New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones turned some heads in his rookie season. Across 13 games, 12 of which were starts, he threw for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 61.9 percent of his passes and posting an 87.7 quarterback rating. Jones also ran for 279 yards and two touchdowns.
The Giants are going into their first full season with Jones under center, as Eli Manning announced his retirement in January.
In an interview with NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano, former Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said that he thinks Jones can become a “leader” in his sophomore season (quotes via Giants.com’s Matt Citak).
“Just continuing to build on the leadership qualities he already has,” Cruz said when asked what comes next in Jones’ development. “I think obviously, coming in on another year without Eli Manning being there, he can actually feel like the leader, be himself and start to bring these guys under his leadership. I think that’s the biggest thing he has to fulfill this year.”
“Yes, the stuff on the field will kind of take care of itself. He’ll make the plays, he’ll make the decisions that he needs to make, I think, in order to be successful… Daniel Jones, this will be the year where he starts to build his own leadership with his guys.”
As Citak mentions, Manning said back in May that he thinks his departure will help Jones this season.
“I think it will be easier this year for him to kind of step up as that leader,” Manning said. “Last year was probably awkward for him, me being there, me being in meeting rooms and just kind of the whole dynamic. Me being gone and, hey, he is the quarterback, he is the guy, for him to have that control and the authority over receivers and offensive line.”
The New York Giants selected Jones with the sixth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Duke University.
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