Giants’ Daniel Jones grew up a Panthers, Steve Smith fan

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New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones grew up in Charlotte so it should come as little surprise that he was a Carolina Panthers fan. In fact, several of his friends and family members still are.

On Sunday, Jones will square off against his hometown team for the first time in his career — something he simply views as “cool.”

“It’s cool. I grew up pulling for them in Charlotte, and certainly still have a lot of friends who are Panthers fans, so I think that’s cool to be able to play them,” Jones told reporters on Wednesday. “But it’s another game, we’re preparing like we always do.”

Specifically, Jones was a big fan of quarterback Jake Delhomme and wide receiver Steve Smith.

“I liked Jake Delhomme a lot and Steve Smith. Growing up, I was a big Steve Smith guy. Just the way he played and his toughness, the way he competed, I always loved watching him,” Jones said.

Although they play different positions, you can see some of Smith’s toughness in Jones. In fact, Jones plays so tough it’s almost to a fault. Never was that more evident than during a Week 5 game against the Dallas Cowboys when he got his bell significantly rung while trying to score a touchdown.

But the real question is, who will Jones’ family and friends be rooting for come Sunday? The Giants or the Panthers?

“I hope they’re rooting for me. I’ve probably got some who are still Panthers fans,” Jones said with a laugh.

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