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Giants Q&A: Daniel Jones uses some choice words to motivate team

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones huddles with teammates against

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones huddles with teammates against the Buccaneers in the first quarter during the game at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday in Tampa, Fla. Credit: Getty Images/Mike Ehrmann

So what was the magic word?

It’s unprintable. But Giants players said Daniel Jones’ four-letter-word tirade in the second half certainly opened their eyes to the fire that their rookie quarterback brings to the game. It also might have burned their ears.

“He came in the huddle and he started cussing and we were like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know DJ could cuss,’  ” wide receiver Russell Shepard said after the Giants’ 32-31 victory over the Bucs. “Didn’t know he was that fiery . . . It was probably midway through the second. We were in the red zone. He was just ready to win. He was going to will us to win.”

Shepard said the Giants are still trying to “figure out” Jones.

“He’s like the world’s most mysterious man,” he said. “He’s laid back, he doesn’t say too much . . . I’ve heard him say some things, but I’ve never heard him cuss before. It was [an expletive]. And I loved it. I’m a big cusser and I was pretty impressed.”   

Pat Shurmur no longer speaks to Mike Francesa on the radio. Did he have a message for the WFAN radio host after the game?

It sure seemed like it. After pulling out of his weekly radio interview, which had become more like a scolding from the principal than a conversation, Shurmur interrupted his postgame media conference to throw a bit of a jab.

“By the way, you guys ask me a lot of tough questions,” Shurmur said. “Don’t let anybody ever say that you don’t.”

Where was Eli Manning for all of this?

Out of sight, mostly. He wasn’t on the field for early pregame warmups and the captain did not participate in the coin toss. When the media flooded the postgame locker room, Manning was gone. He was the backup quarterback for the game and was seen congratulating Jones on the sideline after some key plays, so he certainly wasn’t pouting. But he clearly did not want to be a character in this first chapter of the Daniel Jones story.   

Did Dexter Lawrence know that his blocked extra point in the first quarter would be the difference in the game?

No, not at the time. The Bucs were ahead 12-3 when Lawrence pushed up the middle and batted the kick away. But looking back, it certainly was a critical point in a 32-31 game. “Every play counts,” Lawrence said. “You never know which play will be the play to help your team win.”   

Did it also impact Bucs kicker Matt Gay on the potential game-winning field goal attempt from roughly the same exact spot on the field?

“Sometimes that can get into a kicker’s head, blocking one of his kicks and seeing pressure up the middle,” Lawrence said. “I guess you could say it got in his head a little bit.”   

How did Darius Slayton do in his NFL debut?

The rookie caught three passes for 82 yards after missing the first two games with a hamstring injury. “It was crazy,” he said. “It was way, way different — you feel so helpless when all you can do is watch. To be able to get out there and put your skill set and your body on the line for the team is a completely different feeling.”

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