EAST RUTHERFORD — Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones fielded questions Tuesday regarding an NFL team from the state of Ohio. It wasn’t the Cincinnati Bengals, the opponent of the Giants in Thursday’s preseason encounter at Paul Brown Stadium.
A story published earlier in the day by GQ Magazine saw Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield criticize the sixth overall pick in April’s draft.
“I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones,” Mayfield told GQ, “Blows my mind.”
The article went on to state Jones’ career 17-19 record at Duke and later compared it to Mayfield’s 39-9 career record at Oklahoma.
“Some people overthink it,” Mayfield said. “That’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win.”
Giants coach Pat Shurmur was the first to be asked about the former Heisman Trophy winner’s comments about Jones.
“That’s not original commentary, is it?” Shurmur told reporters. “We had a reason for why we did [draft him] and we do feel like he can help this team win. We’ve got a lot of reasons why Daniel is our quarterback. [Mayfield’s] in a long line of people who criticized that move, so that’s his business.”
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Shurmur referred to the phrase “still waters run deep” when describing Jones, a proverb referring to a quiet or manner concealing a passion underneath.
Rookie defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence played against Jones when Lawrence was at Clemson and is currently Jones’ roommate. Lawrence was unaware of Mayfield’s comments until reporters told him.
“All I can say is that I’m happy Daniel is a part of my team,” Lawrence said. “I played against him in college and he did his thing. We can just control what we can control. He comes in and works hard every day. He deserves respect, but I guess he has to go and earn it.”
Lawrence has links to the Browns already himself. Lawrence was drafted 17th overall with a pick obtained in the Odell Beckham trade with Cleveland. Lawrence said last week that he requested to room with Jones to help block out to criticisms.
“We just have our nightly talks,” said Lawrence. “He doesn’t let things like that phase him at all. He knows who he is. He knows how hard he works, where he came from. I know who he is. Just being around him for these couple of months, we’ve grown close and he deserves a lot more respect than that.”
Then it was Jones’ turn to respond to the comments. Jones said that he has never spoken to Mayfield before, but that what was said about him won’t change anything emotionally.
“I think there’s a lot of things that would motivate me before something like that would,” said Jones. “I don’t always show it, but I am a very passionate person.”
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Jones addressed his win-loss record at Duke and the implication that Jones is not a winner, a common criticism against Jones since being drafted.
“I wish we did win more games,” Jones said about his time at Duke. “I played a big part in that, so I take responsibility for that. Our goal was always to win ACC championships and go to big bowl games and we weren’t able to do that. I don’t look back on that without a large responsibility for that.”
With his time in college behind him, Jones looks forward to his first season in the NFL amid criticisms. Jones will take his first snaps outside of MetLife Stadium on Thursday against Cincinnati, but it is unknown how many snaps those will be.
“I really don’t know,” said Jones. “That’s up to Coach and we’ll see how it goes, but I look forward to getting back out there. I think it’ll be fun to get the first experience on the road.”