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Quotes 10/2: Coach Joe Judge, WR Darius Slayton

Head Coach Joe Judge

Q: With Julian (Love), is he going to be out there full today or is he a question mark for Sunday?

A: We plan on having him practice. We'll see how he's moving around. He practiced well for us yesterday. We'll see him out there today on the practice field.

Q: I was curious, you're coming off a big loss obviously. How do you feel your team responded to that this week?

A: Going based on the way they've worked and the energy and urgency they've brought to every meeting and practice, really well. Our focus is on the Rams right now. Last week is done. Regardless of the result, you turn the page and move on to the next opponent and right now, we're focused on LA.

Q: With the Rams, how much of a challenge do guys like Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods present? They obviously can do a lot of different things between the two of them.

A: Yeah, individually they're very good. Collectively as a unit, the way they function, the multiples they create, the way Sean (McVay) calls it on the sideline and the way (Jared) Goff is really distributing the ball right now, accompany that with their run game, their play actions and their drop backs, they do a lot of things that give you issues. Individually, they're enough of an issue. Collectively, you have multiple guys on the field, that's why they're so successful.

Q: What kind of practice week overall has Daniel Jones had? What has he been focusing on and how have you liked his response to last week?

A: I love his response. I love his response. This guy is coming in laser focused. He's had a great week of practice for us right here. He's obviously focused on the game plan, the details of the Rams, and everyone on our team focuses every day on individual fundamentals. He's had a great week. I think we're all at this point ready to get on the plane and get out there. We have more work to do and put it behind us today. But we're focused on the Rams right now.

Q: Sort of a similar question, but you're going through a lot of firsts with this team, obviously. Do you think you're going to learn a lot about this team on Sunday with how they respond?

A: I learn a lot about this team every game day, and I don't mean that to be some kind of short, chippy, generic answer. But the more you have experience with these guys, the more you find out about them. They've been a resilient group up to this point. I'm very proud of the way they work, and they fight together. This team has really put an emphasis on improvement right now on a weekly basis. I see a lot of it on a daily basis. We have to string it together more on Sundays.

Q: What did you like about bringing Alfred Morris in on the practice squad?

A: Obviously, he's an experienced vet. He's familiar with the system through what Jason's (Garrett) done already, but really, he's an accomplished player who was available. With the practice squad rules this year to allow you to have vets on the practice squad and then flex them up for games, it gives us some time to work with him and kind of see where he's at physically and for him to get acclimated to our system and our program, and kind of get into the flow of what we're doing. We'll continue to work with him and practice with him. We'll see where it leads as far as game time. 

Q: Does he have an advantage over someone like Devonta (Freeman) because he knows Jason's system a little bit?

A: I think maybe initially in terms of just knowing the vocabulary of the offense. But as a whole, the advantage is going to go to whoever plays the best on Sundays to stay out there and help the team.

Q: Kind of piggybacking off the last couple of questions, your running backs are averaging like 1.8 yards per carry. How do you get that going? What do you need to do to spark the running game? I would assume that that would kind of alleviate some of the pressure on Daniel.

A: I think just across the board, it has to be complementary football and we have to play balanced on offense. Running helps the passing game and vice versa. We all have to do a better job in terms of how we design the game plan, make sure we put them in the right position play wise so the players make plays, play to our strengths, and we all have to elevate our level of play. We have to do a better job as coaches on Sundays, and we have to do a better job executing as players as well. There's no really one pinpoint answer on that. We all have to play better and execute the way we need to. The results will come when we do things right.

Q: You have a pretty lengthy background as a special teams coach talking in front of the team, your commitment to hardnosed football and all that. How do you keep these guys bought in and invested when you're 0-3, you've lost your star running back, your star wide receiver's down, there's so much adversity? What's the message to these guys?

A: We established the buy-in early in our culture and our process by the relationships we established with each individual. When they understand collectively as a staff the relationships we have with the team and the way they feed off each other, that helps you go through adversity. Regardless of your record in this league, everyone is going through some kind of adversity in their own locker room right now. We have our storm, everyone else has their own storm. It's up to us to make sure that we just keep improving on a weekly basis. There's a lot of football left to be played.

Q: Are you a believer in comparing quarterbacks to each other? Such as you have a quarterback early in this second year. You're playing against Jared Goff, who's an ascending young quarterback. Look at what maybe he did from his first to his second year and other guys in the league to say 'Daniel's kind of where he should be compared to other first round picks in their second year,' or he's behind or ahead, that sort of thing?

A: It's only fair to compare them to where your expectations internally are. Every quarterback is different, every program is different, the systems are different. All the circumstances don't always line up. I think we have to be fair to all the players in our system to make sure we keep our views internally. Are they meeting our expectations? Are they executing with what we're asking them to do? And not to go ahead and compare them across the league to somebody else.

Q: I'm sure you have some sort of a clock in your head that says, 'we kind of hope this is where Daniel is in our program in year number two,' versus year number one or number five. Is that correct?

A: With us, it's still year number one as far as our exposure with him. We just have to be fair to him in that range in terms of monitoring week by week progress and where he is within our system.

Q: You guys have been getting beat up pretty much publicly for the first three weeks of the season. Guys hear it. They go home, they speak to people, they speak to their friends and their family members. I'm wondering how much you as a coach use that stuff in your message to the team?

