Head Coach Joe Judge
Q: I was curious as a special teams coach in the past, Terry McLaurin came here as a special teams player really, and then immediately grew into a star receiver. Has that happened to you before? Do you find that very frequently?
A: I don't know if the timetable on the word 'immediately' is important in that. I think it's the development of the players. I remember him coming out in college. I think he was kind of misidentified as being a special teams-only player. I remember watching his tape going to Ohio State. This was a guy who had explosive speed, and we thought watching him in the evaluation for the draft ourselves, at the time I was coaching receivers, that this guy had the ability to stretch the field, but especially catch the ball and run, which he's shown a lot of production doing already. I'd say the general answer to your question in terms of the development of players, I think the kicking game is a key part in getting guys involved. We've had experiences with our own guys this year. Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin are two young guys that have made a lot of contributions in the kicking game for us, have quickly transitioned to start building on a defensive role, and they're kind of getting more and more every week with it. If you want to refer back to the past with different players I've been around that have been able to come in as kicking game core players and develop offensive or defensive impact roles, two that come to mind, number one is Julian Edelman. Jules, when I got in the league, he was primarily a punt returner. He was a situational offensive player, he covered kicks for us, he was our backup personal protector, did a lot of things. Then in 2013, he really kind of took off and had a breakout year. He's definitely a guy who kind of came in, he played some offense, he played some defense, contributed in all phases of the kicking game, and his career over time took off. The other guy that I've had experience with in my career is Rob Ninkovich. Rob actually started his career as a long snapper, going through New Orleans and then Miami, or vice versa on the two. But he ended up in New England and began as a core player in that role, quickly began to escalate with just what he showed on the field defensively. A lot of times, it's you're at the game anyway. What's your worth and value to the team at the time where you can make an impact role? It's covering kicks, it's playing the return game. Ok, well you're one of a limited number of people at the game, you have to have some kind of value as a backup. Once you demonstrate value offensive or defensively as a backup, you earn more reps. That kind of leads to the overall development of a player. To me, I've had experience with a number of players. Those two come to mind immediately, one offensively and one defensively who have had good, long, productive careers. But on top of that, I just think the kicking game in terms of not only having impact within field position and the flow of the game itself, the development of the players and working to build them up and get them acclimated to the speed of the game, the physicality of the game, and also the multiples when they happen within a game situationally is key for really the development of all the players on the roster.
Q: Jabrill Peppers played one of his better games. He was really active for you Monday night. Do you see a guy that's really starting to know this system? Can you evaluate and tell us what you think of his play so far this year?
A: I'm really pleased with Pep. He's a guy that comes out to work for us every day, he has a lot of high energy, a lot of urgency. He brings a lot of juice to our team. He's a team captain because he's a leader. The guys really respond to him. He's that guy who you have to play as much as possible just to keep him busy. He's just a ball of energy. But I would say just overall on that assessment defensively, Jabrill is definitely gaining a greater understanding of not just the defense as a whole, but the individual roles. He's a guy that we have a lot of flexibility to move around game by game and situationally to put him in different positions by defensive package, to either match up or to kind of fill a role that may be vacated at this point of the year by some of the injuries we've dealt with. He has a lot of versatility, he's an intelligent player, he's definitely a football guy all the way. His role is growing in the right direction for us. We love having him on the team.
Q: Have you had a chance to talk to Golden (Tate) yet about the last couple of days and everything that has gone on with that?
A: Yeah, I spoke to Golden at length today. We're dealing internally with a lot of things. We have a walkthrough today. He's not going to be at the walkthrough today, but he will be back in the building and practicing with us the remainder of the week. It will be business as usual. We're going to deal with this internally, and that's all I'm really going to say about that.
Q: Is that discipline or his choice? Why is he not there?
A: He's not going to be with us today but he's going to be back tomorrow. Again, it's a walkthrough today. We'll be on the grass tomorrow practicing. I'm just going to leave it at that.
Q: You mentioned the official (Field Judge) Nate (Nathan Jones) who threw that flag the other night. You mentioned him by name…
A: I did. I misspoke on that. It was actually (Side Judge) Eugene (Hall). I just misspoke on the name right there. So yeah, I was incorrect on that.
Q: Oh ok. I was actually going to ask if you enjoy, there are only a handful of NFL officials who played in this league. I was going to ask if the interactions with them is any different? Nate is one of those guys. Do you as a coach find that the officials who played in this league handle calls differently?
