Head Coach Joe Judge
Q: Today is the last time you will see most of the team for several weeks until training camp. What is your message to the team as they head off?
A: There are going to be a lot of things we talk about today logistically, getting ready for camp. Generally speaking, we are going to talk to the team about training, being in shape, making the right decisions off the field. There are a lot of resources for us in this building and it is important for us to stay connected throughout the summer. When they need something, we are always available. Generally that's the message. We will meet individually with our players by position and find out what their plans for the summer are. We will close out with summer goals, training camp goals. This won't be the last time we see everybody. We'll still have OTAs next week on Monday and Tuesday and we will be able to meet extensively with some of the guys here as well.
Q: The Browns said yesterday you two would be having joint practices in the preseason, and I know there has been some talk about the same with the Patriots. What are your thoughts on the value of the joint practices?
A: I am a big fan of them. I think it's a great time in training camp to break the monotony, to get some competition against a friendly opponent. With both programs, the Browns and the Patriots, I've got great relationships with both coaches, known them both for a sustained period of time. In all of our conversations, I think one of the things you try to find in this are not only teams that are going to schematically help you with some of the things you are going to see throughout the season but most importantly you want to make sure you go out there and have a good, quality practice. The guys are going to compete. You want to make sure you keep it between the lines, the guys are not doing anything dirty, outside the whistle. So it's important you know the coaches and what kind of program you are going against. I think it's great for the team, it helps you get exposure to different schemes you may not see from your own team in training camp outside having to draw cards or scout teams. It is actually a way to take something off your players at a certain time. You kind of ramp them up and build them the first few weeks of training camp and then when you go ahead and do a cooperative practice with another team, you've got to figure it's no longer the offense is always going, the defense is always going. When our offense is on the field, our defense is on the sideline resting, making adjustments, talking to the coaches and then vice versa, so actually, it breaks it up for them a little.
Q: Is the Patriots one going to actually be in New England?
A: We've talked about that and that's the plan right now. There are some things that aren't finalized for training camp. The thought process is it's a opportunity to get our team on the road through training camp, stay together, but also with the change in the preseason schedule, both organizations thought it would be a good idea to exchange a little bit year by year and that way the fans would have two exposures to really deal with each team. We've got two home games this year. We're fortunate. New England has got the one. Next year it will flip. This will give us an opportunity, especially when we have fans, for our fans to see us exposed against another opponent.
Q: A philosophical question. Everybody talks about the jump from year one to year two and from year two to year three. Why do you think some guys make the jump and some guys don't?
A: That is a pretty broad question. It's a good question but pretty broad. Everybody is on their own, everybody is unique, so every situation is completely different. I can't give you a blanket statement about why one guy does and another guy does not. I always look at it from an ownership and coaching standpoint, we have to make sure that we put those players in a position to play to their strengths and then they have a responsibility to go out and execute. I don't try to measure everything in terms of year one to year two, the jumps. Always just look for our players to improve on a regular basis consistently and execute better than they did the year before, the game before, and make sure we are going in the right direction. It's a pretty broad question. I can't sum that up in one deal. I can talk more about specifics of people, but just in general regards, I try to keep it back on coaching and keep pushing our players and developing them day-in and day-out and tell the players to come every day and work their hardest.
Q. Do you have anything on where Kyle Rudolph is in his rehab? We haven't seen Ryan Anderson or Cam Brown.
A: All three of those guys are working on different things right now. Kyle is making progress every day and this guy works really, really hard. You can tell he's a vet. He has a lot of experience. He knows his body very well. He's in there and he's opening up the door with the coaches every morning bright and early. He's an early morning guy. But Kyle has done a great job for us in terms of classes and everything he can do and he's done a great job right now with our medical staff doing everything to get ready to get back on the field as soon as he can. We'll see what kind of ground he makes up the next few weeks leading up to training camp but like all our players, we won't put him on the field until we know he's fully ready to go out there and play 100 percent.
Q. Is there any timeline on those guys? Do you expect to have them all at some point during training camp? Are any of them long term?
A: I can't really answer that question right now until we see what the next four or five weeks bring for us with these guys. We will see the progress they make. They all have their own individual issues. Kyle obviously had the off-season surgery and we have to check with the doctors where they feel he is at a certain point. In terms of the rehab and where he's going to be, we have to make sure they can build the conditioning and football movement and not just be pain free and make sure he's structurally safe.
Q. You had a highly unusual first season as a head coach in the NFL. Curious to see what you feel you need to do differently, better, and what your thoughts are moving forward as to what it will take to get better.
A: Personally, I'm a pretty harsh critic on myself. I go through every day and the first thing I do is make notes after every practice of things that I feel I can do better and after every game, it's the same story. I communicate openly with our coaching staff and players every day in terms of what we have to do to get better. I'm very open in terms of what I think individuals have to do. I communicate that on a regular basis. In terms of improving, to me, it starts with eliminating mistakes and when you can identify what you have done wrong or what you have to improve on, eliminate those mistakes, you give yourself a chance for success. I know that sounds pretty generic and broad right there but that's what we are always looking to do. I go through time management, I go through timeouts, I go through challenges, I go through situational football calls. I go through how we prepare, am I making sure we have the teaching progression on the field. Am I making sure the players are fully understanding this, are we handling the time allotted for meetings as efficiently as possible. I'm trying to manage the time and efficiency the best I can for the team but internally there's always a thousand things I'm looking to improve. I have my own checklist but look I'm far from perfect and I know the things I've got to improve on and I'm always looking to eliminate things on that list.
Q. Anything that any of your people that you speak to, coaches, has helped you about what to expect in year two?
A: Not tremendously. We haven't had a whole lot of talk specifically year one to year two. I think every program is different. We are going to be in a different place than other guys and other programs. I think having this spring and a normal training camp is going to help with continuity and some of the chemistry of the team and that's going to help us transfer some of the things on to the field. Other than that and as far as year two, look, every year is a new year. My year one was different, but everyone in the NFL had a different year last year as well. That's what the normal was last year. We operated as effectively as we could and this year is a new year for all 32 teams as well so we are all on the same playing ground right now.
Q. When you sign a guy to be a receiver and you draft one in the first round, as a coach, did you go up to someone like Darius Slayton, who could be affected by these moves, and explain if it affects him or doesn't or do you say it's up to the player and he has to figure it out?
A: I think it's a combination of both but to answer your question specifically, if there's an older, experienced vet player at a position and we draft a player, I do talk to the players and let them know. Last year when we drafted Andrew Thomas, I had a conversation with Nate Solder on the phone afterwards -- this year after the Draft, I called Shep. To me, it's important to understand that, look, we are bringing in players to help this program and that the better each player plays, the more it helps each player on the team. We don't look at any player on this program coming in as a threat or replacement. We look to go ahead and breed competition in this program and the best players will play. But I do think there is merit to talking to your older veteran leaders on the team and when you add someone at their position and just clarifying who you are bringing in and what the immediate plans are for that player.
Q. Does this affect Darius? He's not an older veteran player. Is he in a different category?
A: I would say he's a veteran player, he's not in his first year, he's got skin in the game right there. In terms of Darius, everyone is going to play to their strengths. Darius and Toney, will they be on the field at the same time, different packages, different positions at times, but I think everybody on the team affects the other by the way they work and how they produce. In terms of that position, I thought it was necessary to talk to Shep specifically because when we drafted Toney the word in the press as he was reading those headlines was specifically he's a slot receiver which, look, we are not bringing in someone to play one position. I thought it was relevant at the time to contact Shep out of respect for how he is with our program to communicate that with him.
Q. On Kadarius, what did you think of his practice yesterday? Seemed like he had a good full practice and handled a lot on offense and special teams?
A: Yeah, he's getting better every day. One thing we are trying to build in is position flexibility with him and he's handling that well right now from a mental standpoint. Like all of our players, the more we get them on the field, football movements and the conditioning improves, the better he will play. He did enough stuff yesterday that we can build on. There's things we had to correct and make sure that we can help him do it more efficiently going forward but I'm pleased with the progress he made.
Q. Have you talked to your team at all about expectations for this year? Is that something you wait until training camp to talk about? Do you manage the expectations of what 2021 will be for you guys at all or is that -- do you have to not pay attention to that noise and just focus on the day-to-day?
A: Look, I talk to the team all the time about expectations, but right now at this time of year, the expectation for them is to come in, get in shape, do their job the best they can and work as hard as they can, to pay attention and make decisions that put the team first, that's it. To simplify it. There's a lot of expectations externally. We can't do anything about that until we take care of the little things inside, so the expectations are there to improve at our job every day and put the team first.
Cornerback James Bradberry
Q. James, good to see you. What do you like about this secondary? You made a lot of headlines about all the offensive play-makers that you guys brought in but you guys have built up the secondary pretty well too.
A: With the addition of Adoree' (Jackson), I like the feel that he brings to the secondary. Right now we are trying to get our chemistry down and get the communication down. But I think we are going to be pretty solid. He's a great athlete and he's also smart as well.
Q. How does that help you? Last year you had a sort of rotating cast on the other side of the field. Does having somebody there finally help you at all?
A: I wouldn't necessarily say it helps me. I would say with the addition of Adoree' it helps the overall defensive scheme. In this league every team probably has a fast guy and if you can match Adoree', it gives your defense -- inaudible.
Q. First of all, do you think the way that the secondary is set up now with Adoree', you guys are more capable of playing man defense, man coverage, pretty much whatever you want?
A: I mean, I think we were capable of playing man last year. But of course in addition to having his speed that definitely gives you more upside and more versatility like I said. You have the (Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek) Hills of the world, a fast guy, so match up with a fast guy gives you more versatility. Not sure if we'll play more man or not but more versatile always.
Q. Your second year in the program with Patrick Graham, you have a lot of safeties and a lot of guys you can put in off the field, how confident are you that Patrick Graham will figure all this out?
A: I think he did a great job last year. He put me in position to make plays when I'm on the field so I'm looking forward to being under his wing for another year and just continue to learn from him and also put him in a better position to make more plays.
Q. Just wanted to ask you, you guys didn't have an off-season program last year. You do have some players that have played together before your secondary, but what is the real benefit of having an off-season program together for you guys?
A: Just continue to get those reps together, build that chemistry. Kind of learn really off the field you learn how guys how they tick, what motivates them, how you need to approach them, like if you need to discuss a certain scheme or discuss something that you and him need to work on, just building that chemistry, that camaraderie.
Q. You were asked if Adoree' helps you and you said not really but does it help in terms of matchups that he can cover those and you can go cover the big receivers?
A: Definitely when we're playing those big guys, I would definitely like to match up with a physical guy on physical guy and fast guy on fast guy.
Q. This week in mini-camp was it frustrating as a defensive back you couldn't contest passes?
A: It wasn't frustrating for me. I understand what OTAs is about. It's about us building those reps and getting this chemistry and also learning the defense. When you have plays where you have guys come in, breaking up passes, it's potential for injury. We don't have pads on and I definitely understand, so I don't get frustrated.
Q. This is year two for you in this program. What have you seen from head coach Joe Judge in terms of his growth as a head coach? What's different about him that maybe we didn't notice last year?
A: Honestly Coach Joe is going to be Coach Joe. He's the same as he was last year. He has high expectations for us. He's going to push us to our limits. He's going to push us hard. Practice is going to be tough. Meetings are going to be informative. He's going to make sure that we get all the information that we need to make plays and he's the same coach as last year.
Q. With the playbook, do you have more of the playbook you couldn't use last year, or with the depth you have now, do you need a bigger playbook?
A: Oh, no, sir. I think we had a lot of plays last year as far as secondary and we're able to retain all the stuff they throw at us. They might throw more at us, might be less, it might be different than last year all together I'm not sure yet but I feel like we can retain.
Q. You missed a game last year because of a close contact. This year, if that happens, if you're vaccinated, you wouldn't miss that game. Does that impact your decision and do you talk to the guys on the team at all about that?
A: I haven't talked to any of the guys on the team about the vaccination. Of course that's a personal issue. Those guys can make the decision that's best for them. I'm still trying to get all the information on the vaccinations and stuff so I can make a decision. Of course I don't want to miss any games, might miss -- as far as injury or other, COVID.
Q. It seems like the vaccination would go a long way towards the second part of that.
A: It sure would. I have to get all the information. Still got to make a personal decision. This will be a personal decision for me. I haven't come up with the answers for that yet.
Wide Receiver Darius Slayton
Q. Joe Judge was mentioning earlier that when Kadarius Toney was drafted, he made sure to check with (WR Sterling Shepard) Shep if it affects him. You guys have added two receivers, Kadarius and also Kenny Golladay. Have you had any discussions with anybody about how that affects you and what do you make of this new receiver core? They obviously have a lot of talent?
A: I'm excited about all the guys, KT (Kadarius Toney) and John Ross and KG (Kenny Golladay). I'm excited about all the guys. I think you just take the more the merrier the mindset.
Q. No one has specifically come up to you and said, look, this affects you or doesn't affect you? Have you had any of those discussions with any of the coaches?
Q. How different is the offense for you and do you see any significant difference with (QB) Daniel (Jones) considering you're in the second year in this specific scheme? Do you see a difference in knowledge and what you bring to the playbook?
