Last week was such a whirlwind, Greg Jones didn’t really have much time to digest what was happening to him. In a stretch from Saturday to the following Sunday he went from a third-string rookie linebacker hoping to make a roster to one of the 53 players who made the team to the de facto starter for a week of practices to the first rookie linebacker to start for the Giants since Lawrence Taylor.
This week? Well, things have settled down a bit. So much so that he was sitting at his locker today playing Fruit Ninja. Arcade mode, not Zen mode.
Most folks – including maybe Jones – figured the Giants would bring in a veteran to pitch in at the position this week. They tried out Chase Blackburn and Kawika Mitchell for a workout last week and seemed to just be waiting to sign one of them.
Instead, the Giants went with another wide receiver. Jones, for the time being, is their guy.
“It means a lot,” Jones said after he had sliced the final banana in his game. “I feel confident. I actually didn’t know what to think. I had prepared myself for whatever may come and either way I’d continue to work hard. I still have a lot more to improve on and I want to get better. I want to be able to help my team win this week, prepare, and try to make this run to the Super Bowl.”
Jones said there wasn’t much time to absorb what was happening to him last week.
“I just thought about it like somebody went down and it was time to step up,” he said. “It’s my job to keep stepping up until they think it’s not.”
They haven’t said that yet. Jones said he feels a lot more confident in practice this week, something defensive coordinator Perry Fewell agreed with. But Jones isn’t going to let the fact that the Giants didn’t bring someone in to replace him this week make him comfortable.
“The tryout is never over,” he said. “That’s the mindset I always had. You have to step up and prove yourself, especially me being a rookie.”