You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Giants.
What can Daniel Jones do to correct the fumbling issues from last season, or will they subside with more playing time? — Evan Pivnick
You brought the thunder with this question, Evan. No, the ball-security issues you correctly point out — 11 lost fumbles — will not subside just because Jones has a season under his belt. He had flaws in his mechanics that led to many of these turnovers.
As with many young quarterbacks, Jones did not want to give up on a play, and thus at times he tried to make something out of nothing. His concentration lapsed, he forgot to keep two hands on the ball and a defender was there to knock it away. Jones has gotten stronger, adding nearly 10 pounds of muscle, and that should help. He has big hands, which should also help. The key here is Jones increasing his pocket awareness, and that comes with experience, knowing, or at least sensing, where the pressure is coming from. He is a sharp guy, and he knows this failing held him back as a rookie.
Joe Judge and his staff will need to pick captains soon. Who do you see making the cut on both sides of the ball? Will Jones be picked by default by virtue of his position? Would be surprised if [Kevin] Zeitler were not picked. — NY Giants News & Updates (from Twitter)
Interesting to think about this, as the obvious guys from last season (Eli Manning, Nate Solder, Zak DeOssie) are all gone. I do not think it is a given Jones is named a team captain. On offense, there is Sterling Shepard — the longest-tenured Giants player, believe it or not — and there is also Saquon Barkley, who is a more demonstrative persona in the locker room than Jones.
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On defense, I could see Dalvin Tomlinson definitely getting strong consideration — he is reserved but well-respected. Blake Martinez, even though he is a newcomer, also could be a candidate, as he will direct the entire defense. The special teams pick could be Nate Ebner, even though he is a first-year Giants player, based on his strong résumé. All this depends on how many team captains Judge wants to have. He said he will have the players select the team captains. Judge will pick his Leadership Council, though.
When the Giants play the Cowboys, who will have the advantage? The Giants, because Jason Garrett knows the Cowboys personnel and tendencies, or the Cowboys, because they know Garrett’s strategies and playbook? — Sam M
Interesting question, something I am sure I will look into in greater detail the closer we get to Giants-Cowboys. Often, I think the “advantage’’ angle is overrated, but there has to be some effect, with so much familiarity. I think the Giants have the advantage here. Garrett has intimate knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of every player he coached in Dallas. He can offer the Giants coaching staff and the players detailed analysis as to what every returning Cowboys player can and cannot do. Sure, the Cowboys know Garrett’s tendencies, but those can change, based on the Giants’ personnel. Plus, Garrett did not call the plays on offense the past several years, so there could be somewhat of a surprise element in play that can help the Giants.
Do you think [Judge’s] tactics will help the young players he has from making mistakes at their positions? Since they are young, it might make them remember their mistakes the next time they line up. — Frank Garaffa
I do think how Judge is dealing with his first Giants training camp will help reduce mistakes. There is nothing wrong with a head coach not only pointing out mistakes but also showing the players there are repercussions when mistakes are made.
A light jog around the field is hardly debilitating, and it hammers the point home. Look, this is a very inexperienced roster and there will be mistakes, especially early in the season. Judge’s attention to detail will help, though. Young players should be impressionable and also ultra-eager to please. They need to impress their coaches, and the way to do that is to learn from one practice to the next, to show they are reliable when called upon. It may lead to some uncomfortable moments now, but better now than later.