Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: We're just getting here, getting started. Looking forward to a couple good days of work against the Browns. Our emphasis will remain on our installs, our systems, our fundamentals. Obviously, we have a new opponent, so it's an opportunity to see different levels of talent, new players, different schemes. A good opportunity for our team to go ahead and change it up a little bit come out here and compete.
Q: What are you expecting from (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) and (Wide Receiver) Kenny Golladay today?
A: Both those guys are going to focus more on the rehab with the trainers. We're going to keep ramping up those guys as the week goes. They're both on different levels in terms of their individual bodies, but while we're here we'll use the facilities that the Browns are allowing us to use. Our trainers will be here with them, (RB) Saquon (Barkley) as well will be in that boat. He won't do anything competitive against the Browns, so we're just going to focus on these guys getting in better shape, focus on getting healthy and getting back on the field and 100 percent.
Q: We did see Saquon sneak into a seven-on-seven rep or two the other day. Was that a step forward for him?
A: He didn't sneak in. Everything we're doing for him is very scripted for him, so a few one-on-ones, a few seven-on-sevens for him. There's times where we put him in a red jersey. We're very specific about who he's working against on our team to make sure we're really controlling the reps. Our guys have a lot of respect for all of our teammates, especially guys in the position Saquon's in coming off injury, so we want to make sure there's no miscommunication or misinterpretation of what the drill is. We're going to limit the contact at this point. He's definitely advancing in his rehab. We're going to keep on pushing him as far as we can. Going against another team in competitive drills, we don't think that's the smartest avenue for any of our players coming off of injury right now, so we're going to be careful with Saquon, but he is progressing in his rehab.
Q: In some strange way, if you were not having a joint practice and you were back at the facility, would Saquon do a little more than he'll be doing these two days?
A: It's safe to say the answer to that would be yes. I couldn't tell you exactly what that would be, it would be more along the lines of the one-on-ones you saw the other day or the seven-on-sevens you saw the other day. It wouldn't be 11-on-11 contact, I can tell you that right now, but it would be more than what you're going to see these next couple days. We're going to make sure that we get the volume up and simulate as much as we can while we're out here.
Q: If you're having the 11-on-11 – and I know (Browns Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski) had said yesterday and I assume you're on the same page with the idea of not bringing guys to the ground – how do you teach that for your guys, especially when the juices get going?
A: We work that every day in practice. We call it our team tempo and when we say 'team tempo' we're playing fast and we're playing aggressive, but we're playing controlled. We're playing on our feet, we're not cut-blocking or taking someone to the ground. We're not live tackling all the way to the ground, we're not taking kill shots on players. You can thud up a runner if you're looking at him and he has the opportunity of avoiding you. We're not taking any kind of shots on a player or a defenseless player on the side, we'll tag off. We're going to thud the runner close to the line then let him finish and carry down the field so all our defensive players can finish in pursuit, as well.
Q: How can you manage the scenarios in a joint practice, what are you guys going to work on today?
A: You're going to see a mix of a lot of things. We're going to work some team blitz periods, a different mix of team run and play-action periods, some team two-minute periods, work a seven-on-seven. You'll see a mix of the offensive line and defensive lines in one-on-one scenarios, see some receivers and DB's in one-on-one type of drill periods. You'll see the tight ends, safeties, running backs going one-on-one in pass drills. You'll see punt and punt return emphasis today in the kicking game. Tomorrow will be kick and kick return emphasis in the kicking game, but these are all things that you can really go ahead and work with the other team and make sure you're on the same page. You talk about the tempo of the drill, the reps of the drill. It's something that goes all the way up to as late as last night, making sure that we're both on the same page in terms of the health of the team, who we have available in practice, to make sure we manage the reps for everybody involved, and that we get the most out of practice, but that we're smart with our players.
Q: Do you have to caution the players prior to this to not cross the line or do you want to see their juices flowing because it is competitive?
A: It's football, so it's going to be competitive. Right now, the leadership group on our team and the Browns are talking, making sure we're on the same page. Both staffs have talked to the players extensively. I spoke to our players, Kevin spoke to his players, we're both giving the message that we're here to work together. We don't have to get on a plane and fly cross-country to come get in a fist fight. We're out here to play football against a good team and improve what we're doing as a team.
