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Transcripts

Postgame Quotes 11/8: Coach Joe Judge, QB Daniel Jones, DB Logan Ryan, TE Evan Engram, S Jabrill Peppers, DL Leonard Williams

Head Coach Joe Judge

Opening statement:

"First off, obviously pleased to come out here with a win. We knew it was going to be a 60-minute game like it was last time. We knew this was an improved team, who plays very aggressive. They did. They did not disappoint. They gave us everything. We asked our guys to finish and play 60 minutes. We saw that down the stretch. We're able to come away with the result that we're working for this week. Now I'd say also, you know, a note to, you know, [Washington QB Kyle] Allen's injury. Obviously, our thoughts with him. We hope nothing severe. He's a good competitor. We have a lot of respect for him. We don't want to see anyone leave the game or anything like that. And then Alex Smith coming in the game, we have a tremendous amount of respect for him. We knew the second he came in the game plan was going to change slightly from what Allen would have done. But obviously, we knew he was a very capable player who showed going through the stretch. Obviously, did a lot of things that give them a chance to win at the end."

On his mindset once Washington cut the lead to three:

"No for us, the whole message was finish. Yeah, that's a thing you could constantly hear a player saying over and over and over. We talked about that before the game, at halftime, throughout the game and on the sideline. We have to finish the game. When we took the field, number of times in that fourth quarter, the message was finish. The players were ready for. We responded to whatever came our way. Washington made some plays down the stretch, but we were able to come up with some big turnovers in key situations. You kind of get in players like Logan [Ryan] and Blake [Martinez] to make some plays for you down the stretch, and they came through for us."

On defensive turnovers:

"Well, it's a big part of the game and obviously between penalties, turnovers and mental errors are some of the things you have to eliminate to have a chance to win the game. Our team came out here prepared today. We did a good job with turnovers and ball security. We did a good job in terms of eliminating some of the penalties. There are still things we have to get off the map right there and eliminate for how we're playing. We don't want to have anything to take us back within drives. Mental errors, the guys played a pretty clean game. They're very well prepared on all three sides of the ball. I'm pleased with some of the things we were able to install for our guys on Saturday. The last call of the game was something [Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham] Pat was able to put in a walkthrough on Saturday, that we took Saturday morning. He thought it was something that could help, obviously was Logan was a feature player on that defense and he's able to come away with the play for pretty much exactly what Pat designed."

On QB Daniel Jones:

"I think Daniel played a really good game today. He distributed the ball across the board. I saw him make a lot of really good decisions when he was in tight kind of conflict in the pocket, throwing the ball away at different times. He was able to run with some good ball security and make sure he got some tough yards forced and delivered a lot of good, accurate passes. I thought Daniel really managed the game and controlled the game and was able to make some plays for us down the stretch. Very pleased how he prepared throughout the week and the results we got from him today."

*On RB Alfred Morris: *

Yeah, I mean look we count on everybody on our roster to make production for us. Everyone on our team is part of the plan every week. Alfred is a guy that came in here, it took him a few weeks of kind of getting really into football shape, getting along with our offense. He had a jumpstart from his time with [Offensive Coordinator] Jason [Garrett] before. But look, he hasn't wasted opportunities. He's gotten in, he's made big runs for us. He's a guy that our guys respond to a lot. We knew this was a game that he was going to come down, like he would any week. For this game, that meant something to them right here and he came in and really gave some good production."

On last play of the game:

"Yeah, I couldn't really answer that one right there, Tom. I'm pleased with how it worked out ball security wise on that play. Obviously, we don't want to have a free run or make a hit on our quarterback. But the goal is to end every drive with a kick, an extra point, a field goal or punt. Whatever kind of game that is, we are able to end it in that drive right there with a punt. Riley [Dixon] came in there and gave us a little bit of field position that the defense could go out there and make a play. 

On CB Logan Ryan:

"I say it's kind of just who Logan is. Logan's a very mentally tough football player and he's a great team leader. There are a lot of things behind the scenes that people don't know or see that Logan really brings to a team. That's something I've seen really evolve throughout his career. First coaching him when he was a younger player, and then having to coach against him when he was on an opposing team and he beat you, and you know that he's a key catalyst in winning those games. Now being back on a team with him, you can see how his maturity and his age have really helped him settle in. It really is what his personality is and Logan is a tremendous leader for us, on and off the field. He brings a lot of versatility on the field. I'd say the things he went through all the time and we talk a lot to our players about overcoming adversity. This is a guy that overcame adversity on the field this week, made big plays but really off the field is where it started. The things that he had away from the way from the building. He never brings it in, you know, he comes on and you can ask him how it is always, and he will tell you everything's going great, even though you know it's not. He puts the team first when he is in the building. He is all business, and he always takes time to personally check on his teammates. I couldn't tell you how glad that I have Logan on this team and how valuable he is to us." 

*On the offensive line: *

"I've said in previous press conferences, I just want to play everyone at the game right there. So tackle-wise we're really three for two at that spot. Guard-wise we are really two for two. Will should be back sooner or later for us. I plan on being three for two at those positions as well inside. We're going to try to play everyone at the game every week, make sure we stay fresh, give everybody experiences, keep on improving. I think we have good players at that position, and we will give them a chance to play.  

On play installed on Saturday:

"It was a different coverage; it was a different coverage. Both have some kind of disguise to them, which is really kind of what Pat does a good job of using pieces. He does a really good job of being able to do things that are similar in nature and concept and then just change the presentation of them. So, there's different ways of getting familiar schemes for us. That's something we have to be able to do as a team to play what our strengths are, to be able to change up so I can't just sit back and identify everything. Alex [Smith] is a very experienced player. He's seen a lot of different defenses. Last week we had Tom [Brady] and Tom has seen every different defense you can imagine thrown at him. You have to be creative in how you play, what you really want to play, but really, it's about how you present it to them and what they see it as. So, again, that was something Pat walked in early Saturday morning. We talked about it briefly in terms of something he wanted to do. Look, I want to let my coaches coach. If it's sound. If there's a rhyme and reason to it, he thinks it's a way for us to be aggressive and make a difference in the game, I'm always 'yeah, go ahead install it. Let's play with it.' Whether we draw up in the dirt on the sideline, okay, or we draw it up on Saturday morning, give to the players and give them time to really go and adjust, we've got to be smart enough team to take those last minute adjustments and apply them into a game."

On WR Austin Mack and TE Kaden Smith:

"Yeah, I'd say well I definitely noticed Kaden in several of those drives of him really getting up off the ground after knocking someone to the ground. He is a really a good blocker force and he's also a good receiver force. He's really more of a traditional tight end, and I think he's really grown in that role in a positive way as a run blocker and receiver. The thing about Austin is this guy gets better every day. He's been that way since day one. We started on the zoom calls back in the spring. He's a guy who's on the first one signed in, he asked questions early to clean up material. He's always looking for extra work. He's a guy who leaves the field last. He's always got a smile on his face. He takes hard coaching really well. He's got a very demanding on challenge from a great deal, but simply put, I think he's a guy that hasn't wasted any opportunities. He was on the practice squad window open, he came in, he's made plays. Alright. Ball comes his way, he's a productive with it. So really, that's just our kind of mode of operation, whoever's at the game we kind of get production. Today was good day for him right there. We can get more days like that in the future, but we also we can get more production from all players, all the time."  

On next week against the Philadelphia Eagles:

"Throw the record away, it's irrelevant. It's going to be a big game for us no matter who we play, especially with Philadelphia coming in. The record is completely irrelevant this game, Jordan. Look we're just trying to go 1-0 every week. I'm not posting in front of my team what the record is for the season to be completely honest here right now. That's the last thing we should care about. We have to worry about day by day and week by week making constant improvement as a team and moving in the right direction. I see that, I'm pleased with that. I love the way these guys come to work. I love the way they fight for each other on Sundays. But I don't care what the record is on any year. The fact that we're playing Philadelphia is a division game, it's obviously a big game for us."

Quarterback Daniel Jones

On holding onto the ball after being sacked on the last play:

"I think that that's been a focus of mine and you obviously know the importance of hold on the ball and the defense did a great job today coming up with five turnovers and on offense, we're able to protect it today and that was a you know a big advantage for us. Those are big plays in the game and I've got to do a good job of holding onto the ball."

On being 4-0 against Washington:

"I don't know if it's specific to one team. I think each game is separate from the other and you know it just happened that we've come ready to play against Washington these last four times and have been able to get wins. We'll look to build off of it next week going into Philly [Philadelphia Eagles]."

On the blindside hit he took:

"When you're in the game, you're always, you know, playing to score points. You're always playing to keep the ball moving forward and we didn't execute well enough there in that second half and like you said didn't score, didn't finish drives. We'll certainly look at that. We'll watch the tape, study from it and see what we could have done better in those situations but the defense came up big they're down the stretch. We were able to get a turnover there and you know that was big for us. As far as that last play, just the safety came off the edge and hit me in the back. We'll look at it and learn from it and just got to hold onto the ball and that keeps us in a position. It sets our defense up with a long field and I'll continue to focus on that. I'm always trying to hold on to the ball and do my best to secure it so I guess right there I was able to do." 

On the offensive line:

"They've done a great job these last few weeks. Coach [Marc] Colombo has them going and the rotation, like you mentioned, rotating those guys in and out and keeping them fresh. You said we ran the ball effectively all day and I think that was a big advantage for us. Using tempo and being on the ball, and then able to keep the pressure on him and run the ball. Those guys did a great job up front against a really good defensive front and a defensive front that has the ability to really impact the game and change the game and those guys did a great job all day enforcing our will running the ball and then protecting the pass game too so those guys deserve a lot of credit."

On Golden Tate not playing in this game and his connection with Austin Mack:

"We learned that this week and just prepared to play and go through the plan and get ready to play. Austin [Mack] did a great job stepping up and made a lot of plays for us. He's someone who you can trust to be in the right spot, who's consistent and brings it every day in practice. I certainly have a lot of trust in him and like I said, he stepped up and made a lot of big plays." 

On if he's heard back from Eli after yelling his name at the line of scrimmage:

"No, I haven't. He hasn't said much about that yet, but maybe I'll hear from him now."

On the offense's vibe on the sideline:

"I think there's lots of things to take from this game and build on. I think in the second half we had some drives, we moved the ball a little bit and then kind of stalled out in a couple of situations. That hurt us and prevented us from getting points. So, we'll look at that and we'll learn from it and see what we got to do in those situations better but I think that there are things to build on from this game. I think we'll continue to improve and that's the goal every week. So back to work back to work tomorrow and look to take another step this week against Philly [Philadelphia Eagles]."

Defensive Back Logan Ryan

Q: We got to see the end of that play on TV cameras watching the game at home. I'm just curious if you can describe the emotions of the play, of how everything broke down and then what was running through your mind as you guys were running to the cameras to celebrate a little bit?

A: Obviously, there's a story behind everything, you guys know I try to story tell up here. It was an extremely emotional week, as you guys know from the last time I talked to you all, with my wife. Extremely grateful to the organization and to my wife. She's a fighter, to not lose her there in that situation is very fortunate. At the same time, my wife and I mourn in silence of our lost child during that process, too, so we had a loss, as well. Although it's a great story, it was an emotional week for me and her, and that game was definitely for my wife, definitely for my family. I had her name written on my cleats and just extremely grateful that I have a great wife. That ball is for her, she told me to bring one home for her, so I was able to do that. The play that we ran is something that I talked to [Defensive Coordinator] Pat Graham about doing and putting me in that position to make that play. In two-minute, we'd been struggling all year and it was just a play that we put in, I think, Saturday night, like hours before the game. Last night, we said we were going to try something new and try that. In the first half, I messed up, I wasn't there, they ran a 32-yard in-cut in the two-minute and that was my fault, that was my job there. I told Pat, I said, 'Hey, that's on me. Call it again and I'll be there, I'll make it right,' and at least he thinks it's going to be there, so he called it again and the next time we ran it was at the end of the game and I was able to make the play. So that's just the story behind the game and I'm very fortunate that Pat trusts me enough to run my play and to call my play and to call my number, and that's what I believe I'm here to do and I believe I was here to do today for the team.

Q: Congratulations on the win, Logan. How good does it feel for the defense to be able to actually win that game because I know your coach challenged you guys to finish and you guys were able to go out there and do that?

A: It feels great for the team, it honestly does. You guys know we've got a hard working coach, we've got a hard working team, we've got a lot of talent. Some people say it's young, I just think we're a talented team if you look at the positions, I think defensively we're extremely talented. We're just done coming up short. We had eight games to learn how to win, we had eight games to get to know each other, we had eight games with a first-time head coach and all that stuff. That's all great, but it's just time. This end of the season, we're playing extremely hard to win every game and it was just time. I said that winning is a mentality and it starts in your mind, and I felt like we played like winners there. It wasn't perfect, but 'well done' is better than 'perfectly tried,' so we got it done.

Q: A couple of Jersey guys were celebrating, you and [Safety] Jabrill [Peppers] making key plays down the stretch.

A: Yeah, Jabrill is obviously extremely versatile, an extremely great football player, but he loves football. He loves ball, his passion is high for ball. Everyone that knows Jabrill sees his energy popping off and the emotion he plays with. I'm the same way, I love ball and we like our safety tandem there, we like how we feed off each other and I think that's just the start of what this defense can be if Jabrill and I are playing off each other and making those plays in crucial moments. And he just kept saying, 'That's why they brought you here, that's why they brought you here: to make those plays.'

Q: Were you able to talk to your wife after the game and how hard is it to compartmentalize what's going on in your life while trying to focus on football?

A: I think it's easier said than done. There was no doubt in my mind that if my wife was in stable condition that I was going to play this game because I play for my family and me playing ball brings me a lot of joy and it brings my family a lot of joy. I talked to her before the game, she just got back to New Jersey, she was resting and watching the game, and she just knows me and she just says, 'Bring a ball home for me and the kids,' and I was able to do that and I visualized it all week. No one really knows what I went through all week emotionally, but the team supported me great and I definitely wanted to do something for my wife and kids in that situation. I can't say to break it all up is the right thing to do, I tried my best – I don't think I was perfect – but I tried my best to separate it and make my family proud.

Q: How common is it for you guys to sit there and draw up plays that you're going to use in a game on the Saturday before the game? I think it's the second time this season I heard of you doing that already.

A: It's not too common in the NFL, but Pat Graham, like I told you, I think he's a great defensive coordinator, I think he's a great coach, I think [Head Coach] Joe [Judge] trusts him to make changes that late in the week. It's a play we didn't practice once all week, but we drew it up and we executed it when it mattered. You want to play for a coordinator who wants to put you in a position to make the plays and that's what Pat believes in me to do is put me in the position to close the game out. I feel comfortable being that player, I feel comfortable being in that moment and that's just earning the respect of my teammates and earning the respect with my hard work. I don't know if it's common for everybody, but it's common for us. We're coming with all wrinkles every game and you've just got to have the players able to pull it off and I think we're pulling it off better and better every week.

Tight End Evan Engram

Q: Talk for us about that touchdown catch and that spectacular finger tip catch. Do you feel like you left a little bit out there on that slip through your hands and it was almost an interception? Just talk us through your day - the good and the bad here.

A: With the touchdown, I was just trying to make a play for the team and for Daniel [Jones]. We got the look we wanted on that type of play, I just had to execute and finish the play. DJ threw a great ball and I just had to finish it. The drops, you know, you don't want those but you just have to keep pushing through it. Luckily, we were able to overcome the adversity today and finish with the win. 

