Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: Good team win. That's a well-coached football team, they play very hard, they do a lot of things, they pose a lot of issues. It was a week that we had to do a lot of prep as a team to account for a lot of things they have both personnel and scheme-wise. I'm pleased with the team effort. I'm pleased with how the coaches came together this week and worked on the plan, got the players prepared. We made a lot of plays down the stretch in all three phases. These are things that really carry over for us. Obviously, there are some weapons on that team that are going to be productive regardless of what you do. You've got to play through the storm a little bit, so a lot of credit to those guys in terms of how they play. We'll see them in a few weeks and we've got some things to look at on tape to, obviously, make sure we keep moving in the right direction as a team. With that said, I'll open up to any questions you have.
Q: How did it go with (Senior Offensive Assistant) Freddie (Kitchens) calling the plays?
A: I was pleased with the way the offensive coaches worked throughout the week. I was pleased with how they communicated on the sideline, made some adjustments. Obviously, there are some things that we've got to go ahead and continue to do better, and make sure we have avenues for plays to put ourselves in a position to be more productive in some areas. But I was pleased with some of the adjustments down the stretch. It was a very productive drive we had in the fourth quarter, got the ball back, took a lot of time off it, ended up with points, put us in position to make it a touchdown game. That's critical within this situation here. I was pleased with how those guys all worked together throughout the week, got those players prepared. I was very pleased with how those guys all worked together throughout the week, got the players prepared. I was very pleased with how the players responded throughout the week in terms of working and then performing today as a team.
Q: This defense forced four turnovers today. I know sometimes those things come in bunches. What was different and what worked so well for you guys?
A: I think with the defense, the point we made this week was just about team defense. That sounds generic, we say that a lot, 'team defense.' When you play a defense like this and you look at the offense in terms of how they make a lot of plays and they've been so productive with the run game specifically in the last few weeks, and what really leads to those runs being so productive. A lot of times, it's that they do a good job coming off the ball, so don't take this the wrong way, but they do a really good job more so than just knocking you off the ball of getting you out of lanes, getting you misfits, getting the edge, getting you out of the C gap, whatever it may be. They really go ahead and they pose a threat and they pose issues with how that quarterback can run. One thing he does a really, really good job of is he holds that thing at that mesh point for a long time and that really forces the read and forces you to declare as a defense how you're going to play. This guy does a really good job of running this offense in terms of taking what you give him. You can see that in every game and you can see that today, as well. He's very productive with his legs and he knows how to extend plays. Really, those quarterback runs, those designed runs, he does a really good job of. When we talk about the defense preparing this week, it's all about assignment football. It's all about kind of playing your job, playing your role and trusting everyone. This isn't like playing Georgia Tech – not anymore – but this isn't like playing triple option teams, where you're facing those kinds of schemes, but it's similar in terms of you've got to play that assignment defense against this team and understand how all the pieces fit and who has each responsibility and trust the guys to make the plays. Thought our linebackers as a whole did a good job of tackling in space, thought there were opportunities that we got after them in the pass game, put some pressure on, that was a bonus. But in terms of the run game, thought the tackling overall was good. There are some things that we have to correct, there are some things in the open-field – we had bad entry, we've got to keep our feet moving into contact, keep our eyes up, wrap and get them on the ground – but I thought overall one of the biggest focuses we had this week was tackling. It was a shorter week, so we didn't have a padded practice where we went out there and went live and popped pads, so that's something you've got to get and simulate in different ways, but the open-field work is critical in preparing for a team like this and a player like him where you've really got to be good and disciplined in space to play with your feet moving, the right entry, the right leverage and finish the tackle. I thought overall as a team, that was good. Obviously, there were some where he made us miss and we've got to keep improving. We don't want to have any missed tackles, but you've got to minimize them against a team like this.
Q: One of the things that you guys did is you picked him off three times when he'd thrown five all year. Was it pressure or what?
A: It's always a combination of everything. It's always a combination of, number one, can you stop them and put them in a position where they have to throw. Then when they do throw, can you get enough pressure on that? Even if it's not directly on that play, does that accumulate throughout the game, that they feel that pressure in their head and that internal clock running. Then, it comes down to playing assignment football on the backend as well, with (Safety) Xavier (McKinney) and those guys in terms of breaking and making the interceptions. Obviously, (Linebacker) Tae (Crowder) had one at the end of the half, but it's just being in the right place at the right time and playing with good discipline. If it's man, you've got to play your leverage, you've got to look through your man. If it's zone, you've got to get the right depth, right zone, you've got to make sure that you've keying the quarterback and you're moving the right way. You've got to play your assignment. Really as a whole, the plays come to you. When you play your assignment, play with the right technique, right discipline, you play flying around to the ball.
Q: Can you talk about the development of Xavier and (Safety) Julian Love?
A: I think both guys really just make constant improvement. Zay is a guy that last year, obviously, missed a significant amount of development time with being hurt and you saw him last year improve every week. He's a guy that this year has continuously gotten better. Part of the thing with the defense early on is you've got to put the right guys in the right places. You find out how to use your guys best to be most productive. One thing we've really found with him is this guy can do a lot of things close to the line of scrimmage. He can cover man, he can play underneath as a robber, he does all those things very well. The one thing he really does exceptionally well is playing the deep part of the field. That's where he's made a lot of plays right now. He plays with very good vision, very good instincts. He's very intelligent. He understands what he's seen earlier in that game as well as on tape to kind of go ahead and calculate the formation along with the personnel and how they're using it, what they're going to get to. He plays with good discipline on the backend of the field. He's made a lot of plays by sitting back there, letting the play develop and then he, obviously, has the skillset physically to make those breaks and finish with those catches.
Q: You had a lot of moving parts in the second half. Can you talk about some of those guys that had to step in?
A: We lost a couple of guys, obviously, with getting injured, so we'll check on them and see where they're at. I know right now they're both getting looked at by the medical team. In terms of the next guy coming up, that's why we practice and prepare everybody. We talk about it all the time, whoever's in the game has to be productive and produce. (Cornerback Aaron Robinson) A-Rob is a guy who's similar in a lot of ways to what Xavier dealt with last year, as we just talked about, in terms of he missed a lot of time in development because of the injury situation and he's improved every week. This guy has a really good skillset, he's very instinctive, this guy plays physical. But what you see week after week is for these young guys especially is they have to understand how to really make sure they play with the right technique and discipline in these matchups because the reality is everyone they're ever going to cover in this league is a good athlete. Everyone has a skillset, that's why they're here, so you've also got to play with the right fundamentals and discipline. He's really improved on that aspect of it right there. Obviously, he's very aggressive at the point of attack with the ball coming as far as making breakups or getting a hand on the ball. I like the way this guy works. He's not shy, but he's got a quiet demeanor to him. The guys know he's always listening, but he's a very good communicator at the same time, which is kind of ironic to say that he's quiet but a good communicator. Think the thing he does best in communicating though is he listens. He listens and he listens to the install, he listens to the coaching points and he learns from other peoples' mistakes.
Q: Coverage-wise, you guys have done it before, but putting (Cornerback James) Bradberry on (Eagles Wide Receiver) DeVonta Smith. It seems to kind of work in what your game plan was and how the other guys could play their assignments. Was that kind of the plan going in to press him with Bradberry?
A: That was part of it and then there were also some adjustments within the game. In this game plan, there was playing in terms of just matching up based on alignment, as well as matching based on personnel. I think James has done a good job. He's a guy that works extremely hard for us. He's a really good leader for us. His style, he's a leader by example. He's not afraid to put his arm around a guy and challenge him. James really comes to work every day and there are a lot of things that people don't know about James, in terms of days he comes in there and maybe we have a plan with the medical team of we have to pull off this guy today, today we've got to get this guy a little bit of extra rest. Next thing, you look out there and there's 24 in one-on-ones and you kind of tell him, 'Hey James, we can back you down a little bit right here,' and he'll say, 'Nope, they're out here working. I want to get out here, too. I don't want to be the guy standing around watching.' You really appreciate and respect the guy who does that, you respect the way he works and, obviously, he's a productive player for a lot of reasons. To me, he's very productive because of how he works in practice and carries it over to the game. That number 6 (DeVonta Smith), he's a heck of a player. He's a guy when you play against, you've got to know where he's at because you know the quarterback knows where he's at. He's a guy who can make plays going down the field and he can really challenge your guys. He's an explosive player. Like I said earlier in the week, this guy is everything everyone thought he could be coming out. He is one of the top players at his position in the league. That's a lot to say now at a young age, but this guy is really a special type of player. We're obviously going to see him a whole lot, so next time we see him I'm sure they're going to have a different plan and find a way to match us up and create ways to get him open. We've got to keep improving with our techniques as a team and put them in a position to be successful.
