Head Coach Joe Judge
Q: You've had a day now to look, you obviously looked at the film. I'm going to ask you what did you think about the call, the offensive interference on (Damion) Ratley, on a key play there to negate the touchdown by (Darius) Slayton?
A: I always put it on we have to execute cleaner and better and not give an official any opportunity to affect the game. To me, the emphasis is always on what we can teach our players how to clean it up and execute better, and make sure we don't have those issues.
Q: I was curious what you make of how Andrew (Thomas) has progressed over the course of five games, and in particular the last couple of weeks? It seems like maybe he's, I know there's been tough competition obviously, going across DeMarcus Lawrence and guys like that, but what have you made of his progress going against guys like that?
A: Obviously, he sees a mix of things every week. The multiples pile up a little bit in terms of what he's getting an education on. But I think he's progressing at a good rate right now. We want to see some improvement from all of our players across the board, both vets and rookies. But he's working hard every day and he's making progress.
Q: Obviously, a tough loss with Lorenzo Carter's injury. I'm just curious what it means to see a guy like that go down and where do you guys go forward now at outside linebacker?
A: I'll just say in terms of Zo, look, he's an integral part of this team. He's a great dude in the locker room. He's a blast to coach. The good news for him is they can do remarkable things with these injuries now to get him back on the field as soon as possible. That also being said, we won't see him again this year. We're going to miss having a guy like that out there for a lot of different reasons. Our thoughts and prayers obviously go out to him for what he's worked to do, and we appreciate everything he's done for this team. We look forward to getting him back next year. That being said, as with any move, everyone needs to play better around and make sure we all play as a team.
Q: I know you probably touched on this yesterday, but when you talked to the team today, are you just sitting there going, 'look guys, we're making progress. Just concentrate. We're going to get a win. Don't worry about it'?
A: My message to the team is always pretty blunt and simple. To me, it's about evidence on the tape what we have to correct, what we're doing well, what we have to build on. I'm not a rainbows and sunshine type of guy. I'm also not a brow-beat-you-and-rub-your-nose in it guy, either. It's, 'this is what it is. Understand what we're doing good that we can build on. Understand what we have to do that we have to correct and clean up.' To me, that's the best thing for guys to respond. Just show them visual evidence of what they're improving on and what we have to clean up, and they understand going forward what we have to work on.
Q: I believe (Sterling) Shep is eligible to come off IR maybe Wednesday. Where is he at physically? Is he ready to if you decide to?
A: I need to take a look at him at practice, obviously. He stayed behind this week to do some extra work with the trainers. I know he's made a lot of progress on a weekly basis. We'll get him moving around a little bit this week with the trainers early on and see where that's going to lead as far as him going into practice. We're kind of in the same spot right now with (David) Mayo as well. We'll have to see how he moves around in practice again this week to see where he'll be for this weekend.
Q: You put Oshane (Ximines) on IR Friday, so we didn't get a chance to ask you, is that a serious, long-term injury or is that something you think he could be back from in a couple of weeks?
A: From the information we got from the doctors right now, it looks like there's some hope for him to come back soon. I know he's working hard right now to get back.
Q: Following up on an earlier question, how do you balance the game results with the effort that you're getting and with the improvement and progress you're making?
A: Look, I'm always proud of the way our guys come to work every day and how they compete. If it's not to our standard, believe me, they know it and they know it right away. But I don't really have to ever worry about the way our guys are going to compete and how they're going to play. I have a lot of faith in the resiliency we have. We have a tough team, we have a good mindset team. That being said, this is a production business. Our guys understand that we're going out there to play games to win games, and that's what the fans deserve and that's what we're working to do.
Q: I'm not necessarily looking for you to put anybody on blast, but as far as the fake field goal, the officials called it one way, I think they called it on (Nick) Gates. Then obviously, Tony Romo on the broadcast seemed to think it was Cam Fleming. Can you describe what you saw after watching the film? What happened? Why was a penalty called on that play and why did the touchdown get negated?
