EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 10: Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants passes against the New York Jets during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 10, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

New York Giants quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski talks about resolving Daniel Jones’ ball security issues.

Jason Leach

Although there’s serious excitement surrounding New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, there is one gaping hole in his game right now: ball security.

Jones threw 12 interceptions and led the NFL with 18 fumbles (11 lost) during his rookie season. When you turn over the ball at that rate, it’s almost impossible to overcome.

Head coach Joe Judge and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will work with Jones on his turnover issues, but the third voice in the room might help the young quarterback the most. That third voice is quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski.

Last week, Schuplinski spoke about Jones’ turnover issues, and if his willingness to stay in the pocket and take hits contributes to his turnovers.

“I admire his toughness, he’s a tough guy,” Schuplinski told reporters. “He works hard, he’s really passionate about the game. I think, ultimately, we need to be smart with the ball as a quarterback room and as a quarterback, in general. We have to make the right decisions. I think there is a time to get down and protect the ball, and I think there is a time to go ahead and go forward in certain situations, a short-yardage thing when you have to get a first down.”

“I think the biggest thing when we do have that opportunity to go through is really covering up the ball and make sure we take good care of it,” he continued. “The last thing we want is the ball on the ground.”

Players typically make their biggest leap from year one to year two as they adjust to the speed of the game, and they add strength from a full offseason workout program. In fact, the last two league MVPs—Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson—won it in their second seasons

As talented as Jones is, it’s farfetched to consider him an MVP candidate, especially when few consider the Giants a playoff team. But Jones has added eight to nine pounds of muscle this offseason, which should help him absorb hits while maintaining possession.

Schuplinski was asked if he spoke to Jones during the offseason about trying to add muscle.

“It’s never something that we discussed with him about trying to get bigger and stronger,” Schuplinski admitted. “I think it’s probably a progression of being in our strength program and our conditioning. He’s a really good worker and one of the best I’ve seen from a young guy. I think that’s a testament to him. In terms of what it does for him on the field, hopefully, it makes him a little more durable when he is taking hits in there.”

If Jones can cut his number of turnovers from last year in half, he’ll put the Giants in position to win the close games they lost last season. Who knows, maybe the Giants will surprise people and make a push towards the playoffs. Four of the games that the Giants lost with Jones as the starter were by seven points or fewer.

If Jones can fix his turnover issues, the offense can be among the best in the conference, provided they stay healthy. If he’s still turning the ball over at an alarming rate, then expect the Giants to have another double-digit loss season.

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