MIAMI — If new Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett asks his close friend for a Daniel Jones scouting report as seen from the television booth, he’s going to hear mostly positives.
And then …
“The thing for him is he has to hang onto the damn ball,” Hall of Famer Troy Aikman said of Jones, who lost 11 of 18 fumbles and threw 12 interceptions as a rookie. “You can’t just throw the ball in the air every time you get touched. That’s got to get fixed, and I believe it can be fixed.”
As Fox’s lead NFL analyst, Aikman will be on the broadcast of Super Bowl 2020 between the 49ers and Chiefs.
But Aikman is keeping track of the Giants because he and Garrett have a relationship dating 25 years, when Garrett was Aikman’s backup on the Super Bowl-winning Cowboys. They remained close during Garrett’s 13-year stint as a Cowboys coach.
“I think he’s going to bring some accountability, he’s going to have some structure, he is going to be very well-prepared,” Aikman said. “There is not going to be any stone unturned. When they go into a game plan, every player is going to know exactly what’s being asked of him. I think it’s a great situation for Jason.”
Garrett called plays for the Cowboys from 2007-12, including his first three seasons after a promotion from offensive coordinator to head coach.
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“I thought he did a nice job when he was calling the plays,” Aikman said. “He comes from a pretty good perspective, having been around good players but also good coaches. That’s probably been the biggest influence on him. I don’t always think players make the best coaches, but he has proved to be a good coach, and he keeps in perspective what it was like for him as a player and what he liked and didn’t like.”
Garrett’s “personal skills” are one reason the relationship should work.
“I’d be surprised if he and Daniel Jones don’t hit it off right away and develop a real chemistry,” Aikman said, “and I think that’s important.”
Jones first impressed Aikman at his pre-draft Duke Pro Day, and one particular promising skill continued to show up whenever he saw tape of the Giants.
“I thought the ball came out on time,” Aikman said. “It’s something I point to a lot because it doesn’t happen with a lot of young quarterbacks. He had great anticipation. He put the ball where it needed to be.”
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