A: All of us here last year -- so there's familiarity coming in starting -- obviously been able to progress a little faster this summer.
Q. You and Daniel came through the same draft class, as someone who has seen him since the beginning, how much has Daniel grown?
A: I think he's grown tremendously, physically in his body, it's almost like this last off-season, he was all of a sudden jacked and actually had cuts in his arms and stuff. You know, he actually made a physical change and he's grown as a leader -- as well as physically developing has become a better football player.
Q. You were asked a little earlier about all the additions and you said the more the merrier, do you have any concerns that you could be the guy that's pushed aside by this new group?
A: No, not really. I wouldn't really worry about it. I try to go out and be the best I can be and excited for what this team has in store.
Q. Can you sort of maybe find a different niche, a newer thing, and focus on something because of the other players that they brought in?
A: I don't know. I mean, right now I'm just focused on trying to make sure I learn all my assignments and make sure I'm ready for the next call.
Cornerback Adoree' Jackson
Q. When you came in here, the Giants obviously paid you a lot of money, do you come in here saying to yourself, 'I'm the starting cornerback', or do you say, 'I have to show everyone why they paid me this money'?
A: I came in with the mindset like I'm a rookie all over again. Just trying to come prove myself, just trying to get respect from my peers – obviously I played with some, some time had changed, things had changed and everything's different when you go place to place. So I'm just trying to prove myself and show these guys that I'm willing to learn and play for the team and do everything to the best of my ability.
Q. How do you feel about the prospect of playing a lot of man-to-man here? Pat Graham said that's something you have to do in this league in order to be successful.
A: You look at the NFL, it's a passing league, so whether it's man to man, zone, match, whatever it may be, just have to play it and be versatile. I'm excited for the challenge. That's the best thing about playing ball, every week it's a new challenge and that's the best part about it.
Q. How much did you play man previously in Tennessee?
A: I thought we played man a lot, that's what I feel like, I don't know. Pretty much everything down the field turns to man anyways-- that's pretty much what it is. Basically out there man, the quarterback may scramble, you just have to have good eyes and make plays.
Q. Did you relish that opportunity to say, okay, I'm going against this guy most of the game and my job, it's a one-on-one match up, you want to shut him down, obviously.
A: That's the best part of playing defense. I was asked in high school what I liked more, going and scoring a touchdown or making a defensive stop and I feel like getting a defensive stop is way better, because you get the life out of the crowd if you're away, and if you're at home it just seems like they are way more fired up then when the offense scores. I always took honor and cherished playing defense.
Q. You knew some of the guys you were getting involved here with the Giants and you knew some of them personally and you knew the names. What did you learn about everybody on the field this week and what you guys can be as a secondary?
A: So what was crazy was, I met most of them out there in Tampa when we were out there working with Logan (Ryan) so that was actually cool to do to meet everybody, see how we gel, the communication and competition part, and I think that's what I learned about everybody here about competing, everybody can seek advice out from each other, and if they have a question, or whatever it may be, it's not like somebody withholds the information from you, they all want to see everyone eat and do well, so that's what I appreciate most about coming to the secondary. It's fun and it's exciting to be around.
Q. What kind of potential do you think the secondary has?
A: It's only the third day, so it's just us trying to build what we want to do and what we want to be and everybody wants to be great. When we go out on the field, nobody wants to make mistakes, everyone wants to do their best out there and I think just hold each other accountable but that's the best thing we can do so we don't want to put expectations on what we want to do. We just want to go out there and compete and just show it for ourselves.
Q. After finishing the mini-camp, how do you feel you are right now?
A: Alive, I feel great. To be honest it's a blessing to be out here playing ball with the guys and see your teammates and see smiles and compete and to learn from each other. I talk to my mom, I talk to my old lady and they ask me how I'm doing, and I tell everybody I feel like -- it's a blessing to be here and be able to play. So no matter what is going on, if it's hot, cold, whatever it may be, just happy.
Q. You guys seemed to get quite a bit out of those meetings down at Logan's place in Florida. Do you have any plans now between now and start of training camp for the defensive backs to get together or other players?
A: We haven't discussed it too much, but I'm on the West Coast, I told them to come out to the West Coast, that flight from L.A. down to Tampa was too far for me so if I can get them to come out that way, that would be perfect so we can go hang out. That's for sure a thing we are going to talk about and discuss and see what everybody's up to.
The Giants take the field at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for Day 2 of minicamp