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Postgame Quotes 11/2: Coach Joe Judge, QB Daniel Jones, LB Blake Martinez, WR Darius Slayton, S Jabrill Peppers, Referee Brad Rogers

Head Coach Joe Judge

Opening Statement: I appreciate your patience after the game. Long story short, I'm proud of the way our players played tonight. I've seen a lot of improved football, seen a lot of fight from our guys throughout the season. I continuously see an improved team on the field at all positions and guys playing for each other for 60 minutes. That being said, we were able to make some big plays tonight down the stretch; ultimately, we have to overcome some mistakes, and we have to improve collectively as a coaching staff and as a team to give ourselves the best chance to be successful. We're not asking for moral victories, we understand the people of New York deserve better, so we got to keep working to be better for them.

Q: Could you tell us what you saw on the conversion and what explanation you got for the flag being picked up?

A: I thought (the official) made the right call when he threw the flag. I'm not sure why it got picked up, we had a pretty good view. I know they can't use the jumbotron to replay. We had a pretty clear view of that as well. I thought (the official) made the right call the first time, and I thought normally your first instinct is right. That's all I'm going to say about the officiating, I know there's going to be a lot of follow up questions to it, I'm going to be very clear and concise about that. I thought our guys played hard, we got to put ourselves in a position that we can have success and not bring in a third party. It's tough enough to beat the Bucs, so that's all I'm going to say about that.

Q: Does it all come down to turnovers in your mind?

A: Not completely, but turnovers are obviously a major factor in any game right there. But there's a lot of things we have to improve upon there. And look, we have to do a better job, every coach and every player, to keep on moving. But I'm telling you right now, I'm proud of the way our guys are working and playing. I knew the way they came to work and prepared this week, there's been a lot of questions externally in terms of how we're holding up on the inside, and I see a group of guys that come to work every day committed for each other, with a lot of fight and urgency, and I see a lot of improvement going forward, and a lot of confidence - these guys can see we're building this thing in the right direction.

Q: Obviously these turnovers with Daniel (Jones) keep happening, what do you say to him when you have those two turnovers, and is there something you need to do moving forward? Would you consider, when he makes those plays, taking him out?

A: Daniel is our quarterback. What we have to do is make sure we keep improving everything around him, and that we coach every player the same way. I told Daniel on both times those plays happened tonight to be patient with it, stay committed to it, we're going to need you down the stretch, we're going to need you to make plays. And obviously, in that final drive, he made a lot of big plays for us. We just got to keep moving on, things happen in games, we're not going to go and tolerate everyone on the team having a one-off type of deal, we can't have one-offs as a coaching staff, we all have to hold ourselves accountable, and the man next to us accountable. But Daniel is our quarterback, clearly put.

Q: Bruce (Arians) said afterwards that Daniel is trying to do too much with those two interceptions, what do you think of that assessment?

A: I'll look at the tape and we'll talk about that collectively as a team. I like the way Daniel is fighting right now.

Q: You mentioned about Daniel and the interceptions, he seems to have this problem with not getting the ball out of bounds, a lot of his interceptions are not coming from the middle of the field. How can you get it into his head to get the ball out of bounds? And also, does he need to make a better throw even if there might have been a penalty on the two-point conversion? It seems like if he puts it more to the outside, Dion (Lewis) has a completion that might be fairly easy.

A: Yeah, I think Dion had a chance to catch the ball right there, there was just contact before the ball had a chance to get there and actually complete the catch. So it's tough to make that assessment on a throw right there. As far as getting the ball out of bounds, none of the things that happened tonight were the result of trying to throw the ball out of bounds and the ball not reaching. In fact, he had a nice throwaway in that last drive to stop the clock and avoid a sack. I don't see any issues specifically with that.

Q: You guys are 1-7 at the midway point, how would you characterize the first half of your first season here after another close loss?

A: A lot of improvement. I see a lot of improvement. I'm proud of the way our guys are working day by day, sticking together. We got a really good foundation and culture being built in this building right now, and we got a lot of really good guys to build this thing with for the long term. So if you were going to ask me, the first year, how I'd classify it, I see an improving team that is developing in the division going forward.

Q: At several points tonight, you had several rookies on the offensive line. I know you want to go back and watch the tape, but how would you assess their performance, especially [Tackle] Andrew Thomas after what he's been through the first seven games?

A: I would say that before I make any specifics on any of these guys, I've got to watch the tape and make sure I actually see all the details of the play. It's tough to see all 22 guys on every single play. When I did look up and see it, I saw some good improvement from all three of those guys tonight. Some of the good things is we don't notice them being out there particularly, that means that things are going in the right direction. One thing I did notice with [OL] Shane [Lemieux] is Shane is not afraid to mix it up. We know that from him, he's a tough dude, he got in there and played with some nastiness, we like that about him, we like the way it showed up on the tape tonight. I'm going to look at the tape. Look, all three are going to have things they have to improve on, but all three have enough good football from tonight that we can build on and move forward with.

Q: I'm wondering about your naked eye assessment of [Wide Receiver] Golden Tate's touchdown catch there. It seemed like a pretty high degree of difficulty. Then after the catch, he yelled into the camera, 'Throw me the ball.' I'm wondering if you sense any frustration from a guy who's running out of time here to win another Super Bowl and if you sense any frustration from Golden behind the scenes.

A: No, this guy comes to work every day with a good attitude. We have a lot of fun working with him and this guy's been productive for us. I thought it was a heck of a catch down the stretch, a tough catch, definitely a high degree of difficulty. Thought it was a really good throw to put it only where he could get it and it was a really good catch for him to bring it on down in that situation, so really pleased with the protection up front to give us the opportunity. The route was run, the catch was made and [QB] Daniel [Jones] gave him a great ball.

Q: You had a couple of opportunities down the field with open receivers that Daniel missed. Was there a common denominator with any of those that you saw and how hard is it to swallow those misses when you get those chances?

A: We've just got to keep swinging the bat and hit the next ball. I've got to look at the tape and kind of break down exactly what may have happened on each one of those throws. Look, you take shots down the field and there's a number of things that factor in, it's not always just on the throw, so I've got to look at what the relationship may be with the release of the receiver, the defender, something he may have seen, it could have been pressure inside. There's a lot of factors that come into play with that right there, but we're going to keep taking shots as a team.

Q: I know you have been coaching Daniel and your staff has been coaching Daniel that a sack isn't the worst thing in the world, live to see another day. But if you coach that point and it doesn't get through, how does it get through? How does a player learn that if they're told it over and over again, but it doesn't register?

A: It sounds a little redundant when you put it that way, but we're just going to keep on coaching hard. We've got to find inventive ways coaching it and drilling it. Then, as the player keeps on working, he'll experience it through play, but there's a lot of things we have to improve on collectively as coaches and as an entire team to help take him out of some of those situations right there, and it starts with me and we've got to keep making sure we put him in the best position possible.

Q: Three times in four weeks you guys weren't able to close out fourth quarter leads. As these turnovers keep happening, is there a common thread late in not being able to close it out and do you have to maybe think about coaching differently down the stretch in terms of protecting the ball and just getting out of there with a win?

A: Again, you talk about closing out the games. To me, closing out the games starts at the opening kickoff. It's a culmination of everything you've done for 60 minutes. Again, it's never one player's mistake, it's everything collectively, there's a lot of things that go into it. It's a coach's call, it's how everything operates together on the offense or defense. It's never one play that eliminates you in a game, it's the effect of different plays throughout the game that add up. We've got to make sure that we eliminate some things early in the game which would change the effects of the outcome late in the game. We have to make plays when they come our way, but I see a lot of improvement from our team. I love the way they keep on fighting. Look, we've just got to keep on moving ahead as a team, but I see us moving in the right direction.

Quarterback Daniel Jones

Q: Daniel, when you evaluate your team later, what will you look at first? Will you look at the great stuff you did like the last drive and the touchdown pass? Or will you look at the two interceptions which hurt your ball club? How will you establish the consistency is the question really?

A: Yes, I'll go through it like I normally do, starting with the first play going play by play. They're certainly good to learn from and like you said, there is bad to correct, to learn from, and move forward and that's what I'm going to do. Continue to learn from it and improve. 

Q: Daniel, on these turnovers when you're in the grass or you're being hit, and you know you can't get the ball where you wanted to, why not just take the sack? Why not just live for the next down, especially when according what your coaches tell us, that's what they tell you. The sack isn't the worst thing in the world. Live for the next play. Why not internalize that and kind of eat it and live for the next play?

A: I think that's certainly what I have to do is those situations. When you're out there competing and playing hard, you have to be able to understand that part of the game and understand when it's over. I have to do a lot better job there. 

Q: Do you feel like you cost the team the game tonight with those two picks?

A: I think those were costly mistakes for us that I have to continue to work on and improve.

Q: That two-point attempt at the end looked like a well-designed play. What happened and why didn't that execute?

A: It was a great play, a great play call. We have to get the ball out there sooner, too.

Q: Coach Judge used the word 'redundant' earlier to talk about some of these turnovers. Does it feel redundant to you?

A: I think there is a number of situations that are similar that I need to improve on and learn in and correct those mistakes. That's where my focus is and I have to do it. 

Q: That seems to be the benchmark for young players - not making the same mistake over and over again. Why does this one seem to keep popping up?

A: I think they're all individual plays and cases. I think that I have to be able to apply an idea regardless of the play and situation. I need to learn from it and improve. 

Q: Not to belabor the point here, but what is the message from the coaching staff? We're at the point now where you have 21 interceptions in 21 starts. What is the message from the coaches? What do you think you need to do to overcome all this?

A: I think the message is to understand when it's not there and to get the ball out of my hand to make sure that I am preventing the big mistakes. The communication is clear. The coaching is clear. I've got to do a better job applying it. 

Q: What did you guys think when you saw the flag and then ultimately the flag getting picked up there in the end?

A: I thought it was pass interference and was surprised when they picked it up. So, we'll watch it and learn from it and see what they say. Tough break. 

Q: How surprised were you to see them pick the flag up in that spot in such a big call in the game?

A: I was certainly surprised. You don't see that often. I was surprised. 

Q: There were a couple plays where Golden Tate threw his hands up when the ball didn't go to him or it was incomplete. Then, after his touchdown he yelled, 'throw me the ball' into the television camera. I'm wondering if you sensed any frustrations from him and how you react to that when receivers are yelling for you to throw them the ball?

A: I've got to do a good job of getting everyone the ball and giving guys the opportunity to make plays. He's a great player for us and a valuable part of our offense, so we'll continue to try to get him the ball. He stepped up and made a big play there at the end of the game. We'll continue to work to get him he ball. 

Q: Just to paraphrase Coach Judge again - he said, 'you're the team's quarterback.' There's no doubt about that. He made it clear that he wasn't thinking about making any changes. But with eight games left in this season, do you feel like you have a half of season left to prove yourself to this organization so that they don't go into the next draft period looking for a new quarterback?

A: My focus is to prepare to win games, to play well and to improve week to week. That's my approach and that's not going to change week to week. I take that seriously. That's my job to play well. That's where my focus is.

Linebacker Blake Martinez

Q: Is this getting close and not getting the W getting frustrating?

A: Yeah. I think any competitor that's playing in this league wants to win and wants to improve and show that by results. It's a results business. So yeah, it's definitely tough, and you want to go out there, after all the hard work, and come out with a win.

Q: What do you think you guys did so well to hold their offense down for most of the game?

A: I think for us, in my opinion, Pat Graham is one of the best defensive coordinators out there. His ability to design a game and understand and adjust throughout the game has been amazing throughout the whole season. And then, all the guys out there on defense, no matter who is out there, works their butt off every single day, understands what we need to do in certain situations. Obviously we're not perfect, but to be able to go out there and do what we did today is something we can build off of.

Q: How many different packages did you guys run out there tonight? It seemed like there were a lot of different personnel combinations, a lot of different things. I would imagine that going up against a quarterback like you did, that was an important thing tonight, to give them things they weren't anticipating.

A: Definitely. That's something that Pat (Graham) brought this week. And understanding those aspects of it, going against a guy like Tom (Brady), we worked a lot this week making sure that we knew who was supposed to be out there whenever we had certain situations called, certain packages called. And I think overall, substitutions and those kinds of things helped a lot trying to disguise certain looks.

Q: Would you say this is the most you guys have substituted in a game this year?

A: I'd have to look at the tape. But I think it's probably close.

Q: What did that combo with Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin rushing give you guys?

A: I think both those young players have been working every single week and improving every single week, what they're able to bring athleticism-wise, length, speed, and it's awesome to see out there those guys make plays.

Wide Receiver Darius Slayton

Q: There were a couple of times where you were free down the field on some opportunities there and weren't able to connect there with Daniel. Was there a common denominator on those plays? What was going wrong that they weren't able to work?

A: It kind of depends. Each play is different. You just have to hit them. 

Q: Is that Daniel putting the ball in the right spot or you running a crisper route? What was the problem?

A: Like I said, each individual play is different reasons. I definitely had one in the end zone that I should have saw and made the play. Like I said, I'd have to individually go through them to - but at the end of the day, you have to hit them.

Q: You guys have had five losses decided in the last minute of the game, I think the last three games by six points. Is that more frustrating? Do you feel like you're playing the same game over and over where the last minute it goes wrong and you lose?

A: I mean, it's definitely frustrating to lose in any fashion. We're fighting hard and we're right there at the end, especially. We were right there. We had a good play call on that didn't go our way. At the end of the day, you have to keep fighting and go back to work next week and try to find a way to close out the game.

Q: I'm wondering what you see from Golden Tate, both on that catch and on his touchdown catch. Then he yelled into the TV camera, 'throw me the damn ball.' Do you sense frustration from him?

A: You have to ask him. I wasn't over there when he said it. I didn't hear him say it, so you have to ask him. 

Q: What did you think of the catch?

A: It was a great play. It was a great throw. Golden Tate has been a great player in this league for a long time, so him making that kind of play is no surprise. 

Q: The interception, it looked like you had broken free deep downfield. What did you say to Daniel afterward and what's the frustration level when these turnovers keep happening?

