Daniel Jones may not have a lot of fans outside of the organization, but he's certainly got a big one in New York Giants head coach Joe Judge. The young quarterback is off to a poor start in 2020, largely fueled by the fact he's often a turnover machine -- pushing him into regression over what was an uneven NFL debut in 2019. The fact he's without Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley doesn't help, but that seems a prepackaged excuse considering Jones and the Giants offense couldn't get going with Barkley on the field, either. And with Barkley out, many are asking why Jones isn't being more aggressive in trying to put points on the board.
Judge vehemently disagrees with that sentiment, and feels Jones is very aggressive with his play. He'd no doubt like to delete the giveaways, but what he doesn't want is Jones changing the way he approaches the game.
"I would disagree with that -- I think he's doing a lot of things aggressively," Judge said Wednesday, via The New York Post. "I think the way this guy stands in the pocket when the rush is collapsing on him at certain times or makes plays with his feet extending outside the pocket, the way he's willing to pull the ball in some of the zone reads and run downfield and take a big hit. I see a lot of aggressiveness in Daniel, and I like the way he plays. When it comes time to take our shots, we'll take our shots offensively.
"Sometimes we have to be a little bit more calculated about how we want to systematically move the ball down the field. That being said, look, I think Daniel is a developing player. I think he's shown a lot of promise, he's making a lot of gains this year."
Jones' yards per attempt are down from 6.6 in 2019 to 6.1 in 2020, and he has only eight touchdowns through nine games to nine interceptions, the latter putting him on pace to blow past his 12 INTs logged last season. To Judge's point, however, the protection issues in New York are glaring, and evidenced in the fact Jones has been sacked an average of three times per game. Under that sort of duress, it's difficult to do anything but take the first read and/or the underneath route, seeing as a QB needs time for the ones down the field to develop, time in the pocket being something Jones has very little of -- a point further driven home by his seven fumbles (nearly one per game).
Sitting at 2-7 in Judge's inaugural season with the 31st-ranked offense (18.7 points per game), there's a lot of work to be done for both the present and the future in New York. Judge is preaching patience the team's former sixth-overall pick, who currently has a record of 5-16 as a starter, one he notes is still "developing" as a franchise signal-caller in his attempt to follow two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning.
"I'm not sure about how I'd label myself or I'm not sure how productive that is for me to do," Jones said of it all. "I certainly understand there's lots of areas in my game that I need to improve on."
Apparently, according to Judge, aggression isn't one of them.