Q: This seems like something that we ask you every year around this time of year. There are reports that the Giants got trade offers for Evan Engram again. It seems like it happens every year. Were you in the loop on any of those and were you glad that you're still here now that the trade deadline is gone? What was your reaction to being in trade talks again?

A: Obviously, I'm glad and blessed to be here and to be a New York Giant, but all of that stuff is out of my control. I don't really pay that much attention to it. I just control what's on my plate and what's in front of me and whatever happens is whatever happens. Like I said, I'm blessed to be here as a Giant and it was a hell of a game that we played today and I'm just glad we got the win. 

Q: Evan, congratulations on the win today and on the plays that you were able to make, but going back to the one you dropped, the key one, what happened on that play? How do you assess that? Talk a little bit about the work that you have put in or need to put in as far as making those plays.

A: Just really was a routine play and I got a little too excited and the ball went through my hands. I just have to keep working and stay at it all week and stay and catch balls and working on technique - keep eyes on the ball all the way to the tuck. It was just a play that I wish I could get back and grab it and make play. Those things happen. You just have to overcome it.

Q: You guys are 4-0 the last two years against Washington and we spend so much time talking about, 'You've lost seven to Philly or eight to Dallas.' Do you guys get more confidence against Washington because you've had so much success in the past that just builds upon each other? Four of five of Daniel's five wins are against Washington.

A: We don't look in the past and live off the past, but any division opponent and any division game, we really get up for it and know the importance of, especially this year with our division. We were just hungry to go out there and finish the game and get a win. No matter who we were playing today, we were going to try to get the win. It's good to beat this team and to beat division opponents, but like I said, we were really just focused on the now and the game that we had today. 

Q: Evan, how does the offense function without Golden [Tate] making the trip?

A: We answered the bell today. Obviously, Golden is a great talent who has made plays over and over again all year. It was unfortunate not to have him today, but Austin Mack and a lot of other guys stepped up today. We just had to answer the adversity of not having one of our play makers and go out there and compete and win the game. 

Q: I don't know what your vantage point was on that last meaningful play on offense where Daniel got sacked, but it's a big play that he was able to hold on to that ball. Did you guys see it that way that you were able to punt it away and not have to deal with a turnover in that spot?

A: Turnovers are hurtful, so being able to flip the field and make their offense go down the field and for DJ to old onto the ball, that was important moment in the game.

Safety Jabrill Peppers

Q: How do you guys feel about solidifying the win with interceptions by yourself and Logan (Ryan)?

A: It's always good when you close it out on defense. The game shouldn't have been that close to begin with, we had a lot of bonehead plays that put us in that position. But at the end of the day, a W is a W, they all go in the same column. Just going to keep building off this, correct the tape tomorrow, and get ready for a big showdown against Philly.

Q: How tough is it to be in on a play where a quarterback gets hurt as severely as it appears for Kyle Allen?

A: You never want that to happen. We all have a pact in this league. Guys have come from different circumstances, guys have worked hard to get here, so you never want to see a guy go down like that. I prayed for him, I apologized to him. I definitely didn't intend for that to happen. I'm trying to play hard and make a play for my team. I'm still praying for him, and I wish him a speedy recovery. 

Q: How much of a confidence boost is it for you guys to get two stops at the end of this game and come away with the victory?

A: We knew we were capable of it. Like I've said the past couple of weeks, we just have to execute. Tonight we did a good job of executing in big moments, and we closed the game out. That's all you can ask for.

Q: You said you apologized to Kyle (Allen). Were you whipping your leg around there to get a piece of him?

A: Everything happened so fast. I tried to bullrush the running back, but he got under me a little bit. I tried to spin out of it, it was a weird play. I didn't intentionally try to leg whip him or whatever the penalty was. I was trying to play hard and get him on the ground.

Q: Your coach left Golden Tate off this trip for disciplinary reasons. How, as players, do you guys view a coach holding a player accountable like that?

A: We already addressed it. That's in-house. We all understand.

Q: What was this week like for Logan (Ryan), and what were the emotions when he picked off that ball there?

