Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: Obviously, coming off a longer weekend for the players with some much-needed rest. We've spent some time obviously focused on the Giants. We'll spend some time going forward on the Falcons. Big game for us this Sunday. We'll spend some time at practice working on both our own emphasis of things we're working on as a team and then building into some opponent things, as well. That being said – short transition – we'll open it up for any questions.
Q: How did you think the new offensive line played, especially after (Center Nick) Gates went out, with (Center Billy) Price and (Offensