Dave Klein was the Giants' beat
writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books
and he is one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls.
Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.
BROWNSí BAKER MAYFIELD CATCHES THE OBJ VIRUS
AS HE CRITICIZES DANIEL JONES
By Dave Klein
Odell Beckham carries some mysterious virus that affects those who cluster near
This time itís Cleveland Brownsí
quarterback Baker Mayfield (who hasnít yet had a gold jacket reserved for him
in Canton), saying that he was "stunned" that the Giants spent the sixth
overall draft pick on quarterback Daniel Jones.
"I cannot believe the Giants took him," Mayfield said Tuesday. It blows
my mind. "Some people overthink it, thatís where they go wrong. They forget
you have to win, too."
17-19 for Duke in three seasons, "and either you have a history of winning
and being that guy for your team, or you donít," Mayfield said.
Well, a year ago Mayfield, an Oklahoma product who first tried Texas Tech and
was displeased with the teamís overall performance as well as the coaching staffís
decision that there would be competition for his job (he thought he had won it
and didnít feel like he wanted to be challenged) was the first overall selection
of the Browns, who were 0-16 in 2017.
He played to a record of 7-9, and one might expect some improvement from a record
as dismal as that. There were scores of scouts who felt Mayfield was a reach as
the first overall pick, too.
cornered at the Giantsí training facilities, Jones Ė who has been nearly sensational
in his two preseason appearances Ė attempted to defuse the situation.
"I try not to listen to much," he said. "I think Iíve done a pretty
good job of that. I heard that before, I kind of have the same mindset, I certainly
have a lot to focus on here, I have a lot to worry about here and Iím focused
on that. Itís been good, but just focused on what Iím supposed to be doing here.
I donít know him [Mayfield], I have never spoken to him. He has his opinion, but
a lot of people have opinions."
Another rumor circulating around the team is that head coach Pat Shurmur wants
to start Jones, but owner John Mara wonít agree to that. Itís nonsense. Veteran
Eli Manning will be the teamís starter when the season starts, barring injury,
and he will continue in that role Ė again, barring injury.
incidentally, was quoted in a magazine feature the other day this way: "The
Giants traded me to Cleveland for me to die there Ö of course it was personal
[between him and general manager Dave Gettleman].
Head coach Pat Shurmur weighed in on Mayfieldís statements as well, and when asked
about it, he said: "Thatís not original commentary, is it? We had a reason
for why we did it [took Jones at the sixth spot] and we do feel like he can help
this team win. Weíve got a lot of reasons for why Daniel is our quarterback. Mayfield
is in a long line of people who criticized us, so thatís his business."
Donít over-react to "Daniel is our quarterback," please. Manning is
THE quarterback, Jones is the second quarterback and it is doubtful if Mayfield
could claim that position if he, too, was part of the Giantsí roster.
POINTS Ė Shurmur admitted that Jones would get "a lot of work" against
the Cincinnati Bengals in the third preseason game Thursday night, but how he
works it "will reveal itself." He smiled. "Iím getting fond of
that statement," he said (especially when it revolves around the quarterback
situation, one assumes.
time for the coaches to consider hard decisions involving the final 53-man roster,
and the feeling seems to be that several "surprises" might be waiting
at the deadline, both the identities of which players make the squad and which
veterans do not.
Without making any
definitive pronouncements, Shurmur appears to be pleased with the summertime work
exhibited by linebackers Jonathan Anderson and Ryan Connelly, running back Jon
Hilliman and wide receiver T.J. Jones (the first three are rookies while Jones
was signed as a free agent with four years of NFL experience).
In fact, more rookies than in a long, long time should make the final roster this
year, a tribute to Gettleman and his band of scouts. Ö The game Thursday night
is scheduled for a 7:00 kickoff and will be available on NBC-Ch. 4 and WFAN (660)
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