Q: The ceremony at halftime with (Michael) Strahan – I know you're not seeing it, but does the team feel that? Did this team feel the presence of Strahan, especially in a game like this where the defense did carry?
A: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely, and we talked about it earlier in the week in terms of what's going on logistically at the game. They come out for halftime stuff, but with a guy like Strahan being honored – we're always big on the history of the organization. We talk about the area, the people we represent and the history of the organization, who came before us in terms of who we represent. When you've got a guy being honored like that, you don't want to go out there and lay an egg. Let's just be honest with what it is, you don't ever want to do that, but you don't want to go out there – Michael Strahan is out there being honored for the great player that he was and what he did for this team – you don't want to go out there and lay an egg, especially defensively. Those guys are conscious of it. I'll let him talk for himself, but (Defensive Lineman) Leonard (Williams) said to me coming out after halftime, he goes, 'It's good to see Strahan out here.' They're very, very conscious of that. They're very conscious of the people who came before us, very conscious of the players that made an impact on this team over the years. The only pictures we have in the building are of former players. We've got the Boroughs, we've got the area of North Jersey, we've got the areas so everyone is alert and aware of who we represent, to know the areas, and then we've got pictures of former players. That's all we've got. We don't need a bunch of motivational sayings and all that type of stuff. All we need is who and where, that's all that's important.
Q: How much of an emphasis did you put on trying to get the ball to some of your playmakers in space? Saw you guys try to get the ball really to (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) in certain spots, (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley), even (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) early getting him out in space to make some plays. How much was that an emphasis throughout the week?
A: That was the emphasis. That was the emphasis, period. I explained earlier in terms of just how I see the game and I see the game through players. That's just the way I see the game. To me, it's important that we make sure that we're involving all of our guys. Sometimes we were able to put them in positions today to make plays. Thought Kenny made some huge catches for us down the stretch. He's obviously an issue in the red area. There were two opportunities to get the ball to him in the end zone. Obviously, not going to sit here and talk about anything that happened within the game, but obviously it's something that drew a lot of attention to it. It's all about players, that's it. It's what we do our job for. It's about the players. We want to put them in a position to make plays, give them a chance to be successful. In terms of the plan, there's not going to be a secret. The reality is we're going to always look for a way to get the ball to our players, that's it.
Q: You were asked about the operation. What did you think about the actual play calling and the way that Freddie went about it, the rhythm to it?
A: I thought all of those guys working together did a really good job of talking through the series, making some necessary adjustments. Not every play was perfect. There are a lot of things we're going to have to go back and make sure we correct, and keep pushing forward and working with, looking at what worked, what didn't and how we can improve on that. However, in terms of how those guys working together operationally with it, I was very pleased with it. I was very pleased with it.
Q: The last time you had the ball on the third-and-10, Daniel ends up rolling out and sliding. Is the idea there only throw it if a guy is wide open or do you have to be aggressive there to try to get the first down and run out the clock?
A: They're going to use their last timeout right there, so we don't want to give them a freebie and then all of a sudden give them a drive with a timeout. That's part of it right there. I don't think that's any kind of trade secret. I think everyone operationally within coaching kind of understands what you're doing there. There are times we can drop straight back, sit in the pocket and zing it down the field and we have confidence in doing that if you have the right matchup and if you have the right situation. For us today, we had a lot of confidence in terms of how our defense was playing. I'm a big believer in situationally managing the game. I thought it was big for us there that if we're going to give them the ball back, we're going to make them play rushed.
Q: Was it frustrating to hold the ball for only 23 seconds on that drive after Julian Love's fumble recovery at the end?