A: I don't know if they call the game any differently. I wouldn't say that. Look, there are a lot of really, really good officials in this league, and there are a lot of guys who are a lot of fun to work with. They truly are. I've had the opportunity to really have a lot of crossover with these guys at different positions and talk throughout the game. It's actually really interesting. As you talk to these guys before games, throughout the games, the perspective that each of us have, and there's a lot of education on both sides, I'm always trying to learn, 'how are you looking to call the game? How are you officiating this game'? So we know how to properly coach our players. That's really all we're ever looking for. We turn in plays. We don't really do that a whole lot, but I never want to turn a play in to complain. I always want to turn a play in to say 'tell me exactly how you're officiating this. How are you calling this situation so we can better coach our players?' That's all we're looking for right there. But the interaction with the officials has been good. Look, these are good guys. They do a lot of have work for us. They do a tough job. But I've always had positive interactions with these guys throughout the games. You learn a lot of football from them, and we kind of talk back and forth and share ideas.
Q: How's Devonta Freeman doing and is there anyone else that came out of the game the other day with any injuries?
A: There's definitely some nicks and bumps. We expect everyone to be out there with us. Devonta will spend a little bit of time leading up to the walkthrough kind of moving around with the trainers and doing some actual physical activity. Other than that, it's just a true walkthrough out there. There really shouldn't be anybody who's limited in whatever we are going to ask them to do today. We will see Devonta with the trainers a little bit more moving around. Made a lot of progress. I'll check and see after this like I do every day with Ronnie (Barnes), and see where he's at today. The ability to get him on the grass and move him around kind of gives us a better window into where he may be going into Sunday.
Q: With Golden, was that something that you noticed during the game? There was a lot of raising his hands jumping up and down. What do you generally think about that, when a player does that during the game?
A: Specifically, I didn't notice a lot of that during the game time. I was locked into a lot of things. A lot of things happen during the game that come out afterwards for all players at all positions. Nothing specific this game that I noticed throughout the game.
Q: Just wanted to know if Oshane (Ximines) is any closer to getting back on the practice field for you guys? In terms of his injury and where he's at.
A: He's making a lot of progress. We're hoping to see him sooner than later. It won't be this week for him right now. He's making a lot of gains. I think the biggest balance with those guys is balancing with the trainers at what point can we put him out there and know he can properly defend himself and execute aggressively. He's been working with the trainers very hard. He's been getting some work in the weight room done and those have been positives. We've got Washington and Philly and a bye week coming up. Somewhere in that window hopefully we get him back.
Q: I don't know if you've had a chance to talk to Will Hernandez at all. Can you offer and update as to where he is right now in terms of the progress, recovery, how's he feeling? Do you guys anticipate having him back any time soon?
A: From the information I've been given from Ronnie, I know he's still on the COVID list. I haven't talked to Will in the last couple days. One thing about Will is he's a tough dude. He can have his arm hanging off by a limb and he would tell you he feels good and he's ready to roll. We're going to rely on the testing and the symptoms moving forward. I don't have any daily update today on Will and where he's at. Obviously, Ronnie is checking on his health on a daily basis. We have a close monitor on that. We have to keep him separate from the rest of our team to make sure we avoid any kind of spread.
Q: I'm not going to fool you with a broad question on a specific situation. In general, what is your philosophy when a player goes outside your 'team first' philosophy for the Giants. How do you handle that, how do you approach that?
A: I can kind of tie it in real simple and kind of answer a couple things. I know a lot of guys are probably looking at me wondering if I'm dancing around a lot of issues. First off, it has to be team first for everyone in this building. Every coach and every player has to be team first. There's no exceptions for that. I'm not going to tolerate and put up with any kind of selfish behavior from anybody, coach or player, it's not going to happen. Number two, there's no secret, I'm very general on a lot of things I talk about. I'm not very forthcoming with a lot of injuries because I don't like the expectations that puts on players. Not because I'm trying to always hide things from the bookmakers in Vegas. I don't want someone going ahead and putting something on a player that they want to be the stay-at-home doctor and tell us that someone's hamstring should only be four to six-week injury. When it goes seven weeks - they must not be tough or working hard enough. When it comes to discipline, I don't believe in holding trial on any one of my players or coaches for that matter, in the public eye. While that may be inconvenient a lot of times. Sure, fans who want to stay connected and I understand it's a tough job you guys all have in terms of there is information people want and want to be connected. I choose to deal with things internally because as a head coach it's my job to protect the team. It's my job to make sure we can handle things internally. That we have a family structure in this building. That everyone understands there are consequences for our actions. At the same time, I've got to be the one that can take bullets for the team and I'm fine with that. I've got to make sure I do the right things by all the players and the coaches. They can come to work, they can work aggressively. When we make a mistake, we can correct it and understand we don't always have to be the subject of public criticism. We bring that on ourselves enough already, that's just the nature of the business. We're an entertainment business, we understand that. The fans deserve a good product on the field. We want to always do something to give them what they deserve to see. It's very important to us that people in New York and New Jersey see something that represents them. On that note, I'm going to be very direct any time things like this come up. That I'm going to deal with things internally. You guys have dealt with me already on that. That's not by accident, I'm just being very forthcoming with you. I just don't want everyone having to go through the trial pf public opinion right now. We're all different, that's just my philosophy.
Q: You're confident based on your past experiences that will allow the team to move past this?
A: Every situation is obviously different. There's things you deal with internally that obviously the team reacts to differently. There's a lot of situations that come up but I'd rather us deal with it internally and be able to move forward as a team than have everyone else weigh in on a situation that they may not have all the details to the exact circumstance of what exactly happened. That's not an indictment on anyone trying to write a story. I know everyone on here has a very tough job to do. You guys are demanded to come up with something different on a daily basis with limited information. I know I'm not always the most generous when it comes to giving details of things that help you with that. I appreciate the hard work you do. I don't try to be deceptive, but I am very direct in letting everyone know that I'm not going to put my players on blast publicly. I will criticize them very openly and bluntly in squad meetings. I'm going to hold everybody accountable, that starts with myself. I'm the first one to tell everybody when I screw up because I demand every player to look in the mirror and have the same criticism of themselves. We're never going to look at each other and say that wasn't your fault, sometimes it is your fault and sometimes it's my fault. We're going to very open and honest with each other. We've got to correct what happens and move forward without it becoming a distraction that pulls us back throughout the year. With external factors affecting our guys internally. That's why I do what I do, that's my philosophy. Right, wrong, or indifferent, that's just what I believe in.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q: I know I asked you after the game about Golden (Tate), but obviously, a lot has happened since then. Did you take personally any of his 'throw me the ball' comments or anything that his wife posted on Twitter yesterday about him not being targeted when he's open? Did you take that as criticism of you?
A: No. I have a ton of respect for Golden. He's a close friend, a close teammate. He's made a lot of plays over these last couple of years, and I certainly have a lot of trust in him as a player. I certainly value our relationship, respect him. My job is to distribute the ball to our playmakers and let them make plays. He's a great player and we'll keep trying to get him the ball.
Q: Did you guys have to clear the air or anything, or you don't even address it?
A: We communicated, we talked. But that's between me and him. Like I said, I have a ton of respect for him.
Q: How do you block out the noise? How do you deal with the criticism as you prepare for this next ball game?
A: I certainly don't look for it. I'm concerned with the people in this building. My teammates, my coaches, the people I work with on a day to day basis, and that's where I'm going to find the constructive criticism I need to improve and keep moving forward. That's my focus. My focus is to prepare every week to play as well as I can. I'm going to do that with the people in this building, coaches and teammates. That's part of the job.
Q: You obviously want to succeed, you want to win, you want to make plays. Is it simply a hard thing for you to accept at times that a play is over with and you just need to live for the next one?
A: I certainly think that's part of it. I need to do a better job understanding when the play is over, when it's not there and when the best outcome is to throw it away or in some cases to take a sack. I think in certain situations like that, I can certainly improve. I'll continue to work on it.
Q: When you looked at the plays from the game, was that the determining factor in those interceptions in your mind?
A: Yeah, I think so. I think both of those plays were decisions to try to make something happen that wasn't there. I have to continue to look at that and apply that to games and to those situations.
Q: Why do you think it's been such a struggle to find that line? To find where that boundary is between those two things, between being aggressive and being too aggressive sometimes?
A: I don't know. All of us want to make plays and we want to do the right thing. We want to put our team in a position to win. But on those split moment decisions, you have to be able to understand the bigger picture and how each of those plays factor into the game overall. Like I said, the best decision on that play is sometimes to get rid of the ball or minimize the risk of a bad play.
Q: You did exactly that on the final drive. You threw one away in sort of a duress situation. Were those earlier plays on your mind when you made that play? Obviously, it happens very quickly. But was that a lesson learned there?
A: Yeah, I think that was a part of it. I have to continue to do it, continue to focus on it and make sure I emphasize that in my preparation.
