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Quotes 10/9: Coach Joe Judge, RB Devonta Freeman, S Jabrill Peppers

Head Coach Joe Judge

Q: How did Jabrill (Peppers) come out of practice yesterday and what are your plans for him moving forward here?

A: He's going to go through practice again with us today. We'll see where he is kind of through the weekend in terms of what he does on Sunday. He got some work yesterday. He was a little bit limited in some things. Look, Jabrill is a competitor. We'll see how he does today.

Q: Can he go at a certain percentage of his plays? Either take away his special teams reps or something like that if you needed to protect his ankle a little bit?

A: To me, it's always more of a question in terms of not necessarily the reps, it's more of a question of if we put a guy on the field, can he get hurt worse? To me, it's a difference in tolerating pain, and that's a player's decision, and can he get hurt worse. If he can injure something worse or any player can, that to me is when we have to step in as coaches and trainers and make a decision for him.

Q: What do you think of your pass rush so far? How critical does a pass rush become against a team like this with so many explosive weapons down the field and a quarterback who can put the ball there with time?

A: I think there's definitely a balance on a team like Dallas in terms of how you commit to the pass rush and how you commit to coverage. You can rush everybody. Dak's (Prescott) a very good quarterback. He's smart. There are plenty of clips of him on tape throughout the years of gashing teams who blitz him. There are plenty of clips of teams who sit back and try to double cover the top receivers and him getting it to another outlet who's a very capable player on the field, and they have plenty of talent there. But to me, in the NFL, every game is critical to produce some kind of pass rush and pressure the quarterback, whether that's with three, four, or five, or possibly even six at times, rushers. You just need to know how it balances out within the game plan based on the opponent.

Q: Do you guys think you found something there at the end of the Rams game with the way you ran the ball?

A: I'm just pleased with the way the guys come to work every week. I think we're a better team today than we were on Sunday. I think we were a better team last Sunday than we were the week before. We're constantly improving as a team and that's the goal throughout the season, is to consistently get better. We're focused on that. I love the way the guys came to work this week.

Q: I know Joe Judge wasn't here and a lot of these players weren't here, but the Cowboys have beaten the Giants six times in a row. There is actually no one on the Giants playing in this game who's actually beaten the Cowboys with the Giants. Do you talk about that rivalry, what it means to this fan base, what it means to ownership, with your guys at all? Or is it just another game?

A: We spend the first part of every week talking about every organization we're going to play. It's very important to me that the players on our team understand the history of any kind of rivalries from our team and another team, the history between the two teams. It's also important they understand to me not only the history of the league and the players who have played on the team and what their culture is, but it's also important you understand the area that you're playing against. Look, the first part of the week for me is a little bit of an education to make sure everybody on the team understands who we're playing. That's a team, that's players, that's personnel, that's coaching, that's the GM, the ownership, and that's the people in the area as well. It's important to me they understand everyone that we're getting involved with.

Q: Just curious if you expect any changes on the offensive line this week? I know you rotated in Matt Peart for a few snaps last week. Same starting five this week and going forward?

A: We plan on everyone who goes to the game, playing. We have different packages for different guys, we'll see how that factors in based on how the game unfolds. We plan on everyone playing in the game plan this week.

Q: Everybody knows it's been a struggle for you guys to score some points this season. How close do you think your offense is to breaking out?

A: For us in terms of daily improvement, weekly improvement, we obviously have to finish some drives getting points on the board. Graham (Gano) has done a great job when he is on the field kicking field goals for us. Your goal is to score touchdowns in this league, that's no secret, everyone has the same goal. For us, we just have to consistently execute and not put ourselves behind with mistakes early in drives or penalties down in the red area. We have to clean up those things and give ourselves a better chance to finish drives.

Q: You think if you do that, those things, your offense can click the way you want it to?

A: Yeah, I definitely think you can see improvement in the production we have as a team if we stop committing errors.

Q: Dallas has obviously been a team that has dominated the line of scrimmage when they've done well on both sides of the ball. Obviously, they have been banged up offensively a little bit. Do you think your guys embrace that idea of going there knowing that to win this game you have to win that battle up front. I know that sounds very traditional and cliché. For you guys to do that against Dallas would be a big change from what this team has been able to do over the past couple of years.

A: Yeah, I tell you what, I don't think there is anything cliché about it. We preach every week that it all starts up front in the trenches with the offensive and defensive lines. You play a team like Dallas, the one thing they have done a great job of in their history, especially when the Joneses have been there, they have really built these lines up to be the top in the league. They have big, strong guys on both sides that play physical. They have a lot of continuity on the offensive line. I know there are some new moving parts and faces, but they replace talent with talent all the time. They do a great job of developing players internally. Defensively, they always build it for very explosive pass rushers and big bodies inside that can control the run game. For us to have any chance of success this week, it's got to start up front for our guys. We have to play a good, physical game.

Q: I know someone asked you earlier in the week about the NFC East. I'm curious how much throughout the week have you continued to bring it up to the players that this division is wide open, look at everybody's record.

A: The only focus we have had this week is really we're 0-0 right now this week. We're trying to be 1-0 when Sunday is done. The Cowboys are the only opponent we have this week and that's really the sole focus we have as a team.

Q: Is Devonta Freeman still a new guy or is he completely caught up as far as you are concerned?

A: I don't see him as a new guy at all. He's definitely deep in our building right now, he's deep in our program. We've got a lot of packages for him put together. As far as getting caught up on our playbook, I think he accomplished that a couple weeks ago. Obviously, that first weekend here, it's really getting on the terminology and verbiage, make sure he's speaking the same language. I don't see any issues with that going forward. I'm excited to have him on the team.

