The New York Giants opened their two-day rookie minicamp on Friday and to no one’s surprise, the media masses descended upon East Rutherford in numbers reminiscent of a presidential inauguration.
As the doors invitingly swung open, rookie quarterback and first-round pick, Daniel Jones, was swarmed.
While Jones has not yet signed his rookie contract, Friday represented the first time he was decked out in full Giants gear and would take the field as property of the team.
After a full week of relentless disrespect and criticism, Jones appeared to be taking it all in stride, finding motivation in what lay ahead and the job at hand.
“It’d be hard to be completely unaware of that ,” Jones told reporters. “I don’t focus on it because there’s a lot to focus on; there’s a lot to learn for me right now. Being here, learning the offense, trying to pick up a lot of stuff, so I’m not really sure I can afford to focus on that too much.”
Ultimately, Jones says, it’s just a product of the environment. Had he gone to Washington or Denver or Miami, critics wouldn’t be quite as vocal as they are now. It’s just the cost of doing business in The Big Apple.
“I think that anyone who comes to New York is probably coming into a situation where there’s more tension than they’ve experienced previously,” Jones said. “But, you know, it’s all part of it. Like I said, it’s my job to make people believe in me. I understand that.”
Put another check mark in the positive column for Jones. Playing in New York is difficult enough, but dealing with the constant criticism and skepticism always adds to it. But like Eli Manning, Jones appears unfazed by it and fully prepared to brush it off and focus on what’s right in front of him.