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1-on-1 with New York Giants WR Jalin Hyatt: Rookie lessons, getting on Daniel Jones’ nerves, and more

Hyatt chats with Big Blue View

New York Giants v Miami Dolphins
Jalin Hyatt
Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images

New York Giants wide receiver Jalin Hyatt was available to Big Blue View for a 1-on-1 phone interview earlier this week via a promotion with Hyatt Hotels (of course). We chatted about football, his interesting locker mate and some other things.

Here is our conversation.

Ed: A lot of people are talking about how come Jalin’s not playing more? How come they’re not throwing him the ball more? How do you feel about your personal start to the season and what you’ve learned about the NFL so far?

Jalin: Not the best start to the season that we all wanted in the Giants organization, but I think for me personally even though I know we’re losing and we’re not doing what we need to do, but for me being a rookie I’m actually glad this is happening. It’s helping me as a player. It’s making me more hungry. I think we’re gonna get everything on track. I think for us it just starts with ourselves in that locker room. We’ve just gotta believe in ourselves and go out there and have a fresh restart and, so kick it off with Buffalo Bills and try to get this on track.

Ed: I’ve asked a couple of the other guys, it’s come up in a couple of other interviews — one of your teammates, Josh Ezeudu, has been pretty emotional after the last couple of games, you know, where he’s struggled. You’re a young guy, obviously, but how do you support a teammate like that when he is struggling that way?

Jalin: I think the first thing [is] not making football bigger than what it is. We’ve been playing this our whole lives. When you make the game bigger than what it is, it gets into your mental and it can affect you in a different way. I think for me I’m going up to him telling him like, man, we know you can play. We know what you can do. We know that your best ball is in front of you. It just starts in practice. It starts in the film room, knowing your assignment, knowing what you gotta do, communicating on the field. It’s just the little things that we need to get fixed. Once we get those things fixed I think that will give us the better chance to win football game, get DJ [Daniel Jones] more time back there in the pocket.

Ed: Let’s take a detour. Let’s try to have a little fun. You mentioned DJ and you have prime real estate in the Giants’ locker room right next to him. What’s the best thing about being next to DJ in the locker room?

Jalin: I think the best thing for me is I like to get on DJ’s nerves. I like to play with him. I’m in the room and he’s always serious, always got something to do, always in the film room or, whenever he is in the locker room at that time, that’s when I wanna play with him a little bit. I’m kind of that guy that, probably gets on his nerves. I’m always energetic, always trying to play with him and he’s being serious. That’s probably the biggest thing that I’ll say. I probably get on his nerves, but he loves me, though.

Ed: In other words, your lease on that space might be temporary?

Jalin: Nah. He’s not gonna move me. He’s not gonna move me, he knows that

Ed: So the flip side of that is, what’s the worst part about lockering next to DJ? Is it Wednesdays when the media crush comes?

[NOTE: Wednesday is Jones’ scheduled day to speak with media]

Jalin: Oh, yeah, that’s probably the worst day of the week. That’s when the whole locker is surrounded over there and I can’t get in my locker. So I change right there by the ping pong table. That’s probably the worst, the worst day of the week. I got Shep [Sterling Shepard] around me, too, so the media likes to go to him too. So it’s both sides of that locker. I’m right in the middle, so, yeah, Wednesday’s definitely the worst day.

Ed: Just out of curiosity, you mentioned ping pong and, for those folks who don’t know ping pong is serious business in the Giants’ locker room. It’s competitive. Darius Slayton told me a year ago that he’s the Michael Jordan of ping pong in the Giants locker’ room. Where do you fit in the hierarchy? Can you play a little bit or are you taking a beating on the ping pong tables?

Jalin: Slay is definitely number one for sure. In that receiver room I’ll probably put Shep up there, too. When Shep and Slay play, it’s like the championship game. They rarely play against each other because when they play against each other, that’s when everybody starts surrounding the locker room because those are probably the two best guys in the locker room that can play some ping pong. Slay has got a serve on him that, he has this one curve ball that he serves to me that I can’t get across. I don’t know why, but, man, he’s special with that thing. And Shep is two, both of those guys. I definitely put one, two.

I’ll definitely say I’m in that third role. moved up in the rankings. Isaiah’s [Hodgins] getting better, but he’s definitely four. Wan’Dale [Robinson] doesn’t really play ping pong, so he is not in there. Parris [Campbell] doesn’t really play, so he is not in there. I definitely put myself third. I’m trying to get up there in the rankings against Slay. He beat me today so I don’t know, we’ll see. And then I lost to Shep the other day as well, and I had to give him a hundred pushups. So, right now I’m struggling. I’m struggling, and I’m trying to get on that winning mark, but we’ll see. I just gotta get better.

Ed: Who’s the teammate that makes you laugh the most?

Jalin: I definitely, definitely have to say Saquon [Barkley]. Saquon’s definitely hilarious. He plays around 24/7, but when it’s football time though, he’s locked in. I’ve never seen somebody who plays so much. And then when it gets to the game he’s so serious. He has two sides to him that probably people don’t know, but he loves to play.

Ed: Who’s the grumpy guy?

Jalin: Oh, I’d definitely say DJ. He’s always serious. I always try to make him laugh, man, to ease up a little bit. He’s so serious and he’s always locked in, always in the film room, always this and that. But that’s why I always wanna play with him. I’ll definitely say dj, he’s always grumpy. He needs to come in there with a smile in his face sometimes, man.

Ed: Did you guys ever settle the fastest wide receiver debate?

[NOTE: Hyatt, Slayton and Campbell have all claimed the title of fastest Giants’ wide receiver]

Jalin: Ooh, not yet. Not yet. It’s a season right now, so I’m gonna let them slide, but we’re gonna get a race in soon when it’s the offseason. So, they got some time to figure out what they wanna do. But when it’s time to run the race, I’ll be ready.

Ed: Did you give up on the mustache?

[NOTE: That’s a running joke between us because the baby-faced Hyatt has a difficult time growing facial hair]

Jalin: See, I had to, I just got it cut today, so the mustache is gone. When it gets cold out here, I might need to grow it out. The only problem [is] the beard won’t grow. We’ll see in the wintertime. I heard it gets cold up here.

Ed: You’re speaking to me today thanks to your partnership with Hyatt Hotels. Tell me about that?

Jalin: We’re doing a code now that’s 15 percent through Hyatt Hotels. That will help with any future stays that you need. If you’re a Giant fan you can easily, easily get to a Hyatt hotel. They’re all over the country ... I love this partnership that I have with them.