For the first time in his NFL career, Daniel Jones walked up to the podium on Wednesday afternoon as the starting quarterback of the New York Giants.
Head coach Pat Shurmur made the move from Eli Manning to Jones after just two games, with the Giants falling quickly to 0-2. The torch is now passed to the young Duke product the team drafted No. 6 overall, and he stood confidently on that podium to say he's ready for the opportunity.
"I'm ready to embrace it," Jones told reporters when asked about the responsibility of being the Giants' starting quarterback. "I think focusing on what we're doing here, focusing on what we're doing in the building in the preparation with my teammates and coaches. To be here in the moment, this week is important with that. Certainly feel like I can embrace that and looking forward to the opportunity."
Of course, moving on from Manning has many emotions attached to it. For the past 16 years, Manning has led the Giants' offense through its many ups and down. But since Jones arrived, Manning has been nothing but supportive of him, something Jones said he is "very grateful and appreciative" of.
"Since I've gotten here, Eli's been nothing but helpful and welcoming to me," Jones said. "I think obviously now the roles are different and they'll be some difference there. But largely our relationship and how we communicate will be the same. He's done it for a long time at a really high level, so there's certainly a ton I can learn from him still."
Jones has only seen a sliver of regular-season game action, after coming into the Cowboys' matchup with just a few minutes left to play. But his preparation -- something he brought up multiple times -- has always left him with the mindset heading into each week and game that he could be called on at any point in time.
It's his time now, and that preparation he believes has him ready for the Bucs.
"I think you never really know when something like this is going to happen and my job is to be ready and to continue to improve," Jones said. "I feel like I've been able to do that."
Jones steps into some pretty big shoes to fill. Manning won two Super Bowls for the franchise, being named the MVP in both of those contests as well. He is also seventh all-time on the NFL's passing yards list, and owns multiple Giants records.
Sunday, then, will be the first step for Jones to try and match, if not top, all the accomplishments Manning has accumulated over all these years. Those are pretty steep expectations for the youngster, but that won't be his vision from the get-go. Jones will take each game week by week now, fully aware that this offense is his now to lead.
"I understand the responsibility," he said. "I understand the challenge, but I'm looking forward to it."