Pat Shurmur praises performance from Daniel Jones

My, my, how quickly the tables have turned.

Daniel Jones has gone from being booed at a Yankees game, to being the toast of New York in just three preseason games. The No. 6 overall pick, who was almost universally decried as a reach by the Giants brass back in April, shined once again Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals, completing 9 of 11 passes for 141 yards in four drives.

For the preseason, Jones compiled a stellar stat line: 25-of-30 passing, 369 yards, two TDs, zero INTs and two sacks.

After vociferously questioning the pick early in the process, the New York media has flipped before the calendar even turned to September, with some calling for Jones to start sooner rather than later.

For coach Pat Shurmur, Jones' performance is validation.

"Like I said, you can ask me all you want about why I like him,'' Shurmur said, via the New York Post. "I think it's time to start asking the people that didn't like him what they think, quite frankly."

Jones has shown pinpoint accuracy through three games, an ability to get the ball out of his hands quickly, nice touch when he does stretch the field, and the mental fortitude to succeed in New York.

"That's what we thought he was when we drafted him,'' Shurmur said. "It's fun, about every six or seven days I've been able to tell you, 'That's what we saw when we drafted him.' He just has a feel for playing the position. He's steadily getting better every time he takes the field."

Despite the impressive outings, the Giants continue to stick with Eli Manning as the opening-day starter. The leash on the two-time Super Bowl MVP, however, has gotten tauter with each impressive performance by Jones.

Three fumbles are Jones' biggest issue (two lost). One came Thursday night when he was blasted on a blindside hit by Carl Lawson. After the Giants were able to recover, however, Jones came back the very next play and hit Darius Slayton on a gorgeous back-shoulder throw to the 1-yard-line to set up a TD.

"You take hits, you know?" Shurmur said. "He came to the sideline and said, 'That was a good one.' He said, 'I'm sure I'll get hit harder than that at times.' He was fine.

"He just reconfirmed in my mind that he's tough in a sport where that's demanded, he's got that. And he knows how to compete."

Saquon Barkley added: "He got hit and what did he do after, the next play? I think that shows a little toughness he has, too, a little grit behind him and you love to see that."

It helps that Jones has faced vanilla defenses in the preseason, but that shouldn't take away from the fact that he's picked those apart. The rookie's performance has underscored the Giants' confidence in using a top-10 pick on the Duke product. As we noted at the time, if general manager Dave Gettleman was right in his evaluation of Jones, when it's all said and done, no one would care where he was picked. Getting the right quarterback is the only thing that matters. The rest is just fodder.

Thus far, Jones has looked like the right quarterback. It's just the preseason, however. The rookie will face much stiffer tests down the road, whenever the Giants finally decide it's time to pass the torch from Manning to Jones.

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