Daniel Jones’ new target Darren Waller looks different: ‘He’s a true 6-6 and he can fly’
Daniel Jones could be forgiven this season if he throws to Darren Waller so often that he gets accused of forcing it to him.
Waller looks like the first pick in a pickup basketball game. When he’s covered, he still looks open. He runs like a deer.
It didn’t take long for Jones to notice how different Waller would be as a target when they first met in Arizona this spring.
“As soon as you walk on the field,” Jones said Thursday with a smile. “He’s a true 6-6, and he can fly and he can run all the routes.”
Waller seems to like the tone Jones has set as a leader, too.
He said his first impression of the Giants QB was when he arrived at the house in Arizona, where Jones had invited teammates to come train.
Jones was getting work done on his body so his arm would be ready to throw the next day.
Waller said Jones has also organized extra throwing sessions for players during the spring, when their time playing football at the team’s facility is capped by rule.
“He’s smart, funny, driven, one of the hardest workers,” Waller said.
This tandem’s success or failure will have a lot to do with the success or failure of the Giants’ team in 2023.
Waller, 30, made a couple nice leaping catches up the right sideline on Thursday, at the team’s third of 10 OTA practices, with defensive backs guarding but not allowed to challenge the ball.
Then Waller, along with free agent linebacker signing Bobby Okereke, received some snaps off late in practice as the team managed the bodies of some of their top acquisitions.
Waller even did the early practice game of catch with his position coach while others did drills, similar to the light plan Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay were on last year.
“This is a really light place, a really fun place, really empowering place in a way,” Waller said, “where you just be yourself.”
The former Raven and Raider later said that the Giants “value our opinions here” as players.
“As a player, I feel like a lot of places I’ve gone, you’re told to do things a certain way, and you do those things,” he said. “But here, they ask a lot of questions. They want to know what you’re thinking, what do you like to do more?
“To offer input is a really cool thing, because [a] coach and players have got to be in partnership. We’re all together. We shouldn’t be clashing with each other. We’re all going the same direction.”
Jones and Waller hope that direction, for the offense, is up.