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Bill Belichick knew the Giants were interested in Daniel Jones

You can’t put anything past Darth Hoodie

New England Patriots v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

As is well known at this point there were varying degrees of surprise when the New York Giants made Daniel Jones the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. It doesn’t sound like New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is among those who didn’t see that coming.

On a conference call with New York media on Monday, Belichick said he knew the Giants had interest in the former Duke quarterback. Why? Because when Jones visited the Patriots before the draft he told Patriots officials that the Giants were his next stop.

“At the end of his visit, I think he said he had to go somewhere, but then he ended up going to the Giants from here, so even I could figure out there was something going on there,” Belichick said. “He’s an impressive player and a very impressive person. We had a great visit, and again, playing quarterback in New York is not the easiest thing in the world, but he’s got a lot of maturity and a good head on his shoulders and has good perspective on football and the overall leadership position that comes with that role on and off the field. So, I’m sure he’s done well and will continue to do well.”

On differences Jones brings to the Giants’ offense ...

“Offensively, it’s probably the same plays. Eli [Manning] is very good at the line of scrimmage of making adjustments and protections and occasionally signaling routes against pressure and things like that. He may have done a little more of that on the line than Jones has. Jones is fast, and he’s made plays with his legs outside the pocket. The Tampa game comes to mind right off the bat. He’s got the ability to extend plays and also run for yardage to score or pick up critical first downs. He has kind of the sixth receiver element. Both guys are very accurate passers, see the field well, make good decisions. They are at different stages of their career, but both guys are outstanding players. Any team would like to have either one of them and they are fortunate they have both.”

On Manning being benched ...

“I have a ton of respect for Eli, he’s a great person, very professional, team oriented. I spent over a decade with the Giants, I have an appreciation for playing quarterback for that franchise in that environment. He’s done a tremendous job, and certainly had a lot of success against us. I have a great deal of respect for him.”

The next quote is from Belichick’s remarks to New England media:

“He’s had a great career and certainly had great games against us. So, he’s a class kid. I’ve known Eli; I have a lot of respect for him. Having coached at the Giants for over a decade, I know some of the things that go with being the quarterback in that franchise. I certainly saw it during my time there, and I think he’s handled a lot of things both on and off the field very professionally. The high character person that he is and with class and professionalism, but at the same time with a high level of competitiveness and a high level of performance. So, I have a ton of respect for Eli and all that he’s done. I wish he’d done a little bit less in a couple games against us, but I have a lot of respect for Eli.”

On New England’s league-best defense ...

“We’ve had our moments. Right now, it’s about focusing on the challenge ahead with the Giants. The Giants have so many weapons on offense, a great tight end, two great quarterbacks, probably the best running back in the league, very good receiving group. They are very experienced on the offensive line, they added a lot of players there in the last couple of years.”

On possibly playing against Saquon Barkley ...

“He’s an outstanding player. You’re right, we haven’t faced him, and I hope we don’t, but we need to be ready for him. He’s a very competitive guy, I’m sure he’s doing all he can to get ready to go. He was close last week, so we’ll probably get him. He can do it all. He’s got great power, speed, they use him well in the passing game. He’s very hard, obviously, to tackle in the open field, he’s hard to tackle anywhere. He’s got good vision, good quickness, he can play in space, he’s elusive, he’s got power, he had 2,000 yards from scrimmage last year. That pretty much says it all right there.”