Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who’s preparing to face the Atlanta Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., spoke to the New York media Wednesday.
Here’s what Jones had to say as the Giants are set to retire former quarterback Eli Manning’s number at halftime:
Q: What are your thoughts on (former Giants quarterback) Eli (Manning) having his jersey retired on Sunday and what that means to you?
A: “Yeah, I’m excited. It’ll be cool to see. It’ll be a cool moment. Obviously, a legend of this game, a legend of this franchise and what he represented, how he played for so long. Being able to be with him my first year was awesome for me. It was a huge opportunity and it’ll be cool to see him recognized.”
Q: Awesome for you in what way?
A: “Just a tremendous opportunity to learn and to watch him, to be able to talk to him and ask him questions, watch how he went about his work and how he carried himself. On the field, how he played, how he prepared and then off the field in the building, dealing with teammates and leading this organization.”
Q: Do you talk to Eli after games, during the week or anything like that? Do you guys compare or anything like that? Do you talk about what he saw with you or anything like that? Is that the type of relationship you have with him?
A: “We’ve certainly stayed in touch and check in every now and then. He’s always kind of been someone who’s been willing to answer questions. I think in his position he’s not in our meetings every day and I think he understands that. But like you said, he’s played a ton of football and knows how to play the game and knows what it’s supposed to look like. He’s been helpful for me.”
Q: How’s he doing in his new gig? Have you been watching at all? Do you like it?
A: “Yeah, I’ve watched a little bit of it. I think he’s pretty good. He’s pretty funny. He’s got some good one-liners and some good commentary. It’s been fun to watch him and Peyton (Manning) go back and forth.”
Q: Has he invited you on it yet?
A: “No, I haven’t gotten the invite (laughs).”
Q: We want to see your one-liners.
Q: What’s the biggest thing you learned from him?
A: “I think it was just day in and day out the way he prepared and the way he carried himself. I think anyone would expect a guy that successful and who has played that long at a high level, that he has a certain way to prepare. I think that’s expected, but being able to kind of see it day to day and him go about it, being able to see him interact with teammates, interact with people in the facility, with staff members, and the leader that he was kind of in all aspects of the organization and for this team.”
Q: How would you describe his work ethic?
A: “Consistent. Extremely consistent. He never got bored with doing the fundamental things on the field, whether it was footwork – working on something as simple as a three-step drop or a five-step drop. You’d hear him talk about his footwork a lot and kind of a lot of those things and I remember that sticking with me early on. This is a guy that’s played a lot and he’s still focused on day one fundamentals and the little things. The little things were always extremely important, and he was just extremely detailed and specific in all of his preparation. That carried through to every aspect of his game.”
Q: Was there any one piece of advice he gave you starting Week 3 of your rookie year?
A: “I think there was a lot. I think certainly the routine, going about the week and preparing. I think I was able to see his preparation, so just talking through kind of how he prepared day by day, the things he looked for and how he went about his week.”
How Falcons-Giants compare
Q: You talked about consistency and there are probably a lot of people looking at last week saying, ‘Why can’t Daniel be as consistent as the way he played last week last week every week?’ Do you look back and say, ‘I’d like that game to be the model of what I do every week’?
A: “I think every week’s different, and my goal is to prepare as well as I can and play as well as I can every week. I try to be prepared and ready to go every week.”
Q: Is that one of your better games though?
A: “I don’t know. I don’t think judging it that way, I don’t know how productive that is. We didn’t win the game, so we didn’t do enough. I didn’t do enough and didn’t make enough plays, so we’ve got to look at that and improve.”
Q: When you looked at the film from that game, what in particular stands out and what do you think maybe were some areas where you could’ve worked on?
A: “I think at times we attacked well and kind of controlled the tempo of the game. I think we were able to create some explosive plays and some plays that kept drives moving and pushed the ball down the field a little bit with some chunks. I think that was productive. I think at times, a couple of those drives stalled and whether it was penalties or whether it was negative plays or situations that kept us from continuing drives on the fringe, in some of those spots we’ve got to be better.”
Q: Do you enjoy the quarterback running element of the offense? Do you get into a game differently when it’s going?
A: “Yeah, I enjoy that part of the game. I think that’s been a big part of this system in the past and was part of what we did last year. I enjoy that part of the game and when those opportunities are there, I certainly look forward to taking advantage of them.”
Credit: Patrick Semansky
Credit: Patrick Semansky
Q: I think that some people underestimate that part of your game. Do you feel like that’s the case and feel like it maybe surprises some people and some defenses who aren’t super familiar with you and your mobility?
A: “It’s hard to tell whether they’re surprised or not. If the opportunity is there, you take it. If it’s not, you don’t. That’s just kind of dependent on how they’re playing and what they’re doing defensively and just trying to take advantage of them.”
Q: I think the first eight questions or so were about a former quarterback here, that’s a tough act to follow. How hard has that been for you?
A: “Like I said, I always looked at it as an awesome opportunity to be behind him and be with him for that year and have that relationship to be able to learn from him, and look to what he was able to do in his time – all he accomplished and the level that he played at. That’s kind of how I look at it. I certainly have a ton of respect and I respect him and all he accomplished.”
Q: Do you think can take a peek at halftime or try to get out early and see the ceremony?
A: “I don’t know. I mean, halftime’s pretty quick and we’ve got to make some adjustment and we’ve got to be focused on what we’re doing in the game. That’s where we’ll be focused, but certainly happy for him and certainly well-deserved.”
Q: I know (head coach) Joe (Judge) preaches patience, but 0-2, you’ve been there before at 0-3. How dangerous is the prospect of falling to 0-3 and how big does that make this game?
A: “Every game is big. I think we look at this week and the goal is to win this week, to be 1-0 this week, so that’s where we’re focused. Improving from last week, obviously we didn’t do what we needed to do to win the game, so we’ve got to look at that and make sure we’re ready for this week. But our focus is here on Atlanta and making sure we play as well as we can.”
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