A: In four-minute football, which is the situation you want to run the clock out, hopefully you want to finish with the ball in your hand, but you talk about all the situations. You talk about the second we get the ball back, the first person I go to is Freddie. I talk to him and (Tight Ends Coach Derek Dooley) Dools and (Quarterbacks Coach) Jerry (Schulpinski) and (Wide Receivers Coach) Tyke (Tolbert) and all those guys on the headset, and we're all talking about what we're thinking. But we've had these conversations throughout the week, so when we called those plays today, that's not the first time we've talked about what we're going to call. We talk about four-minute offense on Thursday night. We talk about it on Friday. We talk about it at the Saturday coordinators' meeting. We talked about it in my office in the stadium today in terms of four-minute, two-minute, what're we thinking here. And then you get to the game and you say, 'Okay, four-minute is coming up, what are we thinking?' After I hit them with, 'Here's the flow of first, second, third down and what we have to start thinking about,' then I go right to (Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey) T-Mac and (Assistant Special Teams Coach) Tom (Quinn) and I start talking about, 'Okay, let's talk about the situations coming up.' If we don't finish this right here, it's a got-to-have-it punt situation. What're we expecting? Probably a rush, which is what we got. How are we going to handle this right here? How are we going to handle this situation? Then, I go to (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator) Pat (Graham) and it's like, 'Alright Pat, let's just be ready right now to play defense against a two-minute drill where they need a touchdown with no timeouts.' So, that's the situation right there and you lay it down and you play it. Before that, there are other situations that come up, as well. You've got to talk through all the things that are coming up. I want all the coaches always thinking through processes and talking about it to players. I don't want the players surprised, so when it's third down and we're on offense, that punt team better be ready on the sideline because Tom and T-Mac I've talked to about 'Here's the situation, here's how we're going to address it. What're we expecting to get based on the history and tendencies of the coordinator and based on the players they have? Is this more of a rush or return type of philosophy here? How are they going to handle it? And then how do we handle it and coordinate it, as well?' Defensively, you've got start talking about, 'Look guys, third down is coming up.' I know what the offense is going to do, I know what the call is going to be because I hear it getting buzzed in. You start hearing Pat, 'Okay guys, here's what you're looking at scenario-wise. The ball could be here. The ball could be on this hash based on the direction we're going.' Let's start thinking about how they're going to call this game and what they're going to do. So, you always want to try and play ahead as much as you can.
Q: The only touchdown you scored was by a guy who had not had a reception in the NFL. That's a play you have to your tight ends, right? You just put the next guy in there so he gets that play?
A: We knew he was going to be the guy in there all week, so this wasn't a situation where (Tight End Chris) Myarick just by happenstance was in there. That was a play designed for a couple different reads and he ended up being involved in it, and did a good job making it right there.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q: How did you feel like things went with (Senior Offensive Assistant) Freddie (Kitchens) calling plays this week?
A: I thought they went good. I think communication was good today and I know it was a collaborative effort with all the coaches on offense. We worked together throughout the week and kind of put the plan together. Everything went well.
Q: What was the biggest challenge on such a short week to have you guys get together? Was it the communication or was it everyone getting on the same page?
A: I thought overall the communication was pretty good. I think it was just getting a feel for their defense and what we liked against it. I think just kind of the planning process and going through the week, going through practice, kind of narrowing down the game plan. Just kind of that process of figuring out what you're going to call in the game, I think, was good and pretty smooth, but I'd say that was kind of the thing we adjusted to well this week.
Q: The offense gets the ball back after the fumble late in the game. Any frustrations you guys couldn't close it out there? What was the play on third down?
A: Yeah, I mean, obviously, you want to be able to close those situations out and we've got to do better in that situation to do that. We'll look at it and look to improve on that going forward. I think the play there was just to move the pocket. In that situation you don't want to throw an incompletion. So, try to stay in bounds and keep the ball.
Q: How much did it help that the defense was playing lights out?
A: I think that was huge. I think 'helps' is an understatement. They played great all day and came up big for us.
Q: Freddie was the one in your ear, right?
A: He was, yeah.
Q: How odd was it wearing a wristband? Was that the first time you've ever worn one?
A: Yeah, it was the first time I've done it, but I thought it went well. Something we practiced throughout the week and got used to over the course of the week. It went well and thought the communication was good.
Q: Did you actually find yourself needing to refer to it often?
A: Well, the way we were calling it, the way we were calling it in, yeah, we used it a good bit.
Q: Do you guys think you'll go with that system going forward with the calling it in, looking at it and that's the play?
A: I'm not sure. I think it worked well today, there's no issues with it. We'll keep working through it.
Q: There's been a lot of talk this week of getting the ball to the playmakers. Your only touchdown was scored by a guy who had no NFL receptions and who would probably not be in that group of playmakers at the start of the week. What did you see on that play that gave you the confidence to throw it to him?
A: Yeah, that's a play we've repped a lot in practice. (Tight End Chris) Myarick did a great job stepping in and making a play there. I think certain situations, the ball on the one-yard line, it's kind of those types of plays that you prepare for and count on. I thought guys from that other group stepped up and made plays throughout the day. (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) came up big on that drive in the fourth quarter and a couple other guys stepped up to make plays. We'll keep working on it, keep working on getting those guys the ball.
