Head coach Joe Judge, quarterback Daniel Jones and defensive back Julian Love spoke to reporters Friday on a video chat press conference. Here is what each one had to say.
Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: Before we get started with the question and answer session, first off, I just want to lead off with letting everybody know, we talked a little bit as a team, not as a full squad yet. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ron Rivera and his family. Obviously, we compete against each other on a weekly basis, there are rivalries within the division. When you hear news like this, you're all on the same team and we're all really, truly pulling for each other. I've been on the phone with several other head coaches just this morning, and I know everyone has the same sentiments as me. I'll let them speak for themselves. At this time, we want to send our prayers and thoughts to him and his family. I look forward to seeing him this fall on the field competing and getting well.
As far as how the scrimmage today went, we were able to build in a lot of situational work. We were able to get a lot of live work, which the guys really needed as far as wrapping up, tackling, going to the ground, feeling the contact, blocking, getting good live pass rushes in 11 on 11 situations. We got a good bit of volume for the players. They were able to handle it. Their conditioning is improving. They came out with good effort and energy. That was very pleasing. Next week, we'll kind of kick it back up with the goal of building into an intrasquad game on Friday. We'll get back, talk with the trainers, talk with the strength coaches, look at the volume we've had with players this first week, which we pushed them through a lot, and we'll see how to structure next week's practices accordingly to make sure that we can go ahead and lead up to next Friday's game. With that, I'll open it up to any questions you have.
Q: What did you think of your first team offense, and Daniel (Jones) specifically?
A: I thought everyone came out to compete today. Listen, there were some times right there that they played better. I thought they ended the day on a high note with some good drives going down the field. There are always some things that you have to clean up. To me, it's about the things that we can control. But for our first day of really going out there in a live situation, calling plays and running plays, I was pleased with the effort today. I was pleased with the urgency. There are a lot of things we need to clean up going forward. I have to look at the tape to tell you specifically what all those are. I don't want to go ahead and misspeak until I watch it on tape. But overall, I was pleased with the way they came out to work today.
Q: Do you subscribe to the theory that in these kinds of situations, a lot of times the defense is ahead of the offense when you first start doing real live action?
A: You know what, it's going back and forth every day. It really has. It's gone back and forth. When you play a common opponent, which is intrasquad right now, you have a tendency to lean on your own teammates. You have a better view throughout the week of what the offense is installing. Obviously, our offense ran plays today that they installed throughout the week. Our defense saw a lot of these. They weren't carbon copies of what they saw in practice, but different versions of them. Defensively, our guys have done their homework. They stayed ahead a little bit. Obviously, they studied and they knew what to expect in certain situations coming forward.
Q: How impressive was it to see Darnay Holmes, a rookie, this is really his first glimpse of as close to a live NFL action as you're going to see, come out and be as disruptive as he was? He had that nice interception down near the goal line. How impressed were you with what you saw from him today?
A: He's a real competitive guy that comes to work every day with a full head of steam. He's very attentive. I'm not surprised to see him improve day by day. I was pleased with the way he played today. I'm sure there are things that he has to clean up. I have a couple of things off of the top of my mind right now, as I do with every player on the team. But I was pleased with the way he came out and competed today.
Q: Along those lines, you said this was kind of a test of the communication between the coaches and calling plays. How do you think that went with Patrick Graham and the defense?
A: I thought it went well. We didn't have any personnel issues on the day. As far as getting guys on and off the field, there were a lot of situations that were involved. They had to match the offense's personnel based on down and distance. Operating fully from the sideline today, I thought the coaching staff did well. We have to remember, this was only the first time that this coaching staff on either side of the ball have worked together in this kind of situation. There's a lot of communication that, as coaches, we have to work out as well. I'd say the element that was kind of left out today was myself to Pat (Graham) and Jason (Garrett) and T-Mac (Thomas McGaughey), as I kind of sat back today and I really wanted to observe and watch the players up close and I wanted to hear the play being called in the huddle. I wanted to see the demeanor of the players up close and I wanted to watch how they competed throughout the game, or scrimmage I should say.
Q: I know you're evaluating everything, but do these scrimmages carry a little bit more weight. Just along those lines, if you want to share, did anybody jump out to you?
