevailed. “Part of the team and part of the offense and we’re competing, so I don’t see myself separated from that.”
Whoa now, young fella. You are separated from that. Training camp fisticuffs are for meaty linemen and scrappy defensive backs swatting at lithe wide receivers. Jones, at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, is a good-sized dude. But at the bottom of a pile, with angry teammates yanking and pulling and stomping and shoving, a shoulder can get strained or a finger on a throwing hand can get sprained. Jones wears a “do-not-touch’’ red jersey on the practice field, but underneath all that humanity, all caution flags are null and void. It is every man for himself, and that man should not be the starting quarterback.
Near the end of the first full-padded practice of camp, safety Xavier McKinney hit running back Corey Clement too hard — defenders are supposed to “thud’’ the ball-carrier, not level him — sending Clement to the grass. Tight end Evan Engram did not appreciate this over-aggressiveness by the defense and shoved safety Jabrill Peppers to the ground. Safety Logan Ryan, witnessing all this, came up behind Engram and shoved him down. That is when players of all shapes and sizes joined in. Jones tried to play peacemaker and ended up with tons of pounds of Giants on top of him.
“Goll-lee. I love it,” Clement said. “At the same time, we don’t want to get our quarterback hurt. Pretty sure Daniel knows that as well. I hope he thinks twice before jumping back in there again.”
Did this earn Jones some added respect?
“Yeah, s–t,” Clement said. “That’s what you want to see.’’
Camp fireworks are a tale as old as time. But it was a bad look for Ryan to shove a teammate in the back. He is a team leader. Engram did not need to exacerbate the situation. He is one of the longest-tenured Giants. These were not long-shot rookies desperate to make a name for themselves. These are players head coach Joe Judge must lean on, a reason Judge was particularly incensed and demanded the entire team run the length of the field, up and back, drop down for push-ups, then run the field, again, spewing F-bomb after F-bomb while breaking several grammatical rules.
“It was a lot,’’ Ryan said. “I’m happy my kids weren’t at this practice.’’
Judge’s family was at this practice, and he greeted them after calming down, another day at the office.
Jones needs to learn from this. Eli Manning would have jumped into the middle of a karaoke set before he would have dove into a fracas in progress. He never missed a game, but he wasn’t going to risk getting bulldozed on a practice field in the summer.
“No, he was never in the pile,’’ Rich Seubert, a former Giants offensive lineman and Manning protector, told The Post. “I was usually at the bottom of the pile. I never noticed where Eli was.’’
Seubert, undrafted, undersized and largely unnoticed as a rookie in 2001, made the final roster, went on to start every game for the 2007 Super Bowl team and became one of the franchise’s legendary training camp brawlers. If there was a scrap, No. 69 was most likely the igniter.
“Keith Hamilton taught me how to fight in practice when I was a rookie and in the locker room he would tap me on the ass and say ‘Good job, rook,’’’ Seubert said.
Clement said it was “back to laughing and jokes’’ in the locker room immediately after the brawling. Seubert recalled “It never carried over — you’d sit down and have lunch with the guy you were trying to beat the s–t out of in practice.’’ He figures Jones gained some street cred from all this.
“Eli was tough too, but we never let Eli get in that situation,’’ Seubert said. “I’m sure the O-line is laughing and busting [Jones’] chops and I’m sure Daniel was told he better not ever end up at the bottom of the pile again.’’
Jones said the lesson learned is that “We’ve got to control our energy and our enthusiasm and wanting to compete.’’ He surmised “It’d probably be pretty surprising’’ if, after seeing Judge’s disgust, that such antics happen again.
There will be fights and altercations to come. When they arise, Daniel Jones should remain on the outskirts of the action. The Giants need him upright.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Paul Schwartz