Q: After the touchdown pass, you went to the sidelines and you had a moment with Freddie celebrating that moment. Was that something?
A: Yeah, I think we were just talking through the drive and obviously what happened on the play there and talking about what we were going to do going forward. That's kind of the process and I thought the communication was good with all the coaches on the sideline today.
Q: Did (Tackle) Andrew Thomas tell you that he was open on any plays today?
A: (Laughs) No, I think they were doubling him. They had a safety over the top for Drew there. Yeah, no it was good to execute that play and a big play for him.
Q: Is it challenging this week to respond well to such a drastic change?
A: I think we did a good job kind of as a group and all the coaches kind of together coming up with the plan and understanding what exactly we were going to do going into this game. I thought from a player's standpoint, we handled it well, that communication and getting on the same page, getting everyone together. From a coaching standpoint, I thought they did a good job. They did a good job coming together with that plan and getting it to us.
Q: How much different did it seem from a schematic perspective?
A: I think there were a couple different things here and there. I think the verbiage of what we were doing and a lot of it was stuff we practiced a lot and carried. A couple wrinkles here and there as we planned it. We'll continue to work and continue to work through that stuff going forward.
Q: It was a tough week for you emotionally with (Former Offensive Coordinator) Jason (Garrett). Was there anything that he said or anyone said that helped you get through it? What is your takeaway from experiencing this week and coming out of it?
A: I think the biggest thing this week was focusing on what we were doing in that moment and controlling kind of our response and preparing each day, focusing on that day to make sure we were prepared for that. That was kind of my focus in responding and controlling the moment, controlling what I was doing, what we were doing as a team at that particular time. That was going to give us the best chance to be successful. I thought we did that as a group well.
Q: The thing that didn't change was in the red zone, you guys were inside the 30, not just the 20 and kept settling for field goals. Why do you think the offense stalls in there?
A: We've just got to make plays. The same thing I've said before when we've gotten those questions. I think we've got to make plays and it comes down to players in those situations. We've got to give guys chances and we'll look to do that.
Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: (Tight End) Chris (Myarick) was saying you grabbed his touchdown ball for him.
A: Yeah. I was first telling him to spike that, but it was a big play. We've got to continue to get creative and find ways to get in the end zone. Obviously, can't be satisfied with 13 points, but happy for him.
Q: What were some of the things that (Senior Offensive Assistant) Freddie Kitchens did that were a little different?
A: First of all, all the offensive coaches did a great job collectively, but there was a lot of stuff that was carried over, like I said on Friday. In Week 12 or Week 13, there's not really much more you can add and switch up. The terminology is the same, so obviously we had a few new wrinkles in there, but we did a better job right there on that possession to find a way to get in the end zone.
Q: That 30-something-yard run you had off to the left, was that important to you to show yourself that you can do that physically in a game again coming off the injury?
A: I know I can do it. I already know I can do it. A win is a win, but I know I'm going to continue to get better and better each week and each day. Continue to trust myself, trust my body, but I know it's not like – what's the Space Jam monster's name – it's not like something came and just took everything away from him. I've still got it. I've just got to do it more. I've got to be more productive in the run game for us. We've got to be more productive in the run game as a whole. Just on the other side of the ball, obviously we got the win, but can't be satisfied with 13 points. We've got a really good defense, everyone knows that, so we've got to do a better job on our side of the ball of finishing and scoring points. We're going to continue to do that. We're going to take that upon ourselves and get better.
Q: (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) said the emphasis throughout this week was with players 'We're going to get you guys, the playmakers, the ball in space. That's what their job is to do.' What does that mean for you as a player knowing that that's what they're going to focus on here in the latter part of the season?
A: It means a lot as a player, especially when your head coach is coming out saying that. It makes you be like, 'I've got to take accountability and make the plays.' I think collectively they did a really good job today of calling the game. Like I said against Tampa, it's easy to point the finger, but we've got to point the thumb. As players, we made some plays here and there, made some key plays on drives, but we've got to have a sense of urgency when we're driving and find a way to get in the end zone, and try to put it in our hands and don't rely on the defense to finish a game for us.
Q: Were you guys disappointed as an offense that you couldn't finish on that last drive?
A: Yes, definitely. Obviously, it was third-and-two. I'm not pointing fingers at nobody or nothing. As a whole, we've got to do better. We have to have a sense of urgency there. That's something that we've got to continue to preach, continue to focus on and it starts this week, it starts when we come in, when we get the game plan. Just look each other in the eyes and get better every single day. Obviously, those things happened before and they happen, but you've got to learn from it. Just got to take it and roll with it. The great thing is it's a team sport and our defense and special teams came alive. At the end of the day, we got a win and, obviously, beat Philly, so there's a lot more to it.
