Matt Lombardo used to cover the Eagles for NJ.com while hosting nights and I think some weekends on 97.5 the Fanatic. Now he’s on the Giants beat for the same website.
He’s got an article out today titled “I covered Giants’ Daniel Jones’ and Carson Wentz’s rookie training camps: Here’s the edge ‘Danny Dimes’ already has on Eagles’ franchise QB,” which is a sizzler. As soon as I saw that, I thought, “people are gonna read the headline and get bent out of shape.” Of course they won’t read the actual story itself, but that’s how things work in 2019. We get angry over the headline and then respond on social media.
First, I’m not sure how I feel about the ‘Danny Dimes’ nickname. It’s a good nickname, but I’m not sure we can hand out a special moniker to a guy who has yet to play a regular season game. That feels like a violation to me.
Second, the article, which I’ll pick up right here:
I believe that Jones has two advantages over where his rival down the New Jersey Turnpike began his career: He has more arm talent, and he’s fully healthy.
As a rookie, Wentz suffered a cracked rib that limited his practice reps during his rookie training camp, after Pederson left him in the game into the third quarter of the preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, taking a helmet to the chest while playing behind the reserve offensive line.
Yeah that’s fair. If Jones makes it through the preseason unscathed, then he’ll be at a better starting point health-wise than Carson was. He fractured a clavicle at Duke and apparently fought through some stuff that never made it to the injury report, but barely missed any time at all due to that combination of issues.
Wentz’s footwork and general throwing motion were minor concerns during a rookie season in which he set the Eagles’ franchise record for passing attempts by a rookie with 607 and finished with 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He seemed to battle through arm issues as a rookie, and had a noticeably tired arm by the end of the season.
Meanwhile, anyone who has watched the Giants’ first two preseason games has seen how easily Jones can drop a pass into a tight window, but what is most impressive is that he is doing so with relative ease on deep passes.
Yeah, 607 attempts is a ton of passes, especially for a rookie. For context, Carson only threw 612 total passes during his entire college career, so the length of the season and overall workload was certainly an adjustment for him. Jones, for comparison, threw about 425 passes per year over his three Duke seasons, so there’s certainly less of a curve for him in that department as he starts his NFL career.
Carson also wasn’t great on deep throws as a rookie, finishing well below league average passer ratings when throwing deep middle and deep to his right. He also had his worst WR corps that year, a group of Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews, Dorial Green-Beckham, Bryce Treggs, and Paul Turner. Zach Ertz and Darren Sproles were actually top-three yardage receivers that year, which says a lot.
Wentz’s passer rating on 20+ yard attempts drastically improved as a sophomore. We’ll see how he does with DeSean Jackson in the fold this year, a guy who represents his best deep threat YET.
For Wentz, it wasn’t until former Eagles quarterbacks coach, and current Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo altered Wentz’s release point and throwing motion that he surged towards the top of the quarterback rankings in 2017 in an MVP caliber season. That season was capped by an Eagles Super Bowl appearance, but ended for Wentz when he tore his ACL in Week 14.
Based on Jones’ deep-ball accuracy, typically quick release and the tempo of the offense when he’s on the field, it’s easy to picture him making his regular season debut much sooner than some anticipate. Especially if Manning struggles to lift the Giants towards a playoff berth for just the second time in eight seasons.
Similarly to Wentz, Jones has been impressive beyond expectations since his arrival this spring and has only improved as training camp and the preseason have worn on.
While Wentz is a Houdini-like escape artist in the pocket, Jones is plenty mobile enough to make defenses respect that he’ll keep the ball on an RPO, in a way that Manning isn’t able to do.
Matt goes on to say that he considers Wentz a top-five quarterback when healthy, which seems to be league-wide consensus.
It’s actually a rather innocuous post; maybe the headline doesn’t fit the story itself, but it happens. Give it a read and tell me what y’all think.