Quarterback Daniel Jones is expected to open the season on the bench, but the Giants believe he can lead them back to greatness.
The New York Giants open training camp on July 24 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Here’s a closer look at a few storylines:
What does Eli Manning need to do to remain the starting quarterback for 16 games?
Coach Pat Shurmur has already declared that Manning is the starter. That means there isn’t any real quarterback competition this summer, even though rookie Daniel Jones will be breathing down Manning’s neck and we’ll get a better grasp of how close he is to being ready. Still, all Manning has to do is win games. That will keep him on the field. As long as the Giants are realistically alive for the playoffs, he’ll be their quarterback. The organization’s decision-makers believe he has something left and have made this clear with their actions and words.
How can Daniel Jones progress even if he isn’t on the field?
For the No. 6 overall pick, training camp is all about continuing to learn the offense and getting used to the NFL game. The early returns were positive for Jones this spring. He looked like he belonged and threw the ball well. The next step is for him to do it throughout training camp and in the preseason, when we’ll find out what he can do under pressure and when opposing defenders can hit him. That should be the best indicator yet of how ready he is for NFL action after three years at Duke.
If Saquon Barkley rushes for more than 1,500 yards, what effect will it have on the offense?
The Giants need this. Their offense is built around Barkley and the running game. It’s designed to take pressure off Manning. Barkley ran for 1,307 yards on 261 carries as a rookie. It isn’t out of the question for him to get 300 carries and 1,500 yards this season. This would open up the pass game to make plays downfield without Odell Beckham Jr. Otherwise it might be a struggle. Manning was 16th last season in yards per attempt (7.46) even with Beckham.
Who are the defensive players the Giants are counting on to develop into playmakers?
Landon Collins is gone. So are Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison. The Giants are going to need somebody on defense to make plays. They’re banking heavily on safety Jabrill Peppers (acquired in the Beckham trade) and outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter to step into those lead roles. The Giants think Peppers can be better than Collins. They’re going to have Carter on the field as their top edge rusher. It will be a long season for this starless defense if those two fail to blossom.
What does Dave Gettleman need to happen this season for critics to believe that he has this team headed in the right direction?
The Giants need to win seven to nine games, and Jones must provide hope that he’s going to be a top level quarterback. Ultimately, the Giants’ future (and subsequently that of Gettleman) will hinge on Jones’ development. If he becomes a young Manning, the franchise will be in good shape. If he’s nothing more than Dave Brown, the organization will be set back for years, and there won’t be much winning until Gettleman is gone. It’s a big year for Big Blue; the Giants have just eight wins the past two seasons combined.