Q: Do you think as an offense you could've been more aggressive on that last series? Obviously, you're trying to get them to use their timeouts, but you guys lost yards there.
A: No. At the end of the day, I don't think people fully realize that – and I'm not coming at you guys or fans or anything, I'm just saying – that this is the NFL. They know that if we're lining up and we're probably going to run the ball here, they're going to load the box. They did a really good job of penetrating. We have to do a better job of that as a whole, as a team, especially when a loaded box is coming and they're bringing pressure. They take a risk there. If we block it off and we block it off right, there's a chance it could be a big play. But they made a play there. We had another play where they were aggressive, we read it right and they made another big play. We've just got to be better. I don't think we've got to be more aggressive. If we call the play that we call and they bring the pressure here, we block it off and we cut it off and they stunt wrong, and I gash it 80, 90 yards, everyone would say, 'Oh, that's an amazing play call.' We can't go too far into it. I think as a whole, all the coaches did a great job collectively, especially this week with (Jason Garrett) JG losing his job, of doing a great job of keeping us together and getting better this week.
Q: What's your feeling walking off the field there? What was your mindset knowing your defense had to go win it again?
A: We know the defense is going to do it. We have one of the best defenses in the league. Special players. We have some young guys stepping up and making big plays – (Cornerback Darnay Holmes) Nay, (Cornerback Aaron Robinson) A-Rob, (Safety Xavier McKinney) Zay, who's a superstar who's only going to get better throughout this league. Were we upset? Yes, and I think that's a good thing. I haven't seen that, I guess you could say, in the past. We had a mistake right there where we put ourselves in a position where we had to rely on our defense. It wasn't just only me, it wasn't just only (Tight End) Evan (Engram). It was us a whole as an offense. We were really upset and frustrated with ourselves because we know what we have and we know what we're capable of, and we've just got to get back to practice this week, get better and show it next week.
Safety Xavier McKinney
A: It's good we got the win, man, that was a good one. We went out there, we executed, we got the job done, played really good defense, we played well as a team and we won the game.
Q: Obviously you guys were shorthanded in the secondary today—(Giants FS) Logan (Ryan) and (Giants RCB) Darnay (Holmes) went out and (Giants RCB) Adoree' (Jackson) goes out, so what do you think you guys learned about yourselves as a group in the secondary?
A: Just next man up mentality, making sure that everybody is prepared and ready. You know that is something that we emphasize in practice, making sure that everybody is getting reps, everybody knows what they're doing, and you know there was times like when it didn't happen when the switches were made, we just had to communicate with each other off the field just to make sure everybody knew exactly what they were doing on what call, so I feel like we did that. We played well. We didn't miss a beat, which was a really good thing for our unit.
Q: You've had interceptions in two of your last three games and three interceptions over that span. What's changed for you or started to click for you over the last month or so?
A: Just being aggressive on the ball. Trying to make plays for my team. I'm trying to be a game changer for my team so we're able to win games. So that's been my biggest thing, just trusting what I see and going and getting it so that's what I've been doing and obviously I've still got a lot of things I've got to practice and work on, which I do every day, so I keep doing that and improving and helping us win.
Q: You know this quarterback (Eagles QB Jalen Hurts) obviously better than anybody as you've been a teammate of his. Was the goal to try to make him use his arm instead of his legs?
A: Well, I mean he's a great quarterback. Obviously, like you said, I played him many times before, at least practiced against him, so I was familiar with how he plays. But he's a—even if you have him in the pocket, he's still a great quarterback. He can throw with his arm, he can go with his legs, so we knew that, so like I said before during the week, it was going to be a challenge today like it was, but we made those turnovers and got those turnovers that we needed and they helped us out a lot at the end.
Q: Can you take us to the last play—what you saw when the ball was going toward the goal line?
A: Oh man. Yeah, I saw him, I figured we pretty much had everybody capped. Everybody was pretty much covered, and then once I saw him scramble I tried to get back as far as I could and when he was throwing it, I was just hoping that it was going to be overthrown or tipped, but A-Rob (Giants LCB Aaron Robinson)—was it A-Rob on that play, I think? Yeah, A-Rob made the play and you know it was great. We played great defense, so I was happy that they dropped it, but that's what I saw.
