It's a time honored tradition and well-known fact in the sport of football that, when it comes to practice, you do not touch the guy in the red jersey. Quarterbacks are the most important players on the field for an NFL club, positionally-speaking, and knocking them around in training camp is usually the best way to ensure your release from a team. This might change a bit for the New York Giants in 2020, however, as Joe Judge installs a new culture in his first year as head coach for Big Blue. Judge is thinking outside the box ahead of the season opener on Sept. 14 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Daniel Jones better be ready.
Why? Because Judge might remove the red jersey protection from Jones, and allow some contact to get him ready for Week 1 -- within reason.
"I don't think we're going to throw him in any Royal Rumbles, or anything like that," Judge said on Tuesday, via NJ.com. "We've talked about it. With quarterbacks, you want to be calculated with how you bang them around.
In other words, Judge won't exactly allow someone to fly off the edge and plant Jones like a tent spike in practice. If he does go through with his idea, it'll be carefully done.
"At some point, we'll pop his pads a little bit in a controlled environment," said Judge.
With the team's intrasquad scrimmage coming up, it's possible the Giants wait until after that bout is in the rearview before sliding the Teflon off of Jones. Emotions can usually soar in scrimmages, and Judge doesn't want a situation similar to what happened with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- head coach Bruce Arians furious after a practice tackle on running back T.J. Logan ended his season by way of a torn patellar tendon. Arians attributed the error to youth in a non-tackling session, but if that can occur when players are not supposed to tackle, well, you get the picture.
Judge will map it out carefully, and while it won't be no holds barred on the team's franchise QB, Jones is expected to get bumped around in practice before the opener -- even if it's only by coaches with pads giving him a few shoves.
"I'm not in a hurry to just beat the hell out of him," said Judge. "But at some point, we want to prepare his body for what it'll take in the first game."