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Was there a dispute between Daniel Jones and his head coach?

“He’s not very happy about it,” Brian Daboll said.

Right. He wasn’t very happy about it.

Brian Daboll talks to Daniel Jones during Giants practice. Noah K. Murray / New York Post

“No, I wasn’t excited, but I’m not the coach and I don’t make those decisions,” Jones said Tuesday after the Giants finished the first practice of their mandatory minicamp.

Trouble on the Big Blue playground? Hardly. Jones and controversy go together as naturally as the Cross Bronx Expressway and a nice open road.

Daboll wanted to complete as many 11-on-11 team reps as possible, so he skipped the 7-on-7 drill for this session.

Since Jones was unable to participate in all team activities after undergoing knee surgery this spring, he was mostly a spectator that day, aside from participating in individual drills.

“I understand that Dabs wanted a lot of teamwork, and that’s what they did,” Jones said. “Yeah, it wasn’t my favorite thing to do, but that’s not my job.”

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones throws a pass during minicamp. Noah K. Murray – NY Post

All of this was said with a smile. Jones knows the Giants are cautious with him.

He tore his right anterior cruciate ligament on November 5 in Las Vegas, and his rehab followed a tried-and-tested pattern that allowed no shortcuts and required no interruptions or restarts due to setbacks.

When the Giants take the field for training camp on July 24, Jones expects all restrictions to be gone and he will be able to hit the ground running.

“The knees feel good, really good,” he said. “Every week I was getting better and better, making progress, doing a lot of the same things I was doing before but doing them better and feeling sharper and cleaner on a lot of my cuts, working on getting that explosiveness back and then taking steps and improving my changes of direction and cuts from where they were before the injury.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones answers questions from reporters during minicamp. Noah K. Murray – NY Post

“I have achieved practically all the goals that the doctors and trainers have set for me so far. I will do everything in my power to achieve as much as they allow me to.”

There is a lot of talk about what Jones is and isn’t as an NFL starting quarterback, but there is little debate about his athletic ability.

He is big, strong and can run, with 708 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in 2022 when he played a full season.

Daniel Jones and running back Eric Gray at the Giants’ mandatory minicamp. Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORK

It is important for him to be able to use his legs.

Jones said he is not worried about this because he is now reaching all the physical stats he had before his injury.

“I can do all this now,” Jones said, “and in a month I will be even better.”

Daboll said Jones is “exactly where he needs to be.”

Jones, who appears clean-shaven after several weeks of shaggy facial hair, continues to wear black tights on his right leg, but he says they are more to keep the knee warm than for extra support.

He has not worn a knee brace throughout the process and has practically lived at the team facility throughout his rehab.

“Man, he’s probably the guy with the best work ethic that I know,” receiver Jalin Hyatt said. “He’s the first one in the building. I don’t even know what time he gets here, maybe 5:30. He stays here forever and is the last one to leave. That’s what you expect from a quarterback.”

“It just shows how much he respects that, how much he respects this team and how much he wants to improve and do whatever he needs to do. We have so much confidence in him. So much trust in him. I can’t wait to have him back at team activities and training camp. We’re all going to be excited.”

Early enough.

Jones is sticking to his usual offseason routine and said he will gather the receivers together in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area for a few days of throwing and catching during the upcoming extended break.

What Jones can’t do is replicate the 11-on-11 work he was denied this spring.

He has thrown to rookie Malik Nabers, but only in seven-on-seven periods and when Nabers ran routes without a defender on the field.

Building that familiarity with Nabers and re-establishing contact with Hyatt, Darius Slayton and Wan’Dale Robinson will be a task that must be accomplished this summer.

“The time we spend in the meeting room talking about things, how we see things in certain ways, how we imagine things from certain angles – all of that kind of helps build that chemistry and rapport,” Jones said. “You have to make the most of every moment you get. I think we’re going to get off to a good start.”

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