Running Back Devonta Freeman

Q: How much more comfortable do you feel so far? How do you feel about the offense and your fit in it now that you have had an opportunity to get out there?

A: I'm a lot more comfortable. Football is football. Me catching up to the proper language here and just continuing to learn and elevate. Continue to take my game to the next level. I'm a lot more comfortable and it's going to be a week by week thing. (We're) game planning so different teams, different schemes and stuff like that. Taking it week by week, day by day, and continue to learn every week, every day. 

Q: How much do you expect your role to keep getting bigger? Each week it seems you do a little bit more, a little bit more.

A: The main thing with me is I try to focus on when my number is called. Whenever I get chance, an opportunity to get in there and do my job, do my part. Whatever my assignment is, try to be perfect on all my plays and stuff. I let the coaches, management handle that. That way I can be full speed at playing football instead of having to worry about all that other stuff. 

Q: What changed last week that the running game seemed to gain a little bit of footing? Obviously, you weren't here throughout the training camp period. You've seen the evolution here, what was the difference?

A: With the run game , you need all 11 guys. I feel like we are starting to click. Everybody is starting to do their job. To have a successful run game it's going to take all 11. Once we play unified, the sky is the limit for us. We can just continue to get comfortable with different looks, different schemes. There hasn't been a preseason, you can expect a lot of things to be slower and take time. It's a process. I definitely think you just need all 11 guys. That's what we went out there and did last game. We're going to build off that and just keep going and try to get better. All of us have been working hard all week long. Just try to get better every day. 

Q: As a running back does your mouth water a little bit when you see the upcoming opponent give up 300 rushing yards the week before?

A: It's the NFL, everybody is good in the NFL. These guys are getting paid a lot of money just like every other defense. We're just going to do our job. Focus on us, focus on what we can do. Of course, we have to worry about our opponent. The main thing is just come in and get our ball right, get our ball together. Just try to get better, thrive off each other, feed off each other. Give each other that good energy. The sky is the limit for us. 

Q: What potential do you see in Daniel Jones? What do you like about him as a young quarterback, as a leader? What do you think he's capable of and what have you learned from him so far in a couple weeks here?

A: I like a lot, I like everything about Daniel. He's young, he's aggressive, which I feel like you have to be at quarterback in this league. He isn't scared of the big plays. He doesn't shy away from anything, any competition. When his number is called on to make a big play, he attacks it. That's one thing about this league that I feel like you have to be. You have attack it, you have to attack everything. Keep growing, keep going, make mistakes, make it full speed, because in this league you already know everybody makes mistakes. You have to go out there play clear-minded, and clear-headed. Continue to take advantage of the opportunity.

Safety Jabrill Peppers

Q: I'm wondering how you're feeling and if you think there is a 100% chance of you playing Sunday and what this practice week was like for you?

A: I've been taking it day by day. The trainers have a good plan for me. I'm just sticking to the plan. It feels good to be back out there at practice with the guys, get moving around, get the blood flowing a little bit. 

Q: Does it matter at all that it's the Cowboys? I think you've talked before about how you grew up watching Giants vs. Cowboys. It bothered you last year that they talked a little bit of smack when they beat you in Week 1. Is there anything to you trying to get back for this game specifically, and turn the course of this six wins in a row for the Cowboys against the Giants?

A: Like I said, we're taking it day by day. Obviously, it doesn't need to be said how much this game means, how much this game has meant for years. At the end of the day, you just have to keep taking it day by day, listen to the training staff, and we're going to see where it goes. 

Q: If I can ask one more, I know you didn't play last week but Ryan Lewis came in here and kind of played well at that second outside cornerback position. You were probably watching on TV like us, or maybe you were there, but what did you see from Ryan Lewis as maybe he can stabilize that spot?

A: Ry Lew has always been a hard worker since he got here. He knows the nature of this league. He just came in here and honed in on his technique and his fundamentals. We saw it in practice. I'm just happy that when he got his number called, he went out there and performed. 

Q: Have the doctors, the medical staff said anything about whether you can further injure the ankle if you play on it?

A: You have to talk to Coach about that. 

Q: Just how does it feel? How did it feel on the field this week?

A: It feels good. 

Q: What do you think you need to prove to them in the next two days? What's the next step for you moving forward?

A: The trainers put together a good plan for me. I'm just sticking to the plan, taking it day by day. 

Q: When it happened, were you worried that it was going to be a long-term thing? You kind of came down it looked like on somebody. Is that kind of how it went?

A: You always worry when something like that happens. But my MRIs and my X-rays came back clean, so that kind of eased my mind a bit. Like I said, it's still a process. I have to listen to the trainers, get in there for my treatment and continue with the process. 

Q: If you can get back out there, how do you feel about punt returning right away?

A: We have to get back out there first. That's what my main concern is. 

Q: Was there a definite difference between how the ankle felt last week and how it felt this week in practice?

A: You have to talk to Coach about that. You know we can't discuss injuries. 

Q: Just wanted to ask you a non-ankle question. You guys are obviously 0-4. A lot of folks in the fan base have already kind of written you guys off for a season. Just your message to the fan base on where you guys are and what's left for you guys this season?

A: We don't really pay attention to the outside noise. We know there is a lot of football left to be played. We know the leader in our division is 1-2-1, so everything is still pretty much up in the air. We're coming in here, getting better each and every day fundamentally, staying in good condition. It's just about going out there, playing complementary football on Sundays and putting everything together. It doesn't matter how good things look at practice. It matters how special teams plays and gets the field position, if offense puts up the points and if the defense is just making stops. We're definitely doing our due diligence, and there's a lot of football left to be played. We know that and we're ready. We're ready for the long haul.

View photos from Thursday's practice as the Giants gear up for the Cowboys.


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