The New York Giants unveiled their first unofficial depth chart ahead of Thursday’s preseason opener against the New York Jets and to no surprise, Eli Manning is listed as the starting quarterback, with Daniel Jones in the No. 2 spot.
Jones will play in Thursday’s preseason opener, according to Pat Shurmur, who has not revealed if he will start the game. Regardless whether Jones will start or not, Manning is making sure Jones has the tools to succeed in his first NFL game.
“I think right now just focusing on the preparation of it and making sure that I’m as prepared as I can possibly be,” Jones told Giants’ media members on how Manning is preparing him for Thursday’s preseason opener. “I think, like I said, we’ve had a good last couple weeks of practice, but now the preparation kind of shifts more specifically to the Jets and just trying to prepare for that, so that when I do get out there Thursday night, I’m ready to go.”
Shurmur said the preseason is more about the players and less about the scheme. Jones is part of the group the Giants head coach wants to see make throws and execute, especially since he’s essentially one play away from being the starting quarterback.
“The preseason games are very important, especially for the quarterback to be able to go out there. It’s the next real step in his process, so to speak,” Shurmur said. “We’re looking forward to seeing him go out and execute.”
Shurmur mentioned earlier in training camp the Giants won’t commit to when Jones will take over as the team’s starting quarterback, using the preseason as a measuring stick for his development. If Jones outperforms Manning (if Manning plays) in the preseason opener, that doesn’t mean the Giants will announce their first-round pick as the starting quarterback.
That will be determined over the length of the entire preseason.
“We want him to execute the offense. There are some plays that they have flexibility to do what they do,” Shurmur said. “Then there are other things that we have that are what I consider ‘run it’ plays, where you just call it and run it. We want him to execute, and we want him to do it in a way that represents how we run our offense.
“There’s no red jerseys in real games, so obviously they’re exposed to hits. It’s understanding the timing. Sometimes the timing changes a little bit. So they get that all calibrated in the preseason games. Just like fending off low blocks. There are certain things that you really can’t practice safely that you have to get in the preseason games. That’s probably one of the elements for the quarterbacks.”