The 33-year-old Colt McCoy knows why he was signed by the Giants to a one-year deal for the upcoming season: to serve as Daniel Jones' backup. And he doesn't need the coaching staff to publicly say Jones is the starter to realize that.
New head coach Joe Judge has said in the past that it isn't fair for him to give any starting role to anyone without evaluating everyone personally beforehand. That statement included the No. 6 overall pick from 2019 in Jones and the clear favorite RB Saquon Barkley. Of course, this sounds a lot like coach speak, but McCoy is definitely reading between those lines.
"I'm assuming Daniel is the starting quarterback, he was the sixth pick in the draft and he has a super bright future," McCoy said Wednesday during a conference call.
McCoy added that he spoke with Jones during pregame warmups last season, and over the phone since he joined Big Blue.
"I thought he played very well as a rookie last year. His future is bright, his ceiling is high and he seems like a really great person," he said.
With Eli Manning leaving and only Alex Tanney returning next season, it made sense for the Giants to go searching for a backup quarterback on the market. According to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, Matt Moore, the top option out there, turned down their offer. That led to McCoy coming aboard.
And in doing so, he is now the most experienced quarterback in the NFC East, something he sees as "an advantage" after spending the last six years with the Redskins. McCoy has nine seasons and 39 games (28 starts) of experience to offer Jones in the quarterbacks room -- one that he knows Jones is used to exploiting when it comes to preparation with Manning taking him under his wing.
McCoy isn't Manning, but he said he'll be trying his hardest to make sure the youngster feels comfortable and prepared each week. And, of course, making sure he's prepared if his name is called, too.
"The way that I approach it is, number one, making sure that Daniel feels as comfortable as he can going into these games," he explained. "Understanding and feeling good about the game plan and our preparation all week long so he can go out and play as best he can. I take pride in helping him feel that way and helping [offensive coordinator Jason] Garrett.
"The second part is the responsibility of being ready to play if something were to happen. You have to go in from the bench and play well and that's expected, those two things. I've been a starter, and everyone wants to be a starter, but as a backup, it's just as crucial to handle your business that way."
Coach Judge and Garrett told McCoy that the reason he was brought in was because they dissected his tape over the past nine seasons, and liked how he performed both as an expected starter and someone who came off the bench.
But there is one thing that both McCoy and Jones will have to do together for the first time: learn Garrett's offense. And unfortunately, it has to be done over video conferencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
McCoy has been in this sort of situation before, when the NFL lockout of 2011 stopped him from learning a new offense with the Browns in his second season. He admitted he tried his best to learn it in time before the start of the year, but the team suffered.
Will that be the same result for Jones?
"I think I can take some experience and some lessons learned from that and hopefully help Daniel," McCoy said. "I think Daniel is prepared for this, he played a lot more his rookie year than I did. There are challenges and it's a new system, new ways to call plays. A new philosophy in what we are trying to accomplish as an offense. I will really do my best to be a great resource for him."
That last statement is why the Giants seem confident McCoy can be the backup they need on Jones' side.