The New York Giants wanted to implement what has been referred to as the Kansas City Model at quarterback, getting someone who could learn at the feet of two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback Eli Manning before taking over the job.
The selection of Daniel Jones No. 6 overall, while certainly not greeted with enthusiasm by much of the fan base, allows the Giants to set that plan into motion. One of the keys to the plan’s ultimate success or failure will be the willingness of the pupil — Jones — to learn.
Thursday night, in a brief conference call with New York media, he sounded ready.
“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to learn for a young quarterback,” Jones said. “He is a guy that’s had a whole lot of success in the NFL and there is a reason for that. I’m looking to understand that and do my best to learn as much as I can from him while he’s in New York.”
Jones will, of course, be viewed as the heir apparent. He said Thursday that he is “going to be myself and not try to be Eli or be anything but myself.”
Here are some of the other things Jones touched on.
On what he does well ...
“I think physically, I can make every throw on the field. My accuracy is certainly I feel a strength of mine, and I think I have the athleticism to extend plays and play outside the pocket if I need to. So physically I think I can do both those things well.”
On what he can improve on ...
“I think I can get better at times making that decision to lay the ball off or throw it away. Coach Cut (David Cutcliffe) at Duke said understanding when to stop competing, understanding when a play is over with. I think I can do better with that.”
On meeting coach Pat Shurmur ...
“I thought it was great. I think we connected and he is certainly someone who I have a lot of respect for and he’s been a really good coach in the NFL for a long time. So getting to know him and being able to interact with him through this process was great and I thought it went well.”
On what adversity he has faced ...
“If you look back at my recruitment, I came to Duke as a walk-on, a guy who wasn’t recruited very heavily and I think that was part of it. Not being immediately obvious that I would play college football somewhere or at the level I thought I could, but it worked out and Coach Cut gave me the opportunity to walk-on and I eventually earned a scholarship, but I had to overcome it and I’m glad it went the way it went and I wouldn’t do it any other way.”