Cosell Coaching Tape: 2020 Daniel Jones


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Cosell Coaching Tape: 2020 Daniel Jones

NFL Films/ESPN legend and one of the best talent evaluators in the business Greg Cosell has gone through a metric ton of 2020 tape to provide insights on some interesting players headed into the 2021 NFL season. Here, he brings you his raw notes and observations from those tape sessions.

It’s a chance to get inside the mind of one of the greats of the industry.

Today’s focus will be Giants QB Daniel Jones, and every third-down throw of six yards or longer from 2020.


  • Jones has shown the ability on 3rd and long to make timing and anticipation throws with precise ball placement from the pocket.

  • What consistently stood out on 3rd and long, especially through the early part of the season, was rookie LT Andrew Thomas struggled in one-on-one pass protection.

  • (Positively, there was significant improvement with Thomas one-on-one pass protection as the season progressed.)

  • First two weeks of the season (Steelers, Bears), Jones had too many 3rd down snaps in which he was throwing out of a hole. There was too much pressure from 4-man DL rushes.

  • Pass protection was a consistent and troublesome issue on 3rd and long through the first quarter of the season, both versus 4 man DL rushes that often featured multiple stunt concepts and pressure schemes (49ers presented some tough blitzes that dictated then broke down the Giants protection).

  • Jones was often not comfortable in the pocket on 3rd down. His feet were at times unsettled and there were too many snaps in which he did not set and plant his back foot — he was playing too fast physically.

  • While, at times, Jones faced consistent pressure and collapsing pockets, he must become better at delivering the football in those situations – higher-level pocket QBs make throws out of muddied pockets. Jones needs to get to that level.

  • What the Giants saw on 3rd and long through the first quarter of the season were 5-across fronts that dictated one-on-one protection, with defenses then attacking that protection with different pressure concepts featuring second and third level defenders.

  • What positively stood out was Jones was decisive with his reads and throws versus man-to-man coverage: cover 1, 2 man, 1 robber.

  • Defenses continued to attack the Giants pass game with multiple pressure/blitz concepts on 3rd down – that was the book on the Giants: pressure (Washington in the second matchup played multiple snaps of zero blitz).

  • Multiple stunt concepts were part of defenses’ game plans versus Giants on 3rd down, with disguise and late movement also featured.

  • Through the first half of the season, Jones left some throws on the field, as a result both of not functioning effectively in muddied pockets and, at times, leaving the pocket prematurely versus pressure that was picked up by the protection.

  • One area Jones must improve in 2021 is his consistency throwing with better lower body balance and a firm base. Both his velocity and his ball placement were negatively impacted when he was lacking in those mechanics/

  • As the season progressed, the Giants saw more double-mug fronts which made it a six-man front before the snap. Defenses continued to challenge the Giants pass protection.

  • There were some 3rd and long snaps in which Jones was a beat late in eliminating what was not there and isolating where to go with the ball.

  • On 3rd down, the Giants had problems with pressure all season. Defenses were aggressive with multiple fronts and different pressure schemes throughout the season and the Giants did not handle them well – I do not know what role Jones had in setting protections before the snap.

  • One byproduct of the Giants season-long pass protection issues was there were significant 3rd and long snaps in which they kept a back and TE Evan Engram in to block/chip, and that limits route concepts making it harder for Jones to execute within the structure of the offense.

  • Jones did make some outstanding touch fade throws to his left — he has an excellent sense of timing and precise ball location on these throws.

  • Empty sets were a meaningful part of Giants 3rd down pass game throughout the season.

One of the preeminent NFL analysts in the country, Cosell has worked for NFL Films for over 40 years. Due to his vast knowledge of personnel and matchups based on tape study, Cosell regularly supplies us with valuable and actionable insight and intelligence that cannot be found anywhere else.