MIAMI – He is here for only a few days but not here for what almost everyone else is here for.
“I definitely won’t go to the game,’’ Giants quarterback Daniel Jones said Saturday morning.
No, Jones won’t be attending Super Bowl 2020. He spent his time in South Florida on Friday night playing corn hole against Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and the next day throwing some passes and talking to kids at the Citi Football ProCamp on the soggy grass field at Miami Central High School. Even from a distance away from what the Chiefs and 49ers engage in on Sunday, the 22-year old Jones got a sense of what this time of year at this grand event is all about.
“It’s exciting to see it and kind of feel the buzz around it and feel the energy around it,’’ Jones said. “It does kind of get you excited and that’s certainly the goal, to be playing in one of these.’’
The Giants seem far away from playing in one of these, as they went 4-12 this past season, with Jones starting 12 games and going 3-9. At this time a year ago, though, the 49ers were coming off a 4-12 season, so the NFL once again reminds us that almost anything is possible.
It shapes up to be a challenging first NFL offseason for Jones. He has new coaches to get to know and a brand-new system to learn. Jones said his first meetings with Joe Judge confirmed what he saw the day Judge was introduced as the new head coach.
“Coach Judge is very straightforward, it’s what you saw in the press conference,’’ Jones said. “He’s a football guy, he’s got a lot energy so I’m looking forward to working with him.’’
One of Jones’ starts (and losses) as a rookie came against the Cowboys and afterward, he shook the hand of Dallas coach Jason Garrett. Now Garrett is Jones’ offensive coordinator.
“Obviously coach Garrett is a proven coach in the league, he’s won a lot of football games, coached a lot of great players so I’m excited to work with him too,’’ Jones said.
In his comings and goings down in Florida, Jones ran across Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and received some intelligence about Garrett.
“Everyone who’s worked with coach Garrett speaks very highly of him and Dak was certainly the same way,’’ Jones said. “Guys respect him and it seems like he’s done a lot for a lot of people’s careers.’’
Jones said he plans on spending most of his time this offseason in New Jersey and will get together with the many teammates who also stay in the area. He still is working out details of getting his receivers and running backs together off-site for a few days, most likely at Duke, where he played and where Eli Manning ran similar workouts the past few years.
With no assurances yet what the new Giants offense will look like with Garrett calling the shots, Jones said he will “focus on stuff I need to work on, stuff I need to improve from last year and kinda go from there.’’
Manning had the good fortune of learning and playing in one offensive system for a decade before he had to adjust. Jones got the hang of Pat Shurmur’s offense and in year No. 2 must hit the books all over again.
“It’ll be a challenge but it’s part of the job,’’ Jones said. “I learned a system this year, so we’re doing it again. It’s will be a challenge and something I’ll need to spend a lot of time making sure I’m working towards and making progress with. I think we’ll all be able to do it, I think we’ll all attack it the right way and try to pick it up as quick as we can.’’
For more on Super Bowl 2020, listen to the latest episode of the “Blue Rush” podcast: