For 15 years, opposing coaches have come to the phone on Wednesdays and answered questions on what it is like preparing to face the Giants with Eli Manning as the starting quarterback. Bruce Arians has the distinction of being the first to address what it’s like with Daniel Jones in that role.
The Giants face the Buccaneers Sunday in Tampa, with Jones getting the start and Manning serving as the backup. Arians, the Buccaneers coach, quickly pinpointed the main difference in the 22-year old Jones and the 38-year old Manning.
“I think the biggest thing is the mobility of Daniel,” Arians said. “It will be the same offense, we still have to stop Saquon [Barkley]. He’s a more mobile guy so you have to be a little more cautious of rush lanes and things like that. Expect a little bit more movement passes, but he’s still a rookie.”
Crafty defenses for years have stymied rookie quarterbacks. One of Manning’s greatest assets was his ability to decipher what the defense is doing and getting the offense into good plays and out of bad ones.
This is a key part of the learning curve that awaits Jones.
“I know he is a very bright guy and he’s been well coached in college,” Arians said of Jones, who went to Duke.
Can the Buccaneers take advantage of Jones’ inexperience?
“It’s a very hard position to play and I won’t say yes or no,” Arians said.
Arians expects to see Pat Shurmur run his offense, no matter who the quarterback is.
“They are not going to change what they are doing, it’s Pat’s offense, he’s just going to run it,” Arians said. “For us, it’s trying to stop Saquon and force him to throw the ball.”