Giants offensive coordinator Mike Shula says Daniel Jones has 'capability' to start Week 1

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has given no indication that No. 6 pick Daniel Jones has a legitimate chance of starting over longtime franchise quarterback Eli Manning when the season begins, but offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Shula believes Jones is capable enough to start Week 1 if the Giants asked that of him.

At least that's what he said on Wednesday after seeing him at rookie minicamp over the weekend. 

"I think he'd be ready to go, that's my personal opinion," Shula said, per Newsday. "I think he has that capability."

However, Shula was not advocating for Jones to start when the season begins. He still thinks sitting behind Manning would be beneficial.

"The obvious reasons for him with Eli as our starter to be sitting is he's going to be learning from one of the best ever in regard to preparation," Shula said. "Not just the normal stuff, but the day-to-day operations, the routine schedule, and then all the details of the position."

As it stands, it seems like the only way the Giants would consider starting Jones in Week 1 is if Manning were to suffer some type of injury over the summer or if Jones looks like Patrick Mahomes during the preseason. Both outcomes are pretty unlikely. 

For all of his faults, Manning is remarkably durable. His historic starting streak ended at 210 games two seasons ago not because of injury, but because the old regime decided they wanted to play Geno Smith. And despite Jones' status as the No. 6 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, it certainly seems like the only team that believed he was worthy of a top-10 pick was the Giants, despite what Gettleman claims. To put another way, he's probably not an NFL-ready quarterback right now. 

Besides, everything that Gettleman has said indicates that the Giants want Manning to start in 2019. For one, Gettleman has talked up Manning like he isn't a 38-year-old washed-up quarterback with a noodle arm. And two, Gettleman actually had the audacity to float the idea of sitting Jones behind Manning for three years.

That doesn't mean we won't see Jones at some point during the upcoming season. If Manning continues to struggle like he has over the past couple years (a likely outcome given his age and lack of a supporting staff), Jones should see the field. And that might not be the worst thing for his development. If he's not ready to start, throwing him out there on a bad offense (now lacking Odell Beckham) would likely end in disaster. 

Then again, the Giants need to catch a glimpse of Jones at some point this season. Because if Jones doesn't look like he's equipped to start in the NFL, the Giants might need to take a quarterback in next year's draft. That might seem like an unlikely outcome, but look at what just happened to the Cardinals -- and keep in mind, Josh Rosen was regarded as a much better prospect than Jones. The Giants can afford to delay Jones' entrance for a little while, but they also can't wait forever.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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