A: We just weren't set as a unit right there, and that's not one person. That ties into a couple different things communication wise and execution wise. We'll talk with the team and make sure they understand fully what it is. That was a situational play that came up. We had the opportunity to call it. It was something we prepared for that could come up at different times. We hit it. Evan did a really good job of executing on his part in terms of the substitution exchange and the execution down the field. But we have a couple things we have to clean up on that right there. It wasn't one person at all.
Q: How do you adjust your schedule for the next couple of days? You have two games now in 11 days I guess.
A: The easiest thing would be to kind of work backwards for you there. Obviously, leading into the Thursday game against Philly, that would be an abbreviated week. Our experience in the past which has worked out pretty good for the players is obviously it's a lighter on-the-field load. It's a heavy mental week and mental preparation week, so you have to make sure that you go ahead and you give your players time to recuperate and recover from the game this Sunday that we're going to play. But that will be a little bit of a lighter load that we'll build on in. The toughest thing for the guys to understand is once that game against Washington is over, you're already middle of the way through the game week against Philly on a normal week's preparation. It's a very quick turnaround. The biggest emphasis on those weeks is, really physically, let the players recover as much as possible to get them as fresh as you can for the game. This week itself, because it's a tight turnaround, we have multiple games in a short window, we'll talk collectively with some of the players, with the strength staff and with our trainers tomorrow morning and kind of see where the team is at physically. Then we'll go ahead and determine and adjust how we're going to approach this week here. Last week after the west coast trip, we did a Wednesday walkthrough, Thursday and Friday practice. I thought we had great energy at practice. We had very efficient practices. We'll see if that's something that applies this week or not, but I haven't yet made a decision.
Q: What did you think of Kyler's (Fackrell) game yesterday? He had a couple impact plays there. Obviously, with Lorenzo out, he's going to have to carry a little bit more of a load.
A: Yeah, Kyler's a guy that's made some plays for us throughout the year so far. He's a guy who has some versatility to how he plays. He was in the right spot at the right time because he followed his alignment and his drop assignment on that play where he made the interception. He finished it with a good run down the sideline, he got in the end zone for us and made a big play. He had some nice plays in the run game as well. In terms of Kyler, regardless of who else is at the game, we need him to do his job as well as possible for us to have success.
Q: To follow up on that a little bit, Kyler was already playing. Who do you look at to fill in for that void that's now there with Lorenzo down?
A: There are a lot of things we could do right there. Obviously, Markus (Golden) played a lot yesterday as well, so he'll be a key part of what we're doing. We'll see how it deflects on our other personnel around. Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown are guys who have been at the games for us and play the outside linebacker position. They're obviously a factor in what we're doing. But it's really no different than any other position on any week in terms of we're going to find the best combinations we can put together.
Q: On a separate note, I'm curious how much do you believe in and how do you feel about team's needing to learn to win?
A: You hear a lot about that expression, 'learn to win.' To me, you can make a lot about the 60th minute of the game when it really starts in the first 59 minutes of the game. You learn to win by doing your assignment on a consistent basis, by executing correctly, by calling the right calls as a coach, by putting your team in the best position, and that's how we learn to win. We're working. We have to make sure we execute and we do a better job as coaches, and we execute as players.
Q: I'm curious, Tony Romo said on the broadcast that maybe there was a little bit of a miscommunication with Nick Gates and with Daniel Jones in terms of identifying the middle linebacker and things like that. I'm just curious where you are in terms of those two as a battery and how you would evaluate Nick Gates at center through five games having never played that position before?
A: I'm not overly familiar with exactly what happened on the broadcast yesterday. We have a lot of confidence in Nick going forward. Him and Daniel work very tirelessly together, put in a lot of effort to make sure they're on the same page. I'm very pleased with how they've worked so far. Obviously, we have to all play better and coach better to get the results we want.
Q: A couple questions if I may. Do you have to remind your team to not pay attention to what's going on in the division given how tight it is and just focus on each week?
A: Yeah, it's truly one game at a time, no matter who we're playing. Right now, the only game we're truly worried about is Washington. That's the team that we're focused on right now going forward. Everything that happened yesterday is purely corrections so that we can have the best plan going forward into Washington, and that's all of our focus as coaches and players this week.