Q: How much can you particularly learn about your offensive line going against their defensive line? I know they've got some talent over there.
A: They're a very talented team. In terms of what we're trying to learn, we're trying to really focus on our fundamentals and how we can progress. It's definitely going to be a different look against their players. It's different when you see the same guys in practice day in and day out, you can really get a feel and a rhythm for what they do as a player technique-wise. You can watch all the tape you want, but once you go ahead and get in live action or at least faster paced competitive action against a different opponent, it's going to always be different. They've got very talented players on this roster, it's a very well-put together team, it's a very well-coached team, so it's going to be a great challenge for our guys these next few days coming out here and competing.
Q: What do you think you're going to get from the three guys you've added to the roster since the preseason game?
A: We're really just looking for competition right there from those three guys. We're giving them the same opportunity everyone else on the roster has to come in and demonstrate they deserve a place on this team, to earn a spot on this team. We're giving them the opportunity these next couple days, or two weeks, depending on how long it goes, to give them a chance to go ahead and slug it out with our guys and show they're one of the best 53.
Q: Specifically about (Cornerback) Josh Jackson, what did you guys like about him that made you want to make that deal?
A: There's a lot of things we like about him and it's not just one specific thing. We thought overall it was not only a good move for the team, but it was good for the players involved as well. We appreciate everything (Packers DB) Isaac (Yiadom) did here, he made a lot of contributions to the team, we love him as a person, respect him as a player. He was a guy who was very well-liked in the locker room. I have all the respect in the world for Ike and for what he did for our team. I think it's going to be a good situation where he's going for him. I wanted to make sure that as a vet in this league and someone who's really contributed to our team that I make the decision to always help the team, but also had his interests in mind as well in giving him the opportunity with a few weeks left in camp to go out there and make a team.
Q: You and Kevin have orchestrated how you want these two practices to go. Your team periods back home, they know. They're not going to know the fronts and the schemes, things like that, right?
A: No, we're not tipping our hands on what we're doing. All you tell each other as coaches is the emphasis of the period, you tell them what personnel is going in the game because that's information you would know on game day anyway, you talk about the down and distance and the hash. After that, the offensive coach calls his play, the defensive coach calls his play and you go ahead and you play.
Q: Do you anticipate looking over film tonight and seeing, first, some guys looking a little out of sorts or a look you didn't see? And two, is it maybe a take a step back to take two steps forward type of thing?
A: There's always adjustments and that's part of these exercises, as well. For us as coaches, what adjustments do we make tonight going into tomorrow? What adjustments can our players make? And also anticipating what adjustments might they make based on the schemes they see. Now, today is going to be a lot of early down, in the field work. Tomorrow is going to be a lot more red area work, so you're going to see different schemes within those parts of the field, different things show up. It's not going to all mirror each other day by day, but you are going to see some adjustments day to day.
Q: So Saquon will not participate in drills against the Browns?
A: He will not. Nothing against the Browns right now.
Q: When we talked to you on Sunday, the sense was you guys needed to add depth on the offensive line. Obviously, you even thought you might see a body added. Is that a sign that the guys who weren't participating last week have gotten healthier or at least healthy enough to be a part of this out here?
A: That's definitely a part. (OL) Jonotthan Harrison is back out there fully practicing with us now. (OL) Ted Larsen we added right before the game last week. I didn't want to throw him in a live action without him even having a snap in training camp. That really wouldn't have been fair to him, that was more of a break glass, emergency type of situation. We were able to get through that without using him. He's obviously been practicing with the team now, so I feel like we've added a couple players right there to help with our depth.
Q: Who was the best quarterback in the Philadelphia Catholic League in the late-1990s?