A: I'm not married, so I can't imagine what he was going through. To be honest, you wouldn't even tell by the way he comes to work every day. He's a leader, he has experience, and he's hard on us. I watched the interview, and I didn't even know. He didn't talk about it with us. That's just the way he is, he's a pro's pro. We pray for his family, and I'm happy for him to be able to end the game for us after such an emotional week. I can only imagine what he was going through.

Q: At the end of the game, you guys made some bonehead plays, like you said. Was there any "here we go again" since you guys have been through that so much this year?

A: No. I don't know why you guys keep asking me that. That never crosses our mind. I believe we're going to win every game. No matter what the score is until that final whistle blows. He (Joe Judge) just challenged us. We know what he expects from us, and we know the standard. He challenged us, and we stepped up to the challenge and closed out the game for him. That's the type of coach Joe is, he's going to get the best out of you one way or another. 

Q: What does "challenge us" mean?

A: Close out the game. Stop the bleeding. That's not how we play. We have to stop going up big and letting teams back in the game and fight our way to close the game out, when we could just play steady, even keel all the way through, play fundamentally sound, be great tacklers and execute. He challenged us to get back to playing like a Giants defense, and I think we did a good job of answering the bell.

Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams

Q: Is finishing plays the way you have been this year refreshing and rewarding?

A: Definitely. It's not about money for me, it's not about anything like that. I think about this game and my love for the game. It's more about respect and proving who I am and gaining respect from my peers. I think it's all coming together at the same time. I have a lot of guys on the defense to thank for it. Our secondary players help me get to the quarterback when they make them hold the ball. Overall, our defense is playing pretty well, and it's helping me flourish.

Q: You think your game isn't respected enough?

A: I wouldn't say that. There's obviously been a lot of stuff out there in the media in a negative outlook, and from my perspective, I've always known who I am, I feel like I've proven I can get to the quarterback, and now it's being able to take them down when I get there.

Q: At 2-7, you're one win away from going into your bye as a contender in this division…

A: Realistically, we're a few points away from having a winning record. Our record doesn't show the type of talent and the team we have. I think Coach Judge has turned this place around and is doing a great job. I've been on teams where we've had a one-win record by now and you could feel the energy of the team start to drop. I feel like that hasn't happened once, and I think it's because we're in these tight games. We're in these tight games with playoff teams. The Steelers are undefeated, the Buccaneers, and a bunch of other teams where we've been in tight games. I think that's the reason why no one is hanging their heads and giving up, because we're right there. We just got to keep working hard and we'll get over the hump.

Q: At one point in the fourth quarter when you guys were on the sideline, [Head Coach] Joe Judge came over and had you huddle up a little bit and challenged you to close this game out. As a defense, to not just do it once with [Safety] Jabrill's [Peppers] interception but with [Safety] Logan's [Ryan] interception, how big of a change was it for this unit that obviously has been on the opposite end of this several times this year?

A: I think those guys came up big time. We keep getting in these close games, hopefully one day we're not taking it to the last two minutes of the game and we're just able to close it out before we get to that point. But this defense is pretty good and I think everyone believes in each other, so when we were challenged by Coach Judge, we took it in a positive way, we were like, 'Okay, let's do it, let's put the team on our back, let's go out there for another drive and do it again.' The guys answered the challenge and we got the win.

Q: Given what you just said about how the team's attitude is still good, no one is hanging their head, you know you're right there, how seriously are you taking the NFC East race? Despite the record, you are right there. Are you looking at the standings, do you look at this Eagles game as a pretty big game in the division?

A: I think, like I said, the fact that we're getting close in some of these games with top teams in the league right now is one of the reasons why we're not hanging our head, and then also the fact that our division is so open and everything is right there in front of us still. Guys are just not hanging their head down, we still have a lot to fight for and you can really feel the energy. Like, I'm not just saying it just to make it a good answer, you can feel guys working hard every single day. Guys are coming up to each other having their own individual meetings when coaches are not around. It just seems like everybody is on top of their stuff right now and that's what I like to see.

View photos from the Week 9 matchup between the Giants and Washington at FedExField.

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