Giants quarterback Daniel Jones throws a pass as offensive coordinator...

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones throws a pass as offensive coordinator Mike Shula observes during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J. on Friday. Credit: James Escher

Part of being the quarterback of an NFL team is answering for mistakes, not all of them your own. Daniel Jones already seems to have mastered the “it’s not you, it’s me” philosophy of deflecting criticisms of his teammates.

Fifth-round draft pick Darius Slayton dropped several passes in the first half of the first practice on Friday, and Jones was asked about them on Saturday.

“I think he did a lot of good things on the field,” Jones said. “He definitely made some plays. You can see his speed on the field, you can feel that. I thought for everyone it was a good first day. We were all probably a little up and down, but that’s the challenge of the second day to try to be more consistent.”

Asked if he said anything specific to Slayton, either in terms of technique or just encouragement, Jones said: “We talked through a few plays. I certainly made some mistakes there too. I have to protect him. That was all.”

Eli Manning couldn’t have said it any better.

Slayton rebounded in the second half of the practice and made several impressive catches. That caught the eye of Pat Shurmur. But the part of the situation that will catch the eye of Giants teammates was Jones’ handling of it.

It would have been easy for Jones to admit to Slayton’s struggles, but he didn’t even do that. He went out of his way to find something praiseworthy about Slayton (his speed) and took the blame for drops that clearly were not his fault.

When Jones said “I have to protect him,” he meant by throwing better passes and putting the football in a more catchable spot. But by saying that, he also meant that he’ll protect him in the media, too.

Jones has made it clear very early in his Giants career: Just like it’s been with Manning for the past 16 years, everyone is on the bus and no one is under it.

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