A: Brett Gordon. Brett Gordon was a monster. He played at La Salle -- I don't think anyone likes to admit it about La Salle -- but Brett Gordon was really, really good. Played at Villanova. I can't remember if he was part of the national championship team or not. He's actually coaching. He coached at Ole Miss when I was playing at Mississippi State. We actually intersected on the field before the game a couple of times. It was fun catching up with him. I think he's coaching high school again right now in the Philly area, but Brett wasn't one of the biggest guys. I think Brett was about 5'9", he was a scrappy dude, but he could air it out. Brett was really, really good and those La Salle teams were pretty damn good. If you ask our strength coach (Director of Strength and Conditioning) Craig (Fitzgerald), he's a La Salle guy, he'll tell you all about them – not that anyone cares to hear about them, but he was good there.
Q: Who was the second best then?
A: In the '90s? If you're trying to refer to me and Kevin, I didn't play in the Philadelphia Catholic League actually. I played for Landsdale Catholic, we were in the PIAA, we were playing for the state title. Catholic League was playing for the city title, so it was different schools and different eras right there. But I appreciate the trap question. Later on, we're going to have a punt, pass and kick competition with me and Kevin if you guys want to stay after for that. Tomorrow it's a relay race.
Q: Kevin said yesterday that you seemed destined for this as your life, coming from a football family, etc. I don't know how well you knew him back then, but did he come across that way as a guy that was probably going to be a coach at some point?
A: It was a short term that we were actually in the same school together. My brother was a couple years older than me, him and Kevin actually played together for a few years. My brother had all the respect in the world for Kevin and I did, as well. I know my brother got pretty close to him as a player being on the same team– he was a senior and Kevin was a sophomore. I think the one thing that always came across to me about Kevin is he's got a natural toughness to him and he's got a natural focus to him. If you were to ask either of us back then when we were 14 or 15 years old, I don't think either of us would've looked at each other and said we were going to be coaches at the same time together, but I don't think there was anything that would've doubted where I think Kevin could've gone in life. He's always had that drive, always had that focus. It's funny, when you talk about the Philadelphia Catholic League, it's a small area in that part of Pennsylvania. You keep up with everybody in terms of who's playing and what they're doing. I always kept up with those guys from Prep, I kept up with those guys from Father Judge (High School) and other schools down in the city. But, I have a lot of respect for Kevin, I knew he was a tremendous player. I knew when he played at Penn, he played DB and did a really, really good job. I wouldn't put a ceiling on anything Kevin is doing. I have a lot of respect for him as a person, a lot of respect for him a coach, a lot of respect for him as a player. I can't say enough good things about him and, as I explained to the players, part of the reason we're here working with this team is me and Kevin having conversations back in the offseason and our relationship together that we know, the respect together, what we want to accomplish to get our teams together. We both have things in our mind that we want to accomplish and it doesn't mean coming out here with sloppy work. I know how his team plays, they play hard, they play fundamentally sound, they're very well-coached. They had a lot of success last year because of the way they put the team together. We're looking to come out here this week and just get better as a team, and that's really the goal right there. Does it work out well to be able to work with guys you have a relationship with? Absolutely. Absolutely.
Q: Does this mean anything for (Senior Offensive Assistant) Freddie (Kitchens) to be back on this field?
A: I can't speak for Freddie. I know it means a lot for me to have Freddie on my staff to be out here with us today.
Q: Could you give a hint as to how much he helps you and what he does for you?
A: Freddie is hands-on with everything. I'll tell you what, the funny thing about the NFL is it's a small league. There's equipment managers I've worked with before, there's receivers coaches I've worked with before, there's people in the personnel department that I've worked with before, so it's not uncommon anytime you crossover with organizations that there's familiar faces in places you've been before. Next week, we'll be in Boston. That's a place where I spent about a decade raising my kids, but I'm a Giant now. You move on, you move to the next place, you carry the experiences with you, but you move on and you work where your feet are at that time. I can't speak for any one person on our staff, but every single person on our staff – Freddie is obviously in that category -- is a tremendous help to me. I rely on these guys for their expertise, for their insight. I rely on them for their leadership and the way they develop our players. He's great for me, he's great with the players, he brings a natural intensity with him. He brings a lot of experience. He brings, obviously, a different personality. At times he can crank it up intense, at times he can make it really light and loose in the meeting room, and you need a combination of both of those right there. I think our personalities play off well in our staff. Look, we've all got a public persona, we've all got a way we address these meetings, and then we've got behind closed doors for our players of how we are, as well. It's fun to see the personalities, let your hair down a little bit with your guys and how everybody plays off of each other.
