How Daniel Jones is Preparing for the Undefeated Patriots on a Short Workweek

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Emily Iannaconi

When rookie quarterback Daniel Jones was set to join the New York Giants organization, a now-famous photo circulated of him wearing an Eli Manning jersey with a big smile on his face when he was around ten years old made its way into public view.

Years later, Jones, who on Thursday night will play on the same field at the same time as Tom Brady’s Patriots, will have his boyhood idol nearby to continue giving him advice and pointers on how to show himself worthy of being on that field.

Manning has been assisting Jones with all his firsts in this, the former Duke star’s rookie season.

Besides preparing for a historic defense, the veteran quarterback has given Jones pointers about condensing his normal preparation for a shorter workweek.

And with Manning being no stranger to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s defenses throughout the years, he’s also shared some secrets with Jones on what he might expect Thursday night.

“I think just some of their tendencies and how they’ve evolved over the years,” Jones said when asked what Manning has told him.

“I think they’ve changed a little bit from the times – but he has the experience from seeing that change. I think just the tendencies, who they are, the foundations of their defense, is helpful in preparing.”

But about that defense, which is not only the league’s best overall, but which is also the league’s top pass defense, Jones has a lot of respect for his upcoming opponent, but at the same time, he isn’t allowing himself to be intimidated.

“I think they’ve been a good defense for a long time,” Jones said. “They can play well against anyone. We’re excited about the opportunity. We’re excited for the challenge, and I think we’ll be prepared and confident going in.”

Jones, who before the draft met with the Patriots as part of the league-allotted pre-draft visits, seemed pleased to learn of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s praise for him expressed during a conference call with Giants reporters Monday.

“I certainly appreciated the interest and appreciated it during the draft,” Jones said. “Just the opportunity to visit up there, talk to those coaches, and obviously, Coach Belichick, was really cool.

“I enjoyed the conversations that I had with all of them, and obviously a whole lot of respect for their coaches and how good they’ve been for a long time,” Jones added.

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