Q: Then if I could just go back to something you said. You mentioned that you keep reminding the players of what it is they do well and so forth. Is that numbers, is it something tangible that you're seeing? What is it that you're basing or considering progress with this team that maybe isn't showing up on game days?
A: Yeah, for me, it's all video evidence. You can show someone a clip of what they did several games ago and a clip of what they're doing yesterday on the same play, same technique, same type of matchup, and they can see the visual success of what they're having. Maybe it's something they did earlier in the week at practice that you had to correct and it shows up in the game and they do it well. It's maybe something that they do well at practice and they make a mistake in the game. You have to show them where's the disconnect? Why are we not executing this correctly and how do we clean this up? To me, it's about visual evidence. Stats are a large part of the game for different reasons. But for me, if you get lost too much in the numbers, you could lose sight of what the real football is.
Defensive Lineman Dalvin Tomlinson
Q: What's missing from this team that's not allowing you guys to win?
A: I feel like we have to execute for 60 whole minutes, that's the biggest thing right now. Our execution throughout the whole game.
Q: Do you feel like part of it is some of the players have to learn to win?
A: No, I don't think it's learning to win. It's the NFL, you have to play 60 consistent minutes throughout the whole game. I feel like we have to get over the top of the hill with that. As long as we get ready to play those consistent 60 minutes, we'll be good.
Q: Do you look back at the five games this season and say in maybe four of him we were that close?
A: There were some close games we had this year. All we can do is worry about the next one because you can't change the past.
Q: There are people who look at this and say you guys are 0-5, the Jets are 0-5, is any team ever going to win a game in this area? Do you feel it's there?
A: Yeah, most definitely. Every game is super close for us, we just have to get over the top. Like I said, we have to execute in those critical moments when we need to execute.
Q: What do you lose without Zo in the lineup now?
A: Lorenzo Carter is a great player. He was having a great season so far. Missing him is going to be a key to our defense. We had some other guys who were in that position who were able to step up and take up the role that Lorenzo left.
Q: With that being said, how big is it that you have a guy like Markus Golden? Obviously, 10 sacks last year, pretty good resume, proven player in this league that's kind of sitting there that you can put in that spot.
A: Markus is a great guy. He always has his head on right ready to work each and every day. The energy he brings out there when he comes out there is going to be super effective for us on defense.
Q: Do you guys find that it's hard to not look at the NFC East and say despite the fact that we haven't won a game, we're still within striking distance?
A: I feel like, it's in the picture, but I feel like the biggest thing for us is we want to focus on getting wins and keep improving. As a team, just keep growing. We know the wins are right there around the corner.
Q: Coach always speaks about improvement, that you guys are making improvement. He talks about not necessarily the numbers, but what's on tape, the visual evidence. What visual evidence is being made as far as the improvements that maybe isn't translating onto the field just yet?
A: The physical evidence? The physicality of our team. We're growing as a team. Each and every week, we're growing and just playing more collective. We have to just continue to grow and continue to be able to learn of each other and how each other plays. Continue to execute the game plan.
Q: Some of the new players have not been through this before with the Giants. Joe Judge and pretty much the whole coaching staff have not. You have been around for several years. Is this losing in any way the same as past losing? Is it different, is it better, is it worse? Does it feel the same or does it feel like it's building to something different?
A: I'm not one to compare losing seasons. I feel like what we have here on this team is special. The guys we have, the way we come to work each and every day, whatever we have to do each and every day at practice, we go and do it, no questions asked. The mentality of the team, I feel like we have something special here.
Q: You've been on college teams that obviously were special and won a lot. Can you have a special team that doesn't win?
A: I wouldn't say that. I would say it's a thin line between winning and losing. If you don't execute what you're supposed to, you can give the game away.
Q: You see signs though that what you're saying will eventually pay off in wins? Is that too much to say at this point?
A: I feel like we come in with our heads down and just work. It's bound to pay off in due time.
Q: There's been a lot of talk the first five weeks now that offensive holding penalties are down throughout the league. I'm just curious, from your perspective, from a guy who's in there on the interior battling the other side. Have you noticed anything different? Have there been plays where you kind of just look around and say I can't believe there's not a call? How do you not change your approach based on what maybe you think you have seen in the past versus what maybe you're seeing now?
A: As a defensive interior lineman, I just feel like holding is a part of the game. You don't really focus on why they didn't call this holding or that because we get held all the time. You have to play with it. You don't want to depend on penalties, so you just try to make plays if they are holding or not.
Q: Have you seen that, though, that it's getting called less this year? Have you noticed that?
A: I haven't even noticed it because I don't look at penalties and stuff like that. I just try to execute what we have to do up front.
Tight End Evan Engram
Q: On that fake field goal, is that something that you're going to have to know on third down? Because obviously, you know not to come off the field. Is that something you guys talk about before the fourth down?
A: Yeah, we had it set up to where coming off, we would know that we were going to run it. We were probably a split second, maybe half a second away from it being clean.
Q: On more conventional passing plays, are the routes you're running this year in this offense different than what you've had to run in the past?
A: It's a little different here and there. But it's kind of the same gist a little bit. Just trying to use my speed, get across the field, stuff like that.
Q: I ask just because it seems like you're running a lot more curls than maybe I've seen in the past.
A: Yeah, definitely. That's probably the most different aspect to my route tree this season.
Q: To build off that a little bit, have you been running as much deep down the seam? Because that's something you guys haven't really been able to hit this year.
A: Just kind of really doing everything that's in the game plan. We work a lot of different things. Try to get the ball going and try to get the pass game going. Pretty much just kind of doing what I'm asked and what I'm asked to do in the offense.
Q: Kind of a separate thing now. You guys have had three chances late in games and you basically get in the huddle and you have a chance to either win or tie, and you haven't come through in any of those three spots. I'm wondering if there's anything you can kind of put your finger on for why it hasn't worked early this season in that regard?
A: At the end of the day, it comes down to executing not only in that moment, but also in the previous opportunities that we get. Each possession has a life in its own. We have to find a way to finish a lot better. I think we did that yesterday, but have to take it even another step so maybe that last drive is to put the game on ice rather than to go down and take the lead. There is a lot that goes into it. We just need to execute overall a lot better.
Q: Does that possession have a different feel to it, though? Like you said, each one has its own life. But because there's obviously pressure and you know what's at stake, does that have a different feeling for you guys in the huddle?
A: Yeah, it's a do or die drive. That's a drive to go win the game. Yeah, all the execution is required in that moment, for sure. But at the end of the day, we have to get it done.
Q: What's impressed you about Darius Slayton in particular? It seems like he's playing some really good football, especially the last few weeks. I'm just curious what has impressed you with him and how he's grown from his rookie year to now?
A: Just making big plays. The confidence just kind of bounces off of him. Last year, I definitely saw him kind of surprise himself a little bit with his big plays and ability. Now, you can tell that he expects it of himself. He came up big in a lot of big plays yesterday. Definitely keep him on track.
Q: Unfortunately, you've been a part of a lot of losing with the Giants. Does this losing feel different than other years? It's a new head coach and a new staff, a lot of new players, but a lot of the same losing. Does this losing feel different than what's happened in the past?
A: Losing is losing. There's no way to explain all that and decipher all that. At the end of the day, we have the talent to win on this team. It comes down to beating ourselves and execution. I'm not going to get into past years. We have to find out… We need to get better each and every day and come in and turn this thing around with this team this year.
Q: How do you know you have the talent on this team to do it? I'm not being a wise guy. Talent usually means winning. Teams that maybe aren't as good and lose beat themselves a lot. So, what tells you that this is the right makeup for a team?
A: You just said it. You literally just said it. We're beating ourselves.
Q: Is this team angry? Is this team mad to get a win?
A: Definitely disappointed. Definitely pissed off. We fought our butts off yesterday and didn't come up on the winning end. Yeah, we're pissed off and we're hungry. We're going to get right back to work and try to go get one.
Q: Is that needed, do you think? Some of the earlier losses in this season sort of get glazed over because you were young and everything was new and things like that?
A: No, there are no excuses.
View photos from the Week 5 matchup between the Giants and Cowboys in Dallas.