A: I'd say directly what I speak to the team about, I keep between me and the team, to be honest with you. But look, there's always going to be something on the outside. I've said it for a long time. Listen, this is not supposed to be an easy market to be in as a coach, as a player. New York is a tough town. It's supposed to be a tough town. We have to embrace that. We have to embrace where we're at and we have to understand internally what we're doing, the progress we have to make, and the corrections we have to make as a team. Really, all that's going to matter is the improvement we make on a weekly basis to give ourselves an opportunity to be successful on the field.

Q: Would you use it as motivation or is that something you try to stay away from, even bringing that into the locker room?

A: You know what, every week is a little bit different with the team, and every team is a little bit unique. There are a lot of things I may use at different times if I ever think something is the right time to introduce to our team. I don't hesitate with that. But that depends on what it is and what time of year.

Wide Receiver Darius Slayton

Q: Much has been made about the running game struggling. I'm just wondering what are some of the things you guys as receivers can do to help that?

A: All we can really do is try to take care of the guys we have, our respective run responsibilities on each play. All we can do is try to get the safeties and corners blocked, and when it calls for it maybe a linebacker or something, and just make sure we get our guy when it's our turn.

Q: Do you feel you guys have been doing a good enough job with that downfield blocking?

A: I think we've done a pretty good job so far. We haven't necessarily broken a lot of long runs, so I guess you can say our downfield blocking hasn't necessarily been tested yet. But I believe we've been in position to make those blocks if the situation had arose.

Q: Joe (Judge) and Jason (Garrett) were talking about what's missing from the offense has been the big play. How do you generate big plays?

A: I think it starts with kind of like we were just talking about running the ball. Obviously, if you run the ball effectively, then defenses tend to come up a little bit closer and it's a little bit easier to get behind people. Obviously, that's something that I consider a skill of mine, so hopefully I'll be able to do that. But I know as well my teammates are also capable of doing those things.

Q: Do you notice you're getting more coverage since (Sterling) Shep has been out?

A: I can't say anything in specific per se. But I don't know necessarily what that's because of, if Shep is out or what.

Q: Coach Judge said today he loved the way Daniel (Jones) has come out this week after the game. What have you seen out of Daniel just in practice, kind of how he's responding to this tough start here?

A: The same Daniel Jones I've always known since my first day coming here. He came out poised, ready to practice, ready to work. I know he's not going to be shaken by whatever, our slow start or what have you. Like Coach Judge said, he came out this week ready to go to work. I'm proud of him and ready to follow him.

Q: Did you notice anything specific, determination or just kind of itching to get it done from him?

A: I wouldn't say that because that's almost kind of like reaching for results to a degree. I think just more so just ready. I think him, as well as our team, we're all just ready to put a full game together and get a win.

Q: What's been the thought process from you guys on the lack of points early this year? What makes you think that's going to change?

A: First, the thought process is we have to be better as a whole. Obviously, we have to execute better. That's the thought process. The encouraging thing is when you cool down and you watch film, you see things that are correctable. You see things that aren't what the opposing team is doing but what we're doing to ourselves that we can stop. That's the encouraging thing. I think we're believers that once we get out of our own way, we'll have a chance to be pretty good.

Outside Linebacker Oshane Ximines

Q: Do you feel like last Sunday for you, was as good as you've played in the two years you've been here?

A: Yea, it was definitely one of my better games. I was just putting my best out there every snap like I do always. I feel like I was able to make some plays and I'm just ready to improve and do better next week.

Q: They gave you a lot of screens last week, a couple big plays on those. What's been the talking point, what's been the correction? What can you do better on those plays?

A: Screen play, I can just try to be able to smell the rat and realize they're trying to get us up field a little bit more. Be able to drop anchor and redirect and try to help guys out a little bit more on the screen and just retracing and getting to the ball.

Q: How do you do that? Is it keys, are you looking for certain things? Is that contingent on the offense you're playing?

A: Yeah, definitely. Just going back to the film and seeing certain things maybe they do on different screen downs. Realizing when the offense likes to run screens or when they usually revert. See if they have any tendencies like that. It's just like a feel. When you're pass rushing usually on a screen, they try to get you up field or let you win the rush so you can be up the field. You just have to kind of have a feeling for it. Just realize when they try to do that to you and then try to just get to the ball.

Q: A lot of guys have talked about the Rams saying when they come to the line of scrimmage, they don't really tip off what they're doing. Have you noticed that in the film?

A: Yeah, I feel like they do pretty good. Their tendencies are pretty even so there's no good tell on what they're going to do. You just have to read your keys and react to what you're seeing and play fast.

Q: They could be in the same formation, but you have no clue whether it's a run or a pass?

A: Yeah.

Q: Coach Graham yesterday said he wants the young guys on this team to trust him in terms of reading your keys and things like that. He said if he's wrong, put it on him basically. As one of the young players on this team, do you really appreciate that from your coordinator?

A: Yeah, definitely. Coach Graham comes to work every day. He puts his best foot forward every day; he gives us a coaching point on every little thing. He's one of the first ones to always say that it's is on me. It helps me out to know that. I'm just out there trying to play fast and do what I can to help the team.

View photos of Thursday's practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

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