EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Some of the coaching points New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is receiving are the same ones quarterback Tom Brady heard for years while with the New England Patriots. Some might even have originated from Brady himself.
Giants head coach Joe Judge spent the previous eight seasons in New England, with the final year including the title of wide receivers coach. Giants quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski joined the Patriots as an offensive assistant in 2013 and became the assistant quarterbacks coach in 2016.
As contemporaries to the 43-year-old Brady (Schuplinski is a few months older, Judge four-plus years younger), they might have learned as much from the man many consider the greatest quarterback of all time as the other way around.
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“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Tom. I learned a lot of ball being around him. How he sees it through a player’s perspective,” said Judge, whose Giants (1-6) will host Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2) on Monday Night Football (8:15 ET, ESPN). “The things that come up in a game and how he handles it. Hearing the way he kind of picks receivers’ brains throughout a practice or things he may see pre-snap. I got a lot of knowledge just listening to him talk to other guys on the team.”
Judge remembers training camp classroom sessions last season when Patriots coaches allowed the players to talk through the film of one-on-one periods between the receivers and defensive backs. Brady would be talking to the receivers about what he was seeing and what he expects on certain routes.
That helped the coaches with their own personal growth.
“To me, there’s fine points in coaching, but ultimately it matters how the players see it on the field,” Judge said. “To be able to hear through the vision that Tom had, that was really an education in itself right there.”
Not every coach in every building is like New England’s Bill Belichick, with decades’ worth of knowledge and experience. At one point, Belichick was the young assistant in Denver during the 1978 season, spending all his time jotting down notes. He, too, was getting an education from players such as Tom Jackson and coaches such as defensive coordinator Joe Collier.
Error! Filename not specified.Giants QB Daniel Jones, foreground, will meet Tom Brady (now with Tampa Bay) for the second time on Monday night. Jones is now learning his craft from coaches who worked with Brady in New England. Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports
When Schuplinski became the assistant quarterbacks coach in 2016, Brady already had won four Super Bowls. They would go on to add two more titles over the next three seasons.
“When I had the opportunity to come in there, they had it rolling. [Brady] and Bill and [offensive coordinator Josh [McDaniels]. … [Brady] had been in the offense for 14 years when I got there. So, I was on ground zero. He was on Year 14. So … the best thing we could always do, and I could always do, I think, was just listen.
“To see the work he put in, not just on studying, that is certainly part of it, but the way he took care of his body. The things that he did that nobody really saw to really hone in on his craft. … It was awesome and an experience I’ll forever be grateful for, being in that quarterback room for six years.”
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Schuplinski became a young-quarterback guru of sorts during his time in New England. He was tasked with helping build up Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett behind Brady. Jones, 23, is his latest project, and he approaches it using some of the same advice he once received in New England. McDaniels told Schuplinski players don’t really care what you have done previously. Your past is in the past. As long as you help them improve, that will earn you respect from players — even ones as accomplished as Brady.
“It’s my job to be the best I can, to give them the best information I can and help them try to be successful,” Schuplinski said. “Whoever that was, that’s what I was trying to do.”
Jones now hears about how it’s imperative to harp on the little things all the time, or whether he’s going to the right spot with the ball based on the coverage or if he’s getting the ball out quickly enough.
Schuplinski and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett are the primary voices in Jones’ ear these days. It’s their jobs to make sure their young quarterback takes the necessary steps to win games and convince the organization he is the future — that maybe he can take some of the lessons taught to Brady or that Brady taught to his coaches and apply them on the field.
Using anything that helped Brady achieve some of the success he experienced in New England seems like a good place to start for the Giants.