New York Giants’ first-year head coach Joe Judge wants to see his second-year quarterback, Daniel Jones, get knocked around a little bit.
You don’t hear many NFL head coaches say that too often.
But on Tuesday night, the former Alabama and Patriots assistant said that he wants to take the red non-contact jersey off the Giants’ field general and have him take a few knocks in preparation for the 2020 season.
“With quarterbacks, you want to be calculated in how you start banging them around,” Judge said. “I don’t think we’re going to throw [Jones] in any Royal Rumbles or anything like that. But at some point, we’ll pop his pads a little bit in a controlled environment.”
It’s an important aspect of a quarterback’s preparation to take some hits and experience contact before the regular season. Usually, that comes in the preseason, which is important to those first-string players even if they don’t get enough playing time.
Former Giants quarterback Eli Manning was a spokesman for that philosophy, saying a couple of preseason hits was something he needed to get out of the way.
“I need the preseason,” Manning told NFL Network back in 2016. “For the quarterback, you go a long time without getting hit. I haven’t been hit coming up on nine months. It’s been a while. At practice, I can work on moving the pocket but I also know those guys aren’t allowed to hit me in practice and in games those guys are trying very hard to hit me.”
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, though, the NFL was forced to completely cancel its exhibition slate last month, taking away any chance of that happening for Jones this summer.
Hence why Judge is trying to improvise.
“I’m not in a hurry to go ahead and just beat the hell out of him,” Judge said. “But at some point, we’ll prepare his body before he gets hit in the first game.”
Jones is coming off a promising rookie campaign in which he received the proverbial torch from Manning, throwing for 3,027 yards with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 13 games.