Daniel Jones is speeding headfirst into what will easily be the most pivotal season of his young NFL career -- one that could define the remainder of it. And as he readies for his fourth season in the league, the former sixth-overall pick does so under the tutelage of former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, a man who will become Jones' third head coach in those four seasons. Such an amount of change would be difficult for most quarterbacks to overcome, and former Pro Bowl receiver Golden Tate couldn't agree more.
Tate, having spent two seasons with Jones as his QB before being released following the 2020 season, said the 25-year-old might've had a better start to his professional career if not for the coaching game of musical chairs in New York.
"I honestly feel bad for Daniel," Tate said, via NJ.com. "He was drafted into a rebuilding organization for one, had Pat Shurmur for a year and then got Joe Judge for two years, now another head coach and another rebuild going into his fourth season. He hasn't had Saquon [Barkley], myself, [Kenny] Golladay, Sterling [Shepard] -- no one is ever on the field at the same time. And then on top of that, he had [Jason] Garrett [as his offensive coordinator] and that probably didn't help much.
"So you kind of feel bad for him because a ton of talent. He has a lot of talent but he just hasn't had much help due to injuries and how they set it up."
Shurmur was placed in the role of head coach following the firing of Ben McAdoo in 2017, and the Giants went on to flounder to a 4-12 season in Jones' inaugural year. Fired ahead of the 2020 season, he was then replaced by an unproven HC in Judge, who also brought on a recently-fired Jason Garrett with the hopes of jump-starting the Giants offense, to no avail. Garrett was sent packing last November, a move that saved neither the team's offense nor Judge from his own eventual dismissal -- the Giants having finished with a combined record of 14-35 over the past three seasons.
Over that stretch of time, Jones is 12-25, having missed a large chunk of last season with injury and, when healthy, often taking the field without an oft-injured Barkley, to Tate's point. Now, it's Daboll's turn to try and unlock the young quarterback's potential -- having already done the same for Josh Allen in upstate New York -- and both Jones and Barkley are healthy heading into training camp while Golladay hopes to better what can only be described as an abysmal Year 1 of his four-year mega-deal.
"I'm looking forward to [them] just letting him loose, man," Tate said of Jones. "Just let him go out there and play ball. He's a smart guy. He's going to make good decisions. But you've got to set him up to be successful.
"And I'm just hoping that those guys rally because this is the one thing I know about DJ: he's going to be prepared. He's going to be prepared and he's going to follow what you want him to do. But let him play ball, too. Let him play ball. Get the ball to your playmakers and let them go."
As Tate turns an eye away from playing in the NFL and, the 33-year-old contends none of his comments are designed to toss shade at the Giants, an organization he "loves" and "grew up watching." Instead, they are to be viewed as hope that they "put it together" in 2022.
"I'm really rooting for them."