New York Giants head coach Joe Judge is not really a rah-rah sort of guy and has certainly shied away from heaping praise on second-year quarterback Daniel Jones this season, leading many to question whether or not a potential change is upcoming.
However, that line of thinking was doused on Wednesday afternoon when Judge threw his full weight behind Jones long-term. The first-year head coach said the 23-year-old has not only earned his respect, but vowed that the organization will build around Jones going forward.
“I don’t know if there’s an ‘aha’ moment,” Judge said. “To me, it’s a string of moments watching Daniel work. Watching the respect he has in the locker room. Watching him improve throughout this season. I think he’s demonstrated a level of toughness and leadership and knowledge on the field that gives us confidence to put him out there and build with Daniel.
“So I’m not going to point to one moment, but I can talk about this entire season of: This guy has definitely earned my respect. I made it very hard on him from the beginning in a lot of ways and he hasn’t blinked.”
Asked point-blank if the Giants are committed to Jones in 2021, Judge did not hesitate.
“Daniel Jones is our quarterback,” Judge said emphatically.
The coach also shot down any notion that the team would move on from Jones or seek a potential successor, adding that he fully believes the organization can find success with the former first-round pick under center.
Do these statements mean there’s no chance the Giants draft a QB? Of course not. But Judge’s comments on Jones were a lot stronger than coach-speak.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) December 23, 2020
Point being: if Judge didn’t want to make the statement, he would’ve said his focus is on the Ravens, and the Giants would talk about 2021 in 2021. He took the opportunity to go on record about Daniel Jones. https://t.co/UlFXDNUBhs
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) December 23, 2020
Competition is certainly a possibility, but that’s unlikely to come in the form of a first-round pick. Rather, Judge will seek to boost the talent around Jones in an effort to maximize his potential.
The timing of Judge’s comments on Jones don’t seem like an accident, either. The debate over Jones’ value to the organization has certainly heated up of late and Judge is always cognizant of the pulse of both the media and fans.
In fact, mere hours prior to Judge’s conference with reporters, it was pointed out that the coach had not offered public support to his quarterback this year.
What does Joe Judge think of Daniel Jones? How does that impact his and Dave Gettleman’s future? Bobby and Justin break it all down! pic.twitter.com/f2kj059J4p
— Talkin’ Giants (@TalkinGiants) December 23, 2020
Nothing Judge does or says is an accident — he’s methodical. The fact that he publicly committed himself to Jones, a player he respects, should be taken at face value. He means what he says.