Sizing up former top-10 picks under Brian Daboll: The New York Giants are proof that for many gamers NFL means “Not For Long,” not National Football League.
2019 coaching camp: working Saquon Barkley had a historic rookie season after being selected second overall in 2018. As Offensive Rookie of the Year, he led the NFL with 2,028 scrimmage yards, third-most behind Eric Dickerson (2,212) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999).
The Giants drafted Duke’s Daniel Jones sixth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft to replace Eli Manning.
Today, Barkley and Jones are at a professional crossroads, each staring down the final yr of their rookie contracts in 2022 whereas enjoying a brand new head coach in former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and a normal supervisor in former Buffalo Bills assistant normal supervisor Joe Schoen, neither of whom can use their beginning backfield past this season to maintain their jobs since two have been drafted by early.
Players hope this season won’t be as bad as 2021 for the Giants.
Former head coach Joe Judge’s final season was marred by accidents, together with Jones (six games missed due to neck harm), Barkley (three games, ankle harm/COVID protocol), the 2021 offseason’s highest-paid free agent wide receiver Kenny Golladay (three games, knee harm), middle Nick Gates (15 games, leg fracture), guard Shane Lemieux (16 games, knee harm), and deal with Andrew Thomas (4 video games, ankle/foot).
The offense disintegrated without Jones, and the Giants lost their final six games.
They had one of the league’s two worst scoring models, with the season’s exclamation point coming in their final home event against Washington when they ran a quarterback sneak on third-and-9 within their own 5-yard line.
Daboll, the creator of the NFL’s second-highest scoring offense (29.8 PPG) the last two seasons, led the Bills to consecutive postseason appearances for the first time since the 1990s.
Daboll figured out how to get the most out of 6-foot-5, 237-pound quarterback Josh Allen, who was picked seventh overall in 2018.
Daboll simplified the game for Allen by using empty formations (5 receivers, only the quarterback in the backfield), pre-snap movement, play-action, and mesh ideas/crossing routes.
Under Daboll’s instruction, Allen became the only player in NFL history with over 100 passing touchdowns (103) and 30 rushing touchdowns (30). (31).
Jones enjoys working with Daboll and new offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, Patrick Mahomes’ quarterback coach from 2018-21.
“They each bring a tonne of ideas, new ideas from different ways,” Jones said in May. I feel all these ideas, new conceptions, new plays, etc (will assist him to enhance).
Just picking up tiny concerns here and there and listening to their mindset on playing the place, playing offense, looking for opportunities to make performances when they aren’t there, and defending the ball.
“I think all these interactions have helped me learn from their experience and achievement.”
Jones is 6-5 and 230 pounds, like Allen, and has a slightly greater completion share and throwing yards per game than Allen in his first three seasons.
Daboll made it clear a day after becoming Jones’ head coach in January that he won’t compare his new quarterback to his old one.
Daboll said on Jan. 31: “We’ll take it day-by-day.” “We won’t make predictions, and I wouldn’t do this to Daniel or any participant. It’s not fair to compare him to a coworker. Authentic. We’ll determine his strengths. We’ll implement a system that fits him, then help him be the best version of himself and the best quarterback for us.
The Giants want Barkley to return to his first two seasons’ level of production and health so Jones can be his best. Barkley is the one participant in the staff’s historical past with over 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first two seasons (2018-2019). He tore his ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season and missed the final 14 games.
Still recovering from last season’s injury, he’s averaged 3.46 rushing yards per carrying over the previous two years, the fewest in the NFL among players with more than 150 rushes. Barkley’s 14 career plays of 50 yards or more are the most in the NFL since he debuted in 2018.
Barkley said during the Giants training camp on July 29: “The last two years didn’t go as planned.” “Everything has a reason. So, the adversity and accidents I’ve faced in the past two years are part of God’s plan. So, this yr, yr 5, for me, I merely desire to display the Giants that the man they drafted is right here. I can still perform and help my team win. That’s my focus. Take care of myself, my body, my mind, and try to be a good teammate.”
Daboll wants Barkley back on track as he implements his offensive system.
Saquon Barkley is a professional player, Daboll said at training camp on July 29. “Our objective is to find ways to use him, whether or not he did it last yr or two years ago [at Penn State]. In a system, you learn what people do best and challenge them to do more. If it doesn’t look well, you decide whether to continue. To continue, you must raise them. If not, toss it and try again.”
Since joining the NFL in 2019, Jones has the third-most turnovers behind only Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (52), and recently acquired Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield (51). Jones reduced his sacks by throwing shorter, faster passes last season.
Schoen and Daboll added three new offensive line starters to join Thomas at left tackle and Lemieux at left guard in 2022: projected right tackle Evan Neal (seventh overall in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Alabama), center Jon Feliciano (a starter with the Bills the last three seasons), and guard Mark Glowinski (a starter with the Colts the final 4 seasons).
Daboll said Jones has the right mindset. “He’s accurate. We’ll tackle Daniel one step at a time. We’ll collaborate. We’ll help him. We’ll help him lead. We’ll help him out. As a corporation and trainer, that’s our role. Everyone helps. Not just me Our remaining coaches. Scouts! Helpers. It’s ownership. It takes a lot to improve a quarterback, and he’s been doing it for three years. We’ll offer him stability and go from there.”
The Giants are on their fifth head coach in six seasons and are on a five-year playoff drought with a 22-59 record since 2017. The Giants must beat the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles to make the playoffs. Determining Barkley and Jones’ long-term future with Daboll will help the team rebuild a once-proud club.