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Eli Manning is hopeful Daniel Jones can take a step forward this season with the help of a fresh start under a new Giants regime.
“I think with coach [Brian] Daboll, and what they’re doing, and that staff and [general manager] Joe Schoen, having been around the facility some, the atmosphere has changed,” Manning said in an NFL Network interview. “So I’m excited for Daniel, I know he’s worked extremely hard and been through a lot of offenses, a lot of coaching changes, so hopefully this can be the right one.”
The Giants’ locker room was far from the happiest place under former head coach Joe Judge, who was fired after a misery-inducing 4-13 season in 2021. Daboll has brought a looser, more upbeat vibe to Big Blue since taking over.
Jones, the sixth overall pick in 2019, is heading into the last year of his rookie contract with his future uncertain. The Giants declined to pick up his fifth-year option, setting up a season in which Jones will be asked to prove his worth.
Manning said that the Duke product has been hurt by needing to adapt to new offenses, something he will have to do again with Daboll being his third head coach in a short career.
“By my fifth year, I had been in the same offense the whole time, I knew it, I could coach it up, new guys are coming in, I was speaking the same language as my offensive coordinator and as [head coach Tom Coughlin] and kind of preaching the same stuff,” Manning said. “And with [Jones], it’s all new and it’s learning, and he’s consistently trying to learn and learn and learn, and it just takes some time before it all sinks in.”
Nonetheless, Daboll likely represents Jones’ last best chance to make himself the Giants’ quarterback of the future.
Formerly the offensive coordinator for the Bills, Daboll was given much of the credit for developing Josh Allen into a superstar quarterback, which was much of the basis for his hiring in New York.
Jones will be his next project, and the stakes are high as can be.
The Giants have made the playoffs just once since 2011, and moving on from the QB would essentially mean starting the rebuild all over again.