A: Turnovers are a part of the game. It happens, it's not the end of the world. On that particular play, they just so happened to bust the coverage and that's why I was wide open. But there is no way to know that before the ball snaps that they're going to mess up and not play defense properly. For me, I know Daniel Jones can do the job. I know he makes right reads. I know he can make the plays. That one got away from us, but for me, I just try to keep playing. 

Q: I'm kind of paraphrasing here, but Bruce Arians said that Daniel Jones tried to do too much on those two plays. How much do you see him trying to do too much and what can you do in that regard to help him if that's the case?

A: I don't know about trying to do too much. At the end of the day, it's my job to try to get open and when he does put the ball in my vicinity, it's my job to catch it. So as far as helping him, that's how I can help him better and there were definitely some plays where I could have helped him and made a play for him. So as far as my role in helping him, that would be it. 

Q: Also, what was the prevailing thought on that last play?

A: I'm sure Coach Judge addressed it. I'm let whatever he said be the answer.

Safety Jabrill Peppers

Q: You guys seemed to have [Buccaneers Quarterback] Tom Brady and that offense off their game for most of the first half. What was it you were doing and what kind of changed there as the game went on?

A: I can't really tell you what we were doing, but we were definitely mixing up the looks, pre-snap and post-snap alignments. We know he's the best to ever do it, so we had to have a good game plan for him. In the second half, you know, they just made plays. We left a lot of opportunities out there defensively, but they made plays. That's a good team, you've got to tip your hat to them.

Q: What was your final viewpoint of that final play there?

A: It is what it is.

Q: You guys played a good enough game to win in almost all phases except the two turnovers really seemed to change the game. When the defense and the full team plays this well, but the turnovers by the offense lead you to lose the game anyway and you're 1-7, does frustration build up that it's out of your control what the result is going to be?

A: First of all, turnovers didn't just lose us this game. We missed a lot of opportunities on defense to get off the field on third down, myself included. As a defender, when we go out there on the field, our job is to alleviate the damage. We don't care when we get called to go out there, we have a job to do and we try to do it at a high level. But ultimately this game, we just missed too many opportunities, it wasn't just turnovers. Like I said, we've just got to go back, look at the tape and get it corrected. Short week, division game coming up, we'll be ready to go.

Q: You guys have had a couple of close losses, really hard-fought games to the end, but ultimately you are 1-7 at the midway point. How would you characterize this first half of the season and what reasons do you have to be optimistic that it will turn around as you get to the second half of the year?

A: We're playing good football, man, we've just got to execute better. We've played a lot of good teams, we've been in games where we should've won, but we just didn't execute. But we're trending in the right direction and I truly believe that. We come to work with the right attitude week in and week out, wanting to get better. We work hard, and pretty soon the results will follow. Not going to get discouraged. It's the midway point, the season isn't over, nobody knows what's going to happen, but I will tell you this, we will continue to play hard, stay together and overcome any adversity.

Q: As a competitor, your record is 1-7, so what gives you the confidence that it is trending in the right direction without the results?

A: Me personally, I don't care about the record. If you watch our tape against the teams that we've played, it's a play here or a play there. It's not like we're just going out there and getting our ass kicked, you know what I mean? We're playing some good football, we've just got to tie it all together, we've got to execute and we've got to be better situationally. We all know what it is, we all come into work with that mindset to improve on that and get better. We've just got to execute on game days.

Q: The last three losses were by only a total of six points. Does that hurt more or does that give you the encouragement that you are extremely close?

A: I mean, a loss is a loss, but like I said, it's not like we're going out there and getting our ass kicked. I definitely think we're trending in the right direction. Yeah, we would like to be in that win column, but at the end of the day, we've got half the season left, the weather is about to break and we're hungry. We're going to stay together and be resilient.

Q: About a couple of the punt returns, you guys didn't have anyone back. I assume that was by design, but just wanted to make sure that that assumption was correct.

A: Absolutely. That assumption would be correct.

Q: In that situation, are you trying to hustle back to get it once the ball clears a certain area or is it just kind of a scramble mode in that moment?

A: I really can't tell you that, but it was definitely game planned.

Referee Brad Rogers

Q: Can you explain the decision to pick up the penalty flag on the Giants' two-point conversion attempt at the end of the game?

A: The side judge had the flag thrown on the play and came to the down judge who was on that side of the goal line. The communication between the side judge and the down judge was that the defender contacted the receiver simultaneously as the ball came in. And in order to have defensive pass interference, it has to be clearly early and hinder the receiver's ability to make the catch.

Q: With you picking up a flag like that, is there a higher standard to reach?

A: You want to make sure that it meets the qualifications for pass interference. And in our communication on the field, the down judge and the side judge communicated about the action and believed that it was appropriate to pick that flag up.

View photos from the Week 8 Monday night matchup between the Giants and Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium.

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