Safety Jabrill Peppers
Q: How did it feel to be working on the field that you've worked on many times?
A: It felt good. It felt good to compete against someone other than our team as well, so I'm glad about that.
Q: How many sacks do you credit yourself with today?
A: I'd say two. One would have been a QB hit, it was a three-step, I dipped under (Browns Tackle Jack) Conklin, I think. Actually, just one because then the other one would've been a QB hit. It's a pretty good O-line, so nice to work against them.
Q: What happened, was that just a cramp or something?
A: Yeah, just a cramp. Trying to figure it out.
Q: Obviously, you guys are football players and you want to play football. You all understand the deal as far as pulling up and not going, but when the juices get going how hard is it to hold back? Especially on run plays, you make the right reads and then the guy is running 30 yards downfield.
A: It's not really as hard as you think unless you're falling or something, but I think for the most part we're some of the top athletes and I think we've got pretty good control over our bodies. It's just about being under control and not being sloppy, playing with your feet under you.
Q: How much of a challenge are those drills when it's a one-on-one, you against a receiver and you're covering half the field?
A: It's an offensive drill, but it makes you better. It makes you focus on your technique. I like the competitive aspect of it, and I think it's much needed work.
Q: You feel like you could've done anything differently on that one to (Browns Tight End David) Njoku or he just made a great play?
A: I probably could've jumped a little higher or been a couple more inches taller, but it was a great ball, a great pitch and catch. That's why we're here, to get that work.
Q: You guys were drafted together. Did Njoku say anything to you?
A: Yeah, he said, 'Just like old times.' That was funny. We were going back and forth, me and (QB) Baker (Mayfield), me and Njoku, so that's been fun, as well.
Q: What was some of the talk between you and Baker? It looked like there was a lot of chatter.
A: Me and Baker used to always go back and forth, just ball stuff. He tells me he's going to go 80 percent; I tell him he can't see over the line, just things like that. It's all good ball, good talk.
Q: What'd he say after that?
A: I think he said I'm 80 percent, so it's just good ball. Just good to be on the road with the team, man for man competing against another team and I love it.
Q: What did you think of the two-minute drill there?
A: We've got to get better. They made some good plays; we didn't make enough. I think it was (Browns Wide Receiver Rashard) Higgins who went up there and caught what I guess would be the game winner, so we can't allow that to happen. But it was great competition, much needed work and we're looking forward to responding tomorrow.
Q: Would it have been a sack? Was it hard to tell?
A: I was back deep, so I don't really know what happened up front. But I know we definitely got to not let him come down with that ball.
Q: Even though it's a practice, you guys reacted to that as if you lost the game.
A: This is as close to a game as we're going to get until Sunday. It's us against them, so we treat it as a game, absolutely.
Q: Their offense is different than yours that you go against every day. How beneficial is it to get these types of reps against a totally different kind of scheme?
A: It's been well. We've got a pretty good idea of what those guys like to do, we just got to execute on our side a little better.
Q: Do you have Cleveland flashbacks anymore when you come here?
A: I haven't been here in quite some time, but just riding through I see some familiar spots. I wouldn't necessarily say any flashbacks.
Q: Do you have the perspective of the trade like it worked out for the best for you?
A: I'm at peace with it. I love where I'm at. I think we're building something special here, but I'm thankful for my time here, as well. It taught me a lot of character, learned a lot of ball here, but I'm just focused on the future.
Q: How much did they show you on offense as far as what the Browns ran? You just played them in December. Do you think they opened it up a little bit?
A: I think they do what they do well, and they executed. They've got a couple wrinkles in there, but for the most part it was true to who they are.
Q: We know where that team ended last year in the playoffs, we know how your season ended up. Is the standard set by them today kind of raise your level of play on defense?
A: This is a good measuring stick for us coming out here and competing against a formidable foe. AFC North opponent, tough, big, hard-nosed, want to run the ball, so I definitely think it's a good measuring stick to come out here and compete against these guys, and then put it all together on Sunday, absolutely.