Q: We've kind of spoken about these kinds of things before, pretty much the same kind of mistakes and saying the same things. I'm wondering, do you try and alter some of the things you're doing to try and pound it in your head, or is it just sort of memory repetition where you want to just keep saying the same thing over and over again to yourself to try and make sure that the next time, the same mistake doesn't happen again?
A: I think there are certainly things you can change in the way you prepare and what you do on the practice field. There are certain drills and certain instances even in team situations that you can approach differently. Keeping that in mind and applying it in all situations I think is kind of the thing. Yeah, I'll continue to focus on it, continue to apply it to different situations and find new and different ways to work on it.
Q: As a team leader with the Golden situation, is that something you feel like needs to be addressed with the group as a whole?
A: The way we handle that will be internal. We'll deal with it as we need to. Like I said, we all have a ton of respect for Golden. He's a great teammate and a great player. I look forward to getting him back.
Defensive Back Logan Ryan
Q: Can you describe the growth of this defense and where do you think it can go in terms of it's potential?
A: How about that Rutgers play? How do they dare turn that Rutgers 20 lateral play back? I'm proud of our defense although this is a cut and dry win or loss league. I think we're definitely growing. I think we saw that on Monday Night. I think we gave the goat some issues there. We're a bunch of tough guys who fight regardless of our record. I'm giving it everything I got every play; I know our team is playing like that. We're becoming a tough out for people and we're going to find ways to win games. I'm extremely confident in that because we're going to continue to work on our fundamentals, continue to build. I don't know the potential, we'll see. I like where we're at on all three levels. I think guys are stepping up and guys are making more and more plays. We just have to make game winning plays.
Q: Obviously we have talked about it, you guys change up the game plan week to week based on the opponent. I'm just curious, on short week, is there any advantage to facing his team for a second time? Knowing that it was only a couple weeks that you prepared for Washington? What they did, who they were, all their personnel, from a defensive perspective?
A: Yeah, I think so. Playing an opponent once, you definitely get a feel for them, but they got a feel for you too. Any advantage we have is the same one they have. They know us, we know them. We had some problem plays in the first game that we have to address. They can come out and ran some of those plays which is what we anticipate some of the plays that may give us problems. Or they can come out and do something different, we don't know. We just have to get a good idea of their personnel. We got a jump on that from playing them. We know 17 [Terry McLaurin] is really good, we know their running backs are really good. We know their tight end had a pretty good day, so we have to address that. We have to continue to stop the run. We know they are relying on their run game. We were good at stopping the run a little bit on Monday night pretty well. We have to continue to grow in that area. I think we're a much-improved team from when we played them a few weeks ago. I think they improved too, they looked really good against Dallas. I think it helps on the preparation a little bit, but it all comes down to execution on Sundays.
Q: You're a guy that has a similar football background to [Head Coach] Joe [Judge]. You have the rings to prove his way of doing things works. When you have a veteran though, I'm talking about Golden [Tate] obviously, who seems to be adjusting to that philosophy. How does a team handle it? How have you seen teams in the past handle this kind of a situation and get through it?
A: Honestly, I'm not educated enough on the question. I had no idea what was going on until they prepped me two minutes before this interview, what happened today. I had a short week as well, resting my body up recovering, getting on to Washington. I honestly think that's definitely a question for Joe which I'm sure he addressed. I think it's a question for Golden if you get a hold of him. I honestly think I'm not educated enough to speak on that one. I like to speak on a lot of things but that one I just don't know enough about what's going on currently.
Q: How are you feeling?
A: Pretty good, feeling good. Definitely left a lot out there in the game trying to tackle the right way. I think I took the brunt of that one, how the NFL wants me to tackle. Hopefully it's on teach tape for somebody one day, I paid the price for it a little bit. Feeling good, back out there at practice today.
Q: You were on the injury report, so you don't think there is any doubt about you playing this week right?
A: If you're a gambling man, I would put it on me to play this week.
Q: You played obviously a bunch of places where they have kind of have the same defense, the same concepts. The other night we saw it was really multiple. There was a lot of different looks, a lot of stuff. Is what you're doing here the same, less, more maybe than what you were doing in Tennessee or what you were doing in New England?
