Tyrod Taylor enters the season as the backup to Daniel Jones in New York, a familiar role in Taylor’s winding career that has seen him man starting jobs, mentorships and security options.
He’s not expected to see the field often — unless Jones faceplants in what is a pivotal fourth professional season.
One might fairly expect that to happen sooner rather than later. History suggests Jones will struggle, even with new coach Brian Daboll — the man credited with guiding Josh Allen toward stardom in Buffalo — now leading the way for the Giants. Injuries have also been a recurring problem with Jones, and although the Giants have again invested in their offensive line, until Jones proves he can play a full season without issue, it will continue to be a concern.
Taylor will have to be ready in such a scenario. And Daboll told reporters he’ll get the veteran prepared before it’s time to break the glass in case of emergency.
“Yeah, as we get going here in terms of the preseason games, we’ll talk about whatever we think is best,” Daboll said Tuesday. “But I have full confidence in Daniel and full confidence in Tyrod and what his role is. Each day, we sit there and we evaluate the guys. But will he get a few reps here or there? He might.”
One could take this as Daboll preparing to replace Jones, as if he doesn’t believe Jones has what it takes to lead the Giants to success. Naturally, Daboll refuted that rather quickly Tuesday.
“Absolutely not. No,” Daboll said when asked if preparing Taylor is a reflection of Jones’ standing with the Giants. “I learned from a pretty good coach a while ago, usually he doesn’t tell those guys when he throws them in because that’s what the backup’s role is. You have to go in on a split second.
“You prepare like you’re a starter. But the fourth play of a game, something happens, you’re in, you got to be ready to go. So, I don’t necessarily think we’ll tell those guys when that will happen.”
Taylor knows these situations happen. He was twice the starter when unfortunate luck forced his backup to replace him — first, in Cleveland with Baker Mayfield, and again in Los Angeles with Justin Herbert. Taylor didn’t get his job back in either scenario.
But the reverse could happen in New York, where all players are competing as if their jobs are on the line. Just ask receiver Kenny Golladay, another highly touted addition of recent years who has yet to live up to expectations.
“I’m not just going to talk about me as far as how important it is to me; I think it’s important for everyone,” Golladay said Tuesday. “We’ve got new coaches and a new offense; I think everyone is going to probably come into this season with a little chip on their shoulder. Even from the coaching standpoint, everyone is going to come in with that edge to try and meet the expectations.”
The Giants aren’t expected to win the Super Bowl in 2022, but they are expected to be better than the dumpster fire they were under coaches Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge. Jones will need to produce for this to happen. Otherwise, it’s fair to believe Daboll might be tempted to turn to Taylor in a time of extreme need — one in which injuries don’t necessarily have to play a factor.
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