Q: The Giants retired the number of one of their greatest defensive players (Michael Strahan). Did it mean anything to you guys to come up big on defense?
A: Of course. Yeah, of course, anytime something like this happens on a day like this, obviously we want to make the players that played before us and built the foundation before us, we want to make them proud, which is how we play, how we go out there and fight every down throughout the entire game, so that definitely, there was something that we saw and we wanted to go out there and dominate.
Q: Did you ever have an opportunity to meet him, Michael (Strahan)?
A: No, actually, I haven't. Yeah, I haven't.
Q: [Inaudible in reference to Auburn-Alabama college football game yesterday] Do you have bragging rights over (Darius) Slayton?
A: It was a close one. I was glad that we pulled it out. A lot of big plays that we made but we definitely got some bragging rights. I tried to bet him, but he was scared (laughs). But I was glad that we won though.
Q: There was a lot of talk about the two-minute defense. You guys had three stops inside two minutes. What's changed there? What's allowed you guys to settle in?
A: We know what the situation is. I think that's the biggest thing. Obviously, like today, we knew that they couldn't score. It didn't matter what we called. None of that matters. What matters is that we have to go out there and execute. As long as we know what we have to defend, then we can get any call. It doesn't really matter. We went out there and we did that. We stopped them and that's what we wanted to do.
Safety Julian Love
Q: After all you went through last week – bad game in Tampa, the shakeup, three wins in 10 games, how much did you guys need this?
A: We needed it bad, obviously. But not just for a win in the column, but to just set a standard for who we are as a team. I think we've been preaching that we want to be a physical, tough, resilient team and I think that showed today in a lot of ways. We're happy how we recovered.
Q: You lost a couple of guys to injuries throughout the game, so you had (Cornerback) Aaron Robinson playing in a key moment. He missed all of training camp, most of the season and it seemed like he stepped up. What did it say about him and what did you see from him today?
A: Yeah, I think Aaron's a quiet guy, normally. But underneath, he really plays with a lot of swagger and energy. I think he did a great job today of stepping up in a big way. We mixed some things up for sure and that's crazy for a guy, like you said, who wasn't in camp, who didn't play a lot this season yet. I'm so proud of that guy and he does everything the right way. So yeah, we really love to see that from him.
Q: On the pass near the end zone to (Eagles Wide Receiver Jalen) Reagor at the very end, what did you see on that?
A: We were in man coverage and as soon as I saw out of the corner of my eye (Eagles Quarterback Jalen) Hurts kind of drop back, I took off to the corner of the end zone hoping for a tipped ball and, of course, I got one and didn't come up with it. As I'm running back, I see Aaron stride for stride with him and, of course, he made a great play and defended it well. Obviously, I want to come down with that, but we got the win.
Q: Did Reagor drop it or did Aaron bat it away?
A: No, Aaron was definitely in there. I think just applying pressure.
Q: I think he's talking on the very last play.
A: Oh, the very last one. That was a heart-stopping play, that last one. Different than the previous one. That was a heart-stopping play and I think he just played through it and he was applying pressure all game and sometimes that accumulates. So yeah, Reagor didn't come down with that one at the end, thankfully. So yeah, that's just applying pressure by Aaron all game.
Q: You guys have obviously been here in this rivalry and you've seen (Eagles Running Back) Boston Scott on the other side turn into (Hall of Fame Running Back) Barry Sanders. What did you see on the fumble? In that situation, were you thinking game over, this is it?
A: So obviously being here, it was me and Pep (Safety Jabrill Peppers) the past three years who have been there and Pep not being around or he's recovering, I was trying to tell everybody, this guy, he's sneaky. Boston Scott's a sneaky player and you might not be able to see it on tape, but he has some great balance control and so we really had to apply pressure to him and obviously he had some runs today that we would want to correct. But in that play where he fumbled, that's (Defensive Lineman) Dex Lawrence. 'Sexy Dexy' making a great play, coming across, just being relentless in his effort like he always is. Yeah, it's like he tossed me the ball. Thankfully, I caught that one.
Q: On the sidelines, were the guys talking about you have to do it again. Did you expect to go back out there?
A: I think we were fully expecting we couldn't relax and so I think everyone was catching their breath because we knew we were going to have to go out and finish it like we have done in previous years. It always comes down to that last possession with these guys.
Q: What did you do specifically that made things and life so difficult for Jalen Hurts today? You guys really seemed to have him off his game.
