Duke Quarterback Daniel Jones Getting Offseason Help from Former Duke Star Thaddeus Lewis

Former Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills quarterback Thaddeus Lewis is rehabbing from an injury that forced him to miss the entire 2016 season. While he has been rehabbing his knee, Lewis has also been taking the time to mentor current Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, who set the team’s freshman passing record last season, and hopes to join Lewis in the NFL. With Jones expected to be vastly improved than he was last year, Duke is expected to have favorable online betting odds this season.

Since May, Lewis and Jones have been working together studying game tape and on the practice field, and according to Jones, the time they have spent together has been a great help to him.

Jones, who threw for 2,836 yards as a freshman in 2016, said the fact that they both played for Coach David Cutcliffe made it easier because it was the same system Lewis played in. He added that having Lewis mentor him is an added bonus because while the coaches are available to help him, they also have other duties they have to tend to making it impossible to be there to answer every question he has.

Lewis played for coach Cutcliffe in the final two seasons of his collegiate career and threw for a school record 10,065 yards. Despite going undrafted after leaving school, Lewis played for seven NFL teams and started six games.

Last season, he was signed by the San Francisco 49ers, and had a good chance to earn the backup spot until a knee injury during the preseason ended his season. Since he had some free time on his hands while he was rehabbing, Lewis was able to watch all 12 Blue Devils games last year.

When asked about Jones, Lewis had nothing but praise for the freshman quarterback. He told reporters he was impressed by Jones’ athleticism, arm strength and accuracy.

With Jones being the only returning starter in the ACC’s Coastal Division, he will be the most experienced quarterback in the division, which should help Duke’s chances of returning to the top of the division.

Lewis said he has taken it upon himself to help Jones learn from his failures last year as well as build on the things he did successfully. He also wants to help the young quarterback better understand the coverages defenses will be throwing at him so he will know what to do and what not to do in certain situations.

Jones proved to be a quick study last year after a rough start to the season. In his first five starts, the freshman quarterback threw eight interceptions. After adjusting to the speed of the game and recognizing what the defense was trying to do, Jones threw only one interception for the rest of the season.

Jones will start his second season with the longest streak of completions without an interception, having thrown 173 passes without one to end the season.

Lewis told reporters that the best thing for Jones was game-time repetition because you can’t simulate the real thing. The more repetition and experience Jones gets on the field, the better, because it will help him become a better quarterback.

John McKeon
John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.
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