New York Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones is looking forward to Thursday night, which will be his first opportunity to get a taste of NFL action as the Giants battle the Jets at MetLife Stadium.
At this point, Jones, 22, is unsure how much he will play, but no matter how much he plays, the number sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft is looking forward to getting onto the field.
Today, Jones addressed the media and discussed training camp, his debut, Eli Manning, and more:
Q: What is your feeling going into Thursday night? Excited? Nervous? What?
Jones: I’m excited. I think it’ll be a whole lot of fun to just run out there for the first time and kind of be part of the scene, be part of an NFL football game. So, I’m excited, I’m looking forward to getting out there.
Q: Do you have any sense at all from the coaches how much and when you will play?
Jones: I’m not really sure. I think we’ll all play some, but as far as the plan, I’m not sure.
Q: What are you expecting to be different once you get into game action?
Jones: Well, the defense will be different, for one. Going against different looks will be a big thing. I expect it’ll be faster to some extent, just a live game, but I’m excited just to be back playing football again.
Q: Do you feel that you’re as equipped as you could be to play in this first preseason game?
Jones: Yes, I think so. I think as a group on offense, I think we’ve had a good last couple weeks. I think as a unit, we’re ready for it. So, like I said, it’ll be different, it’ll be different looks, it’ll be maybe a little faster, but I think we’re in a good spot as a group, and I feel prepared for Thursday night.
Q: What have you heard and seen about Gregg Williams’ defense? Obviously, there’s a reputation—what are your impressions of what they do?
Jones: Well, I think they play really hard. Something you notice is how aggressive they are and how hard they play, but it’ll be different from what we’ve seen in practice in terms of their just kind of base looks, their base coverages and pressures. All that will be different, so I’ve just been trying to familiarize myself with those different looks and how they attack an offense. I’ve been trying to do that these past couple days, trying to prepare as best I can.
Q: Are you looking forward to that first hit, or would you rather not?
Jones: Yes, I think a little bit. I think you kind of look forward to—it kind of gets you going, kind of back in the live action football. It’ll be exciting.
Q: It doesn’t need to be too big though?
Jones: Yes, it doesn’t need to be too big. No, that’s part of the game, I’m looking forward to getting in there.
Q: Who’s coming, family or friends (inaudible)?
Jones: I’ve got some family members coming out, my immediate family and some cousins. It’ll be fun, I’m looking forward to it.
Q: Daniel, regardless of the number of snaps that you play, when the night’s over and you look back and say, “I got this done,” what is that list you that you want to accomplish in your first preseason game?
Jones: I think first and foremost it’s to score points, move the offense down the field and score points. So, I think that’s always the goal, but in that, it’s executing consistently, keeping the ball moving forward, not hurting ourselves, and executing what we have on offense. So, doing that, taking care of the ball, I think all those things, but if we’re scoring points, if we’re moving the ball, I think we’ll feel good about what we did.
Q: Daniel, you’re two days away from your first NFL action. What has Eli said to you about what to expect?
Jones: I think right now just focusing on the preparation of it and making sure that I’m as prepared as I can possibly be. I think, like I said, we’ve had a good last couple weeks of practice, but now the preparation kind of shifts more specifically to the Jets and just trying to prepare for that, so that when I do get out there Thursday night, I’m ready to go.
Q: Will you take a moment to sort of walk around the field to kind of say, “This is pretty cool?”
Jones: Yes, I think I will. First time walking out there, whether that’s warm-ups or before the game, I think I will take a moment and look around, and I’m excited for that.
Q: What does it mean to kind of get to that spot, once your whole life (inaudible)?
Jones: I think that it’ll be a short moment, but for the most part, I think I’ve realized—just being here you realize that a little bit, and when we get out there Thursday night, I’ll have a moment to do that, but you realize you’re playing a game pretty shortly, so I don’t know if you have a whole lot of time to do that.
Q: What are you expecting from MetLife Stadium? You haven’t really been there and that kind of environment.
Jones: I haven’t. I haven’t stepped on the field yet, so I think just getting in there and looking around will be cool. Hopefully the fans will be excited to be there, and hopefully we can play well.
Q: What areas did you grow in the most so far in camp?
Jones: I think a lot of it has to do with understanding what the defense is trying to do to you, and understanding whether that’s in protections, or kind of your progressions in the pass game. I think all that stuff, understanding what the defense is trying to do to you and recognizing that as quickly as you can so you can get in and out of your protections and get into your reads quickly.
Q: Is it slowing down for you a little bit since day one?
jones: Yes, I think it has. I’ve said it’s still pretty early on in my progression—I realize that, I realize there’s still a lot to learn, but I do feel like it’s slowed down. I’ve gotten better at recognizing a lot of different things.
Q: Is there a fine line between trying to make an impression trying to make a throw and throwing an interception?
Jones: I think so, yes. I think certainly you want to be aggressive, you want to take advantage of the opportunities they give us, but I think part of playing quarterback, part of being the decision maker is understanding when those chances aren’t there. So, I think coaches will be looking for that as well, I think that’s important to remember in an opportunity like this.
Q: How valuable do you think it will be to get the opportunity to play behind the ones a little bit, the starting offensive line and the starting receivers out there?
Jones: I think it’ll be valuable, I think—over these last few weeks, I think we’ve built chemistry kind of across the board with everyone, whether you’re throwing in routes or seven-on, or whatever it is. So, I’m confident in all the guys, and I think it’ll be good.
Q: Daniel, as you get closer to game time, what kind of emotions are going on inside? Are you excited? Are you nervous? Are you intense about it?
Jones: I think I’ll be excited, first and foremost. Just to get out there and put on the uniform and run around on the field, I think, will be exciting. Just trying to focus and kind of lock in on what we have to do as an offense or what the game plan is, but just trying to get focused.