A: Obviously, he's pretty dangerous running the ball and they're finding that in their offense. With us, we just tried to play physical, just play straight up and kind of make him throw the ball, so to speak. He got some runs obviously, but when it comes down to crucial passing situations, I thought we handled him well. So that was part of the plan and guys executed. Like you said, we had a circling defensive backfield today and we were all over the place in terms of positions. So that's a testament to how great we are in that back end to really make things happen.
Q: Was there a sense that if you did make him throw the ball that you were going to be able to make that many interceptions, that many takeaways?
A: He's very talented, but we wanted him to beat us throwing. Obviously, he had some great runs, which we want to be better on. But in terms of defending the pass, I thought we did a good job.
Q: A lot of the attention coming out of Monday's game was on the offense. Obviously, they made the coaching change. What was the defensive mindset coming into today after that game?
A: Man, we knew it was going to be a dog fight. We knew what Philly has been doing in previous weeks. They've been kind of getting their stride. Coming out of Tampa, we knew we could've played better on defense. We played solid. We knew we could take the next step and we knew we were going to have to this game, so that was our mindset going into it and through the entirety of the game. Just really getting after it, especially versus their offense.
Tight End Chris Myarick
Q: Can you take us through your touchdown?
A: Crazy play. Crazy first regular season catch for me. First touchdown. Kind of something we ran back against Kansas City. (Tight End) Kyle Rudolph caught something similar to that. We worked on it all week, and was just glad it got called.
Q: What was crazy about the play in that moment?
A: It was just crazy for me personally – finally getting the sign up, and that's the first touchdown of the game and it was coming to me. It was kind of a crazy experience.
Q: What was going through your mind as you were making that catch with your knees?
A: Just hold on to it as hard as I can. Just make sure it doesn't hit the ground. Kind of secure it. It wasn't the cleanest catch, but it still counts. I'll take it.
Q: Did it hit the ground?
A: No. (laughs)
Q: Was it even sweeter that it comes against this team?
A: It would have been just as sweet against any team. I mean, I didn't really put too much being from Philly and growing up in Philly, I really didn't put too much of that going into this game. It's just the next game for me.
Q: I'm sure you have a lot of friends that are Eagles fans?
A: For sure. They might be a little mad at me, but that's all good. I'll take our win for sure.
Q: What was this week like being a part of the offense, with the big change? How did you guys navigate through that?
A: It really was a big collaborative effort in terms of the whole offense coming together. I think all of the coaches did a great job putting together a game plan that we thought would work. Really it just came down to executing that today and I think we did a good enough job to get the win. Obviously, there's still some stuff we need to clean up and continue to get better at.
Q: There was a big emphasis on getting the ball to the playmakers. You're the guy who scored the touchdown. What does that feel like in the locker room?
A: It's pretty cool. I don't look at it that way as me necessarily being the playmaker. Any time my number is called, I try to do my job and make the play.
Q: Can you talk about your second catch? I think you got knocked down.
A: Yeah, I got knocked down. It was supposed to be out into the flat there. I think I kind of got held a little bit. I managed to get up quick and make eye contact with (Quarterback Daniel Jones) DJ and he was able to get it to me. It was good.
Q: Did you know coming out of the huddle on the touchdown that the ball was going to come to you?
A: I knew I was the first read, so I was ready for it.
Q: Did (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) get the ball for you? Someone got the ball for you right?
A: Yes, he did. I was holding on to it at first and they wanted me to spike it. Saquon went and got it for me. I appreciate him for that.
Q: Did you grow up an Eagles fan?
A: My family did. Once you get to college, you kind of lose your (home team) – you root for guys you know in the league.
Q: What was this week like for you and all of the tight ends? With players getting hurt, you knew you're going to come in the game and play a pretty big role.
A: I'd say it was pretty much just like any other week for me. I always try to prepare like I'm playing, prepare like I'm starting, even when I was on the practice squad. Not much of that changed. Obviously, a little bit more reps here and there, but that was pretty much it.
Q: Did you have anyone on the Eagles that you grew up watching that you kind of liked?
A: I think I modeled my game a little bit after (Former Philadelphia Eagles Tight End) Brent Celek. They've always had good tight ends, so I'd say him.
Q: What did you think of (Former Giants Defensive End) Michael Strahan growing up?
A: He was a game wrecker for sure. Hell of a player.
View all the action from the Giants' Week 12 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
View photos of the special halftime ceremony honoring Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan.