When the New York Giants took former Duke QB Daniel Jones with the number six overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, a lot of people were stunned, shocked, and surprised, including Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield, who was very critical of the pick.
“Some people overthink it,” he said. “That’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win.”
Today, Mayfield clarified his comments via Instagram. He said the following:
“This is not what I said, just so we’re clear,” Mayfield wrote. “I also said I was surprised I got drafted No. 1. Then was talking about the flaws in evaluating QBs. Where I brought up winning being important. Reporters and media will do anything to come up with a click bait story. Heard nothing but good things and wish nothing but the best for Daniel.”
Thus far in the preseason, Jones is showing that the Giants may have made the right pick, and today, he responded to Mayfield’s comments.
Here is what he had to say:
Q: What’s your reaction to Baker Mayfield’s comments?
Jones: I try not to listen to much that’s said. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that. I heard that before, I kind of have the same mindset, I certainly have a lot to focus on here, I have a lot to worry about here and I’m focused on that. It’s been good, but just focused on what I’m doing here.
Q: Is it any different that a player in the league criticized you being picked?
Jones: I don’t think so. Like I said, my focus is here, in the building, my teammates, coaches, and everyone a part of this organization, has been my focus. When you get outside the building, I don’t think it does a whole lot to focus on that for me. Certainly focused on here.
Q: Does it motivate you to prove people wrong?
Jones: I don’t think that’s a main motivator for me. I think there is a lot of things before that that motivate me, to be honest.
Q: Do you know him at all?
Jones: I don’t, no.
Q: Did it seem out of left field to you?
Jones: Yeah, a little bit. Like I said, I don’t know him, I have never spoken to him. He has an opinion, a lot of people have opinions.
Q: Coach Shurmur said just because you are calm out there doesn’t mean you aren’t fired up inside, is that the case?
Jones: Like I said, there are a lot of things that motivate me before something like that would. I think I am a very passionate person. I don’t always show it, but I think I am a very passionate person.
Q: What would you say if someone looked at your stats and record and said, “well, this guy is a mediocre quarterback, look at his record”?
Jones: Going back to Duke, I wish we did win more games. I played a big part in that. I take responsibility for that, I wish we did win more games. Our goal was always to win ACC championships and to 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.
Q: Do you feel you’re a winner?
Jones: I do. I have always felt like I am. Growing up and competing, I think I am a competitor and I think I’m a winner.
Q: Can you change someone like Baker’s perception if you’re not playing? Is it annoying that you have to wait to play to prove people like that wrong and shut them up?
Jones: I don’t think so. Like I said, there is a lot that I need to focus on here. There is a lot that I need to do to improve, and to make sure that I’m moving forward. That’s what I’m focused on. I’m not sure that’s the best motivator. If that’s the thing you’re looking forward to doing the most is proving them wrong, I’m not sure that’s the best way to improve every day or the best way to really get where you want to go.
Q: If you were on the field and a player said that to you, would you trash talk back?
Jones: Maybe I’d say something, but I don’t know. I’d make sure we win the game.
Q: Do the people who know you best think it’s really hard to make you angry or that they rarely see you angry?
Jones: Yeah, for the most part. Maybe my little brother would say something else (laughter). For the most part, I try to do a pretty good job at controlling myself. I feel like I’m thinking best and playing best when I’m in control of myself.
Q: Do you agree, you have to be kind of wired to be like that?
Jones: Yeah, I do think that’s part of my personality.
Q: Do you ever sit there and say, ‘why are you bothering with me when you have your own team to worry about?’
Jones: I’m not sure I would do it that way, but everyone has a different way of doing things. Like I said, my focus is here. Our focus is here. I think I speak for the team— we’re really focused on what we’re doing here and making sure we’re ready to play going into the season.
Q: Have you seen Baker play, and what do you think of him as a quarterback?
Jones: Yeah, I’ve seen him play. I watched him in college and a little bit in the last year. I think he’s a great player. He can throw it, and I enjoy watching him play.
Q: Why don’t you tell us how much you are going to play?
Jones: I don’t know, I really don’t know. That’s up to coach and we’ll see how it goes. I look forward to getting back out there.