Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula -- August 2, 2019
Q: Where did Daniel make the biggest strides from the spring to now?
A: Probably consistency. The corrections we ask him to make, he makes them really fast. Some of them are not necessarily corrections, but maybe doing things a little bit differently, more our style, heís really good at that. Those have been the things he has kind of picked up where he left off at the end of OTAís.
Q: The throw he had to Perkins yesterday, was that one of the best heís had this summer?
A: Yeah, that was one of them. Heís throwing the ball deep very well. He has a better understanding of the routes we are running across the board. To hit a halfback like that down the field was pretty impressive for any quarterback, rookie or veteran.
Q: How was his day in general yesterday?
A: So when weíre looking at practice, we are looking at accuracy, timing, decisions and then technique. For the quarterback, itís mostly footwork. Heís been really consistent with his decision making. Yesterday, when he had some big plays, it always feels like a better day. Sometimes, as you guys know, in the game, some of the best plays made by quarterbacks are decisions where you get your team out of trouble or you hit a hot or a blitz, maybe a short throw. That was a good day, maybe other than one day where he had a couple of forced throws, he has been really consistent.
Q: With the deep ball accuracy, is it simply arm talent or do you see him doing things behind the scenes that are allowing him to take those deep shots?
A: Well, you know vision to make sure you are going to the right guy and timing, getting the ball there on time and then technique. If you are doing all three of those things and you understand sometimes you have to put a little more touch on the ball, obviously, the more touch you put on the ball, the more margin for error you have. Sometimes you canít because you have somebody else coming over there to try to make a play. There are certain ways you throw deep balls to get the ball completed, and heís got a much better feel for that. The other thing too is just trusting the guys. Sometimes he wants to be so perfect that he was trying to, for lack of a better phrase, catch it for those guys. Instead of saying, hey, theyíre fast, they can go get it, just air it out there and throw it.
Q: What kind of changes have you seen in Saquon from year one to year two, and what do you consider a good encore for what he did last year?
A: Obviously, the production was really good. Selfishly, we want to have the same production but in different ways. Some of those yards last year were maybe because we were behind. We want to have that production when we have the lead, or the games are close, thatís where we want to be each and every week. I would say other than his consistency, which has improved, his knowledge, you can tell his focus on blitz pick-ups. That will be the first thing he will tell you if he hasnít told you already. We want to continue to use him in as many ways as we can. Heís going to be a huge part of our offense and make the guys up front look better and, in turn, they can help him and make him look better and the same thing with Eli.
Q: Has he outwardly shown more leadership?
A: Yeah, I think so. As we all know, the best way you can lead is you have to do it within your personality. If youíre vocal and thatís your personality, but if youíre not. I think the biggest thing we talk to our guys about is being a guy that when you walk into the building, your teammates know they can count on you to be dependable each and every day. Yes, the enthusiasm, heís got a little enthusiasm during the course of practice that becomes contagious for guys that maybe arenít.
Q: A lot of people said Daniel lacked arm strength coming out of college, but he seems to be throwing the deep ball very well. What did you guys see in him that maybe others didnít?
A: I think number one, weíve talked a lot about him, and for good reason. We still havenít played a game. Thatís the other thing we are going to look at, taking what he has learned so far and applying that to the game. I think just in general, and I think any coach that evaluates quarterbacks will probably tell you this, you have to look at things on tape. You donít just look at statistics, you look at his timing, at his decision making, his accuracy, if he is getting the ball out there where it needs to be. I think the workouts, thatís one thing, the workouts can really help on a deep ball. Number one is arm strength and to see it in person, I think thatís really important. Obviously, we were there at his workout, which I thought he did a really good job of. You can kind of get a sense of when he needs to get rid of the ball and how he needs to get rid of it. Maybe you donít quite see that in college on a college tape, or if you were watching on video.
Q: Have you seen him make the same mistake twice and if so, what was it?
A: Thatís not just rookies but veterans, too. I think he is one of the better guys I have coached so far as far as not making that same mistake. Itís not necessarily the mental mistake but the thing that has caught my eye is the physical things that weíve asked him to do that cater to us that he wasnít doing in college. With the rhythm of his drops, at Duke he was doing a lot of empty and getting the ball out really fast where you are catching it and maybe a one step drop, whereas here at times weíll extend that drop a little bit, so it was a little bit new to him early. It was a little bit not awkward but just something he had to work on. The next day it would be like, is this the same guy we had yesterday? So those are the things that are, again we havenít played a game, exciting to see. Now you want to see him apply those things over the course of a game where itís a little more regular season-like, so to speak, as opposed to just practice where a coach is back there correcting you every play.
Q: With Eli, in what ways can you tell his offseason training was different, if at all?
A: I think it is. The results of his offseason, in my opinion, for what itís worth, are different. I said this to you all last year, I thought it was impressive the way he was throwing the ball and what kind of shape he was in. I think heís in even better shape, I think his arm looks even stronger than he did last year, heís more accurate. As we move the pocket a little bit, heís throwing really well on the run. He did that last year, I think it looks even better than it did last year.
Q; What is the biggest leap you have seen Will Hernandez make from last year?
A: Probably along the lines of what we were just talking about. Heís making less mistakes or if he makes a mistake, heís getting it corrected. Last year I think it really bothered him where maybe one play affected the next. This year, itís not. He realized, oh I got it, and then he doesnít make it again. I think that just the comfort level of the guys around him that he has after playing a year. You can see him coming off the ball with a little more confidence in one-on-one situations in pass pro(tection).
Q: Solder struggled early on and then played better as the year moved on, how much do you think year two in the system will help?
A: I think we all struggled at the beginning of last year. I think it all fits together and heís going to be a big part of the reason we win games when we win them. Same thing, itís maybe a little bit different than what he was doing in New England, the technique. Heís an asset for us in the running game coming off the ball and he likes to do that. His pass protection, some of the things we talked about, maybe at first like what you were saying, was different than what he we asked to do. Thereís a lot more consistency in that regard.
Q: Itís interesting that Daniel Jones is rooming with Dexter Lawrence, can he take anything from a D-lineman in those moments when they are talking football?
A: I would think so, you would have to ask them, but I think so. You get a little different perspective. Quarterbacks and D-linemen donít usually spend a lot of time together, so I think itís a good set up for a lot of reasons, a bond there, a friendship, and also being the high picks in the first round, they have something in common as well as they can revert back to something that can help both of them out over the course of the game.