Q: How do you evaluate the run play when you can't tackle somebody?
A: Setting the edge, extension knocked back, if the line of scrimmage moves their way or our way. There are still ways to tell if people are doing their jobs without going to the ground, but ultimately that's the main tell is yards after contact when we're tackling and things like that. We still get good work in and great, teachable moments out here.
Q: Did you see (Browns Wide Receiver) Odell (Beckham Jr.) out here? I know he wasn't practicing, but were you able to say anything to him at all?
A: I think I saw him a couple of times, but I was mainly dialed on the practice.
Q: Was there a last thing you learned from your time here that sticks with you? Usually sometimes early in your career you take something away.
A: Like I said, I just built a lot of character, learned a lot about myself, things like that, so absolutely.
Safety Logan Ryan
Q: How was it to go out there and practice against some different faces?
A: It was great. It was great. I've been part of a few joint practices in my career. I think they're great, different stimulus, taking the show on the road, dealing with different pressures and stuff like that. (They're) kind of like the road games, so you've got to bring your own energy. I think we did a good job today. We won some, we lost some, but it's practice, you learn from it. Nobody was perfect today on both sides. Come back tomorrow and make the adjustments.
Q: That felt like the longest two-minute drive in the history of football, but what will you take away on that drive?
A: You're just playing the drills. It was a good simulation. Yeah, they did take a lot of time, but we tackled them in bounds, we did what we were supposed to do. He threw one up in the end, I don't know if he came down with it, don't know if he's sacked, it's hard in practice to really tell those. We got to run a lot of our defenses in the two-minute that we don't get to practice all the time, so it was good. You don't know what routes they're going to run. We're used to our offense. I've got a good tell of their playbook, but I don't know this playbook. So, just running our defense against these guys and it was a good two-minute.
Q: Is it hard to hold back when you see a different team out there and to not finish the play?
A: Finish them to the ground? No man, we're all professionals. It's practice, you know what I'm saying? I get paid on game day, so this is practice. I'm not out there taking cheap shots. I'm not trying to tackle to the ground. If they catch it, they catch it. In the game, we can take them to the ground. As a professional DB, you've got to learn how to practice and you've got to learn how to play on Sundays. It's a different level of intensity on Sundays than practice, so you're just being professional.
Q: How valuable is it for a guy like (Cornerback) Darnay (Holmes) to get so many reps against (Browns Wide Receiver) Jarvis Landry in the slot?
A: It's valuable. Jarvis is really tough. He's really crafty. But you know, Darnay goes against Shep (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) every day and those two are two of the better ones in the league. I think they do it different ways, but Darnay is getting good experience every single day.
Q: How slanted are those one-on-ones towards the offense when you have to cover a guy basically half the field?
A: It's tough. In the regular game, there's a d-line, they might not be able to run a one-yard over route for a catch or whatever. It's a drill. It's slighted against you, but guess what? The rules in the NFL are slighted against the DBs anyways. You've just got to take it for what it is. I view it like a batting average. I'm not going to bat 1,000 percent in one-on-ones. No DB is covering 1,000 percent. You win five-out-of-10, six-out-of-10, seven-out-of-10, you're All-Pro. (Former NFL Cornerback) Darrelle Revis might have been holding people to 30 percent catch rates, so he's winning seven-out-of-10. Most guys are going to win five-out-of-10. So, if I win my half, a little more than that, than that's a good day.
Q: Around the league with these joint practices there's a bunch of skirmishes, a few fights, this looked like complete work and no nonsense. You guys were drilled in pretty good to just working?
A: Yeah, we had our fights already for camp (laughs). (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) made it clear we're not going to be doing that. They have a really good head coach, and they have a really good system, and scheme and good players over there. They're really professional, so it was just work. We talked before, a couple of the leaders on both sides. I just don't even think the intensity was even close to that level to get to that. It was good work.
Q: Did you like that or can it be ratcheted up a little bit more to get the most out of this?
A: I think they need a better speaker. Our speaker's better at home (laughs). We should have brought our speaker for the music. It is what it is. It's work. We get to play them in a preseason game with more more intensity and a regular season game and stuff like that. To me, the NFL's about executing, like you can come out rah-rah, 'Macho Man' Randy Savage off the bus, but you still got to be able to play. For us, we've got to execute our defense, execute our calls. I mean, we don't even have our whole playbook in right now, we're just running some basic stuff.
Q: Do you care about them celebrating as big as they did after that last pick?
A: No, that's football. I mean, it's football, so I don't know what's a taunting penalty anymore or what not, so I don't know. But hey, if you can celebrate and not get a taunting penalty than good for you, you figured it out.
Tight End Evan Engram
Q: How did you feel it went today?
A: I always say we could be better, but it was just good to get out here to compete against some other guys. Definitely higher intensity. Felt like more was on the line going into this. It's like a little mini game, getting live reps. I thought we did some things well. We've definitely got to get back to the hotel and look at the film and clean up the things that we need to clean up.
Q: On that last two-minute drill you guys wanted to stay on the field, obviously, longer than that?
A: Yeah, we've got to stay on the field there. (We've) got to start better on the first play, got to keep it moving, kind of get in the rhythm. We've got to stay on the field.
Q: What did you see on the interception? Was that to you?
A: No, that wasn't to me. It was that combination. It was a seven and a flat (route) and the guy just made a good play.
Q: Does it seem like a different defense than you played a year ago?
A: Things are a little different. Basically, same scheme and stuff. But I mean they've got some new talent over there, new guys. It's always something different. It's just different because it's the most different we've seen. We've seen our defense everyday until today. That was a good switch up for us, saw some different things and be able to work on some different things too.
Q: Does this feel like a game to you, or does it still feel like a dialed-up practice?
A: No, I've had gameday vibes ever since we got to the hotel last night, and I know I'm not the only one. It's a great opportunity for guys and for everybody that's trying to make the team, to get film out there, to get film for the coaches to evaluate. It definitely had a little gameday feel and I think that's good for us too.
Q: How many times in the last two to three days have you guys been told not to do stupid things out there like fighting?
A: Not at all. We don't know anything about that, so we're good (laughs).
Q: Is this the kind of work – I mean it seemed like everyone was very professional out there and everyone played hard…
A: Yeah, I actually expected it to be a little bit more chippier than it was. Guys respect each other, we know we're trying to get work, we're being smart. It's camp so obviously we're grinding, but we're also protecting each other. It was good comradery between the lines today.
Q: I think in one-on-ones, in your first one, you dusted the linebacker. Is it hard not to taunt a guy or say something? Is it hard not to say, 'Gotcha'?
A: You could probably ask number three (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) that question, you might get another response. It's competitive, so whenever someone chips obviously that person is probably going to chip back. Everybody is different. I just try to win between the whistle, all that extra stuff, it differs from guy to guy. I'm more of an in-between the whistle guy just by actions, and talk some smack later on.
Q: Do you gain more as an offense going against a defense that you don't know what they're going to throw at you in terms of scheme?
A: Definitely, we've played a defense everyday back in New York that shows us something new every single day. It actually was probably a little bit more slower analyzing today, just because our defense that we play everyday in New York, they throw so many different stuff and today was a little bit more base stuff, more predictable things. It is good to see different personnel and different type of bodies, different type of techniques and stuff. Just in general, it's good for us to see something different and compete against something different.
Q: In that two-minute drill, the first play went down as a sack. How debilitating is that? You've been in the league long enough where when you get that first down it's…
A: Yeah, it's crucial, that's a crucial down. Play one is always crucial. We've got to be better in protection, we've got to get open quicker. You could turn on the tape and there's something everybody could do better. At the end of the day, we've just got to be better.
Q: What does (Senior Offensive Assistant) Freddie Kitchens bring to you guys? Obviously, there's still interest around here about him. What does he do? Is he a good guy to have on the offensive side?
A: Freddie is a real smart coach. In his position now, he's able to work with the line and then kind of work with us and kind of oversee the offense. His input on a lot of stuff helps us and he's been around ball a long time. He's been in every position room, so he knows a lot. Last year it was good working with him. For him to have a little bit more freedom this year around the offense is a big help for us.
Check out must-see photos from the joint practices between the Giants and Browns in Cleveland.