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David Cutcliffe On Daniel Jones

He knew early that Jones was going to be special.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - New York Giants v Minnesota Vikings
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - JANUARY 15: Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants looks to pass against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

As Daniel Jones continues to mature into an outstanding NFL quarterback, the reactions continue to pour in.

Duke fans got an idea early on of course, but no one has more insight than his former coach, David Cutcliffe.

Cutcliffe, who coached both Payton and Eli Manning in college, saw great promise in Jones: “He’s a brilliant guy, just like Peyton and Eli are brilliant. I don’t think people really understand sometimes what I mean when I say brilliant. Their minds could have allowed them to be anything or do anything. And then all three are tough guys.”

But this is the best part of the story: “He’s not gonna be real vocal about getting tough, you kinda know if you’re around Daniel, you know the look. I’m not gonna tell you what I said, but it was pretty brutal, OK? It’s just kind of a football thing. His eyes — I could tell he was ready to hit me. And he came that close. And what I did, I turned around and grinned, ’cause it was exactly the response I wanted to get. And he went out and played as good a football as you could possibly play. We come back and won the ballgame.”

It’s a cool story. Cutcliffe is out of coaching now, but his eye for quarterbacks is legendary. Remember that he was the one who found Riley Leonard, and he’s working out pretty well at Duke too.