A: That's a good question. They're all defenses that are willing to change for sure. Tennessee, we didn't have as good of a defensive line so we had to find more ways to create pressure with bringing secondary pressure a little bit more than we do here. We have a really good D-line so we don't have to. That's something we had to do out of necessity. New England was more of drop a lot of guys, play a lot more man coverage than we play here, but we like how we play in zone right now. They're all multiple though to answer your question. They're all really good defensive coordinators and defensive minds. [Bill] Belichick, Dean Pees and I think Pat Graham is a really good defensive mind honestly, he's really good. I told you guys weeks ago we're really multiple, we're really versatile. We're trying to give quarterbacks a hard time. I just think we're starting to execute his vision a little bit better. I really like this defense. It challenges me every week to play somewhere else or learn something new. Playing the post against Tom Brady, a year ago I never played it. I got to play Monday in the post against Tom Brady and try to mind game with him every play I could. Try to give him a hard time. He told me I did, but he still won so it wasn't good enough. We'll take the improvement and try to give Kyle Allen a hard time.
Q: Speaking of Rutgers and referees. Did you go up to Nate [Jones] after the game and say how did you pick that up?
A: I didn't know Nate on a first name basis like Joe. I'm not going to get fined in this press conference on this question. We see defensive pass interference a lot in this game. I just don't see it picked up often. Obviously, they picked it up on my hit, so I guess they do pick it up sometimes. That's just one they decided to pick up. You don't see it too often, it's rare. I don't know if the time or score had something to do with it. I really don't know. I don't want the job of a referee, it's a tough job. I'll leave it there, but you just don't see that happen too often. A DB got a call for once.
Q: Nate was a little bit before you at Rutgers right?
A: Yeah, I believe so.
Q: I don't know if you're going to remember, a few years back in the New England locker room, you told me about the marshmallows in the bowl. I think that was a Belichick special to motivate, you guys are soft as marshmallows, that kind of thing. I'm just wondering, if you didn't know Joe Judge came from coaching under Bill Belichick, would you somehow still know? Are there some tells in his coaching philosophy that you would say to yourself 'that reminds me of New England'?
A: I think the situational football. The amount of detail spent on tackling and situational football is just unique to I guess Belichick, and that's all I know. I've always been under a Belichick type of coach, tree coach. I don't want to discredit Joe or anybody and say they're just that type of coach. I just think talking to guys on other teams, they don't focus on tackling as much as we do. They don't focus on the situations. I really know in two minute, how many timeouts they have, where they need to get, do they need to get out of bounds or in bounds? How long does it take them to run a play and clock it? Probably 17 seconds. How long does it take them to catch it and call a timeout? Probably six seconds. That's telling me how to tell our DBs how to play. That's trying to be a coach on the field, and I really learned that from Devin McCourty doing that a lot in New England. That was his job. That was all our jobs to know, but Devin was really vocal about that. I think that's just the role that I've kind of inherited here, is a lot like Devin, who is one of my best friends, of being very vocal on the field in the situations. That comes as an extension of Joe and an extension of Bill. I just want to talk about something I don't think people really much know about Joe and this organization. I know we talk a lot about wins and losses. I don't want to take up too much of people's time. But after the game, my wife flew down to Florida to go vote, a very important state for this vote. My wife actually flew down there to go vote and check on our house. We have a house in Florida. She was having some stomach pains. It was 1 am and I was banged up after the game as well, and I was leaving the stadium at 1 am. She was telling me about some pain she had in her stomach. She wanted to sleep it off. She was in extreme pain, but she said she'll wait until the morning. I talked to one of our trainers about the symptoms. He said 'no, she needs to go to the ER.' My wife ended up going to the ER, and they ended up catching, I don't want to butcher the word, ectopic pregnancy, where the egg was in the wrong place in her fallopian tube and it was about to burst. She ended up going into emergency surgery, that's what I'm dealing with right now. They ended up saving her and ended up preventing a lot of what could have been done. That was a trainer on our team, Justin Maher, telling my wife to go to the ER at 1 am and could have saved her life or saved a lot of internal bleeding there. That's the type of organization we have here. Honestly, I wasn't going to talk about that. My kids are okay, my wife is recovering well, she's okay. This happened all of yesterday, and Joe said 'if you need to fly to Florida, don't worry about football.' That's who Joe is as a man and as a coach. I know we care about X's and O's and winning and losing, but there are really good people here. That's why I came here. There are really good trainers here, there are really a lot of people behind the scenes that are working really hard for us to get wins. I'll do everything I can to play for a coach like that and play for an organization like this because if that wasn't the case, I don't know if my wife would be here today. Honestly, I'm extremely grateful for this organization and for Joe, and for everyone to understand that there are things bigger than football, especially this year.
View rare photos of the all-time series between the New York Giants and the Washington Football Team.