A: I'm going to wait until I watch the tape before I go ahead, but I was pleased with the way everyone came out and worked today. I would say every day is important. Everything is evaluated. A day like today, when you can tell the team, 'Hey listen, we're going out there, it's live situation football, we're calling plays you've practiced, we're putting in call situations to work on defense, and play ball.' You want to see how guys perform in these situations because it's the closest simulation we can have to a game. If you put it kind of in context to what we're doing today, this would have roughly been equivalent to a competitive practice against an opponent, leading into preseason game one today. This would have been a similar setup we would have had with a common opponent and leading into the game. Next week, we have to flip around and kind of get into more true game mode and almost try to replicate that preseason game feel. Obviously, it's a fast-forwarded version of training camp. But we're trying to make sure we acclimate the players accordingly and build into it so they can do it effectively and safely.
Q: We didn't see (Xavier) McKinney, (Ryan) Connelly or (Corey) Coleman today. Any update on where those guys are at?
A: You know what, we just thought they had a really strong load, and we're looking to really build into next Friday. Based on what they did the rest of the week, and those guys carried a heavy load for the team throughout practices, we thought it was best to just go ahead and rest them. We worked several other players throughout the practice as needed by certain periods. To be honest with you, there are a lot of young players that we had to see today. We have to think in context of, again, we didn't have preseason game one this year, where you see a lot of young guys get out there and show you how they compete. Today, in essence for us, it was a lot of preseason game one to see how guys get on the field, compete and what kind of impression they can leave us with.
Q: Were you pleased after (Darnay) Holmes' interception to see Andrew Thomas finish the play like that and knock the ball out? And about the corners, too, Julian Love, (James) Bradberry, Holmes, it seemed like your corners had their hands on the ball today. Was that also something that pleased you?
A: It was definitely something… Look, you want your defense to be ball hawks and flying around all the time. Those guys have been doing a really good job this week of working and improving. Again, it goes back and forth. Sometimes you turn on offensive drills and the defense falls. Then you turn it on the defense and the defense wins. But it was good today to see them out there in a competitive situation of not only applying what we're calling, but what we're calling in the situation. You can't just call plays. Is it 1stand 10? Is it 2ndand short? Is it 2ndand long? What's the third down down and distance? What's the personnel on the field? They need to process a lot of information in a short amount of time. By doing that, they put themselves in the right position. I was very pleased with that. The answer on Andrew is yeah, I was very pleased to see our offensive line hustle in that situation. That's what we preach right there in terms of looking for the turnover and securing the tackle. It's good to have things you preach in the classroom show up on the field. On the other side, Darnay is going to get ripped for fumbling the ball.
Q: One other quick one. David Sills had the ball in his hands a lot today. It seemed like he factored in big time. Can he also help you on special teams, and is he a guy who has shown you something through this offseason?
A: I know he's been doing a lot of work with T-Mac and Tom (Quinn). Look, this guy busts his butt every day he comes out. He's shown up a lot for us already on offense. He shows up in the kicking game. We're going to get more competitive within the kicking game situations this week as we practice and within the game, so a lot of those positions will be more revealed as we go forward. But I'm very pleased with how David comes out every day and works. It's no surprise he's making plays and being productive.
Q: I want to ask you about two guys, similar to what you were just asked about Sills. Two guys who keep flashing to me, Alex Bachman seems like he's always open and Javon Leake seems like, we know about Saquon (Barkley), (Dion) Lewis, but Javon Leake seems like he's giving you good depth at running back. What have you seen from both of those guys?
A: Starting with Leake, he's a guy who's really coming on right now. He's feeling more comfortable within the system and scheme. He's doing a good job of taking coaching points from Burton (Burns) to the field. He's a guy that's very in-tune at meetings, paying attention. You can see that with him. He's improved on a daily basis. Look, today's the day where he had an opportunity to go out there and just play. That's always how you want to see it. He went out there and just played some ball, made some plays for us. There are some things he needs to correct and clean up, and that's our focus as coaches, making sure we come back, make corrections and push forward. In terms of Bachman, again, very much like David, he's a guy that comes to work every day and works hard. He's productive in drills, he's productive in team periods. It's no surprise to see him making plays. We just need to keep all of those guys in the same rotation and give them chances to see ultimately who can compete and help us win.
Q: You talked the other day about Daniel and the command he's showing of the offense. Were you pleased, not necessarily with what he completed and didn't complete today, but with how he ran the offense and the command that he had at the line of scrimmage?
A: Yeah, very much so. If you guys saw me in the scrimmage, I was standing behind the huddle, behind the offense, yelling at them the entire time. Look, the things you can't see on film are the command. You can't see on film the way he is in the huddle. You can't see on film the presence our players have at the line of scrimmage. That's why I was standing where I was today to make sure that I could really feel our guys out there on the field and get a sense of how they are interacting with each other and who's really out there dictating what's going on. I was very pleased with the tone he sets in the huddle. He does it every day in practice. But he went out there today in a competitive situation and really stepped up. He has good command situationally. He knows how to use some of the variety of calls and checks within our offense. I thought he really showed up a lot at the end of the scrimmage. That no-huddle situation we had right there, I was very pleased to see how he commanded the entire team and kept everyone moving through the situation.
Q: I know you were asked a little bit about Love earlier. Just what have you seen from him? Is he a vastly different player than what you saw on film and maybe scouting him last year coming into the league?
A: I think all of these guys who were young players last year have improved. They're still young guys, they're improving every day. He's a guy who's really just felt more comfortable within our system and scheme. There's just a learning curve, so you've seen him improve every day. He's getting more comfortable back there, he's been more vocal. That's important in his role, being the signal-caller in the deep part of the field. He has the athletic ability that we're going to play him in a different variety of spots based on the matchups. You see him play up in some man coverage sometimes. Other times, he's back in the deep part of the field. We're going to move him around as needed based on the situation. But to answer your question, overall, I see him improving every day. I'm not really concerned about where he was last year. I'm concerned with where he's going to be in a couple of days, next week, a month from now, and I see him moving on the right track in that direction.
Q: We talk a lot about how McKinney and (Jabrill) Peppers sort of play off of each other. Is Love really the key to allowing those two to do what they do and to give them the flexibility?
A: There's no one key on that. It's really kind of based on the opponent that you're trying to match and what the scheme you're calling right there is. But you really need flexibility with your personnel in the secondary to be able to do different schemes. Those guys have given us a lot of flexibility we've been able to use. We have to keep bringing these young guys along. They've been working hard as well. But they all play off each other with what they're doing. There's no one key in those three.
View photos from the team's first intrasquad scrimmage on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q: What was your overall impression of the offense today? It seemed like from our vantage point the first team offense got off to a slow start and then picked it up during the course of the scrimmage.
A: There were some things that we need to correct, things we need to work on. I think that's part of the process and the reason we are out there. I think like you said, as it went on and we got into some of the more play it out situations, I thought we got into a rhythm and made some plays. That was encouraging. I think we will continue to work through those things and continue to learn from them. Overall, I was encouraged by what were able to do, we were able to move the ball down the field and execute. Like any day in practice and any situation like that in camp, we are going to have opportunities to learn and we are going to attack those opportunities.
Q: How much freedom were you given today? Were you able to sort of run the entire playbook and the entire offense? I know you were doing certain down and distance situations. Were you allowed to make checks and do all the things you would do in a normal game?
A: We weren't game planning for our defense. We were running the stuff we've been working and the stuff we have been installing and practicing. As far as that goes, we were running our stuff. It wasn't a game plan necessarily, so you get some plays that we maybe wouldn't carry into a game plan against our defense. Overall, I think running our stuff and just trying to get plays run, trying to execute, trying to understand what we need to do in certain situations. Try not to make a bad mistake sometimes when the look is not there. Overall, we were running our stuff and pretty much open to everything.
Q: This was the first time you got the chance to take this offense out for a spin against a defense in a game situation. How did it feel? Did it feel comfortable? Is everybody in sync?
A: Yeah, I think so. Like I said a second ago, I think there are things we need to continue to work on and iron out. Overall, I think guys were on it. They knew where to go and what we were trying to do in certain situations. We have to continue to work on it, continue to improve. Take this opportunity to learn from it. Overall, I thought it was a good day. I look forward to working on the stuff we have to clean up.
Q: Take me through the interception early. Was there a moment in the scrimmage where you felt like you started to settle down? Was there a throw where you said, 'okay, we can start to build some momentum off of this'?
A: Just a poor decision there. We had a double move called, a situation where I have to be smart with the ball and take care of it and make sure we get points. It was a bad decision and something to learn from. As we got going and got into more of the play it out situations where we were moving the ball down the field and executing a drive in a game, I thought we settled in on offense, and started to play better. That was part of getting more comfortable out there. I think we will continue to get more comfortable as we get more reps.
Q: From a communication aspect when you guys were live, how was that going? Between Jason Garrett and the other coaches working it in. I know Joe had said that was one of the biggest reasons why he wanted to get you guys live as early as possible. How did that go and what was the feel as the practice went on?
A: I think the communication was fine. To be able to simulate what you get in a game-like setting as far as coach being off the field and using radios in the helmet, and that process. Communicating on the line of scrimmage with everyone and making sure we are on the same page, I thought it was good to get practice with that. Obviously, those are things we have been repping since we've started camp. Continue to make sure we are on the same page with it, but I thought it went well today.
Q: I have a question about two guys you are playing with. Nick Gates as your center and playing with a new center, a guy you know obviously but a guy at a different position. How is that chemistry there? Also, David Sills at wide receiver, a guy you found a couple different times today.
A: Both of those guys have done a good job so far. Like you said, Gates is someone who we have worked with a lot and I have enjoyed working with. I think he has done a good job. Last year he was moving around a little bit position wise. He's moved around a little bit in this camp so far. Like you said, he is playing a little bit at center. I thought he has done a good job, Sills as well. I think he is a guy out there you can trust, a guy in the right spot a lot of the time and can get open and make plays. He's a good player and he's had a good camp so far.
Q: Is that a major transition having a new center, a different one than you had as a rookie?
A: We're all learning the system, myself and Gates and the whole group. We are kind of learning it together and putting it together as a team, that's kind of the process right now. It's been good and I have enjoyed working with him. I've enjoyed working with everyone on the o-line and whoever we've had in there.
Q: There has been a lot of focus this offseason on you having to learn a new system. When you are looking at a defense, I know you are just going against your own right now, do you feel more comfortable with what you're seeing with the experience you got last year seeing NFL defenses?
A: I think so. I think recognizing things quicker, having a better idea pre-snap of what's going on, I've felt more comfortable that way. I have to continue to learn. Obviously, it will be different as we get into the games every week. Game planning for a new team, a new system. As far as camp goes, I think with having last year and some of the experience of playing those games, I think it's certainly been easier for me that way than it was this time last year.
Q: What has it been like working with Jason Garrett?
A: I've enjoyed it. I'm trying to do my best to learn the system. Understand what he wants and the detail of what he wants us to execute and how he wants us to see it as quarterbacks. He's an experienced guy who has had a lot of success in this league as an offensive coordinator and obviously as a head coach. I've enjoyed learning from him and enjoyed learning this system and trying to do my best to execute it the way it's supposed to be done.
Q: What's the biggest difference being coached by him personality wise? Obviously, you have a new system. He's obviously a different personality than Pat (Shurmur), who was coaching you last year. What does he bring to the table in that regard?
A: It's a new system and a lot of new things to learn that way. I've been focused on and just trying to pick up the plays and the system and how he wants things to be run. I've enjoyed working with him. I think the detail to what he wants and how he wants it to be done is something I'm continuing to focus on and try to learn from.
Q: In a normal year, after a week in camp, you would probably think let's go out and grab a pizza, watch a movie, have a few root beers. How is it different now on your day off?
A: It's certainly different, I would be lying if I told you it wasn't. It's different for everybody across the league, but also for you and for everybody. We're all adjusting to these times. The sacrifice of not being able to do some of those things is worth it to us. I think we're all doing the best we can to make sure we're observing the precautions and guidelines laid out by the league and the Giants. That's part of it, it is different. I think as a team, as an organization, we are certainly willing to do what we need to do to make sure we can play.
Q: You just stay home and rest your body?
A: Yeah, I think that's the biggest thing. Making sure you are ready for the next week and take advantage of the time off.
Defensive back Julian Love
Q: I know obviously it's never a good thing when a guy gets hurt. But last year, when Jabrill Peppers got hurt, you're playing time went way up. How much did that impact your growth? Those last five games, it seemed like you were a totally different player than earlier in your rookie year.
A: Yeah, it was crucial. I just tried to stay ready whenever my time was going to come. Obviously, it came in Chicago. I just tried to step up to the plate for our team to help us succeed, help guys grow and move forward. I think my whole mindset was to stay ready, and it always is. Stay ready, stay aware, and be ready to go.
Q: If you could just take me back to this year's draft, when they draft (Xavier) McKinney in the second round, what's going through your mind? Are you thinking, 'my role just changed, I might have to play some corner now'? What's going through your mind when the Giants pick McKinney in the second round at your position?
A: I've gotten to know Xavier a little bit. As a person, I'm excited to have him as somebody who's next to me. Next to me in terms of being a friend, being a brother on the team. When he was drafted, I just thought, 'Wow, that's great firepower for us.' I had heard about him, I know how he is as a person, as a player, how he prepares. I think that's what we needed around here. I was excited when he got that call.
Q: What do you attribute to you guys as the first team defense having such a strong day today? How was it getting in and out of the calls? Just overall, why do you think you guys performed so well in your first thing closest to live football?
A: I thought our energy today was pretty spot on. I think we kind of set the tone last night even to 'let's all prepare, come in today like it's a game.' We're not getting those preseason game reps, so we tried to really take it seriously today and try to get out there, play with high energy, high focus and just play with each other. We wanted to fly around, run to the ball, and for the most part, I thought we did a good job today. That was kind of our mindset. It's all trying to get those game-like reps going for us.
Q: When you were talking last night about treating it like a game, does that go all the way down to even trying to do your routine leading up to practice the way it would be like a 1:00 o'clock start type deal?
A: Yeah, for me it was. I got up early, got here earlier, was with the trainers just getting stretched, getting my body ready and hopped up a little bit. Yeah, I listened to the music that I listen to before games, getting my headphones going, play a little Sudoku, which I like to play before games, and just getting into my routine. That's why I did it, because I really took today seriously. A lot of us did, which is what we want.
Q: Joe (Judge) has talked about everyone having multiple roles. When you finished the year at safety, are you sitting there saying good, I will do whatever they want, I'll play corner, I'll play safety, I'll play in the box, whatever.
A: My mindset at all times is wherever they want me, I'm going to play. I've bounced around positions my whole life in the defensive backfield. It's no different now. No matter where I'm at or how old I am, I'm always ready to play whatever. I'm excited to do that. I just want to be a ball player, that's what it comes down to.
Q: How exciting is it for you to be in a defense where you have bounced around position to position your whole life? It actually seems to be the scheme here. That's not something that you have to do out of necessity, that's sort of by design.
A: I think it's a special thing. I think we have very intelligent players who are capable of doing whatever is asked of them. That's what we're pushing, to really be there for each other. When adversity strikes we just want to make sure everyone is ready. I think it's been exciting for all of us to take on this challenge.
Q: Can you go through the play in the end zone against Golden (Tate)?
A: He initially had the ball. He went up to get it and I just tried to finish it to the ground. We were really getting after it today finishing to the ground. That's all it was, playing through the hands and really being aggressive trying to rip that thing out. That was a good finish, I wanted to be in a better position to start, it was a good finish.
Q: Darnay Holmes made a really nice play today. I'm curious on what you think he's adding to your group?
A: In terms of on the field, you have to talk to Joe about that one. As a person, he's very intelligent, a very kind person. A person who really is focused on his craft. I love to see that, we all feed off of his energy. Everybody is learning who he is more. As a person, it's great to have him next to me, next to us in that DB room. He brings the energy each day and the focus. As a person, he's a great dude.
View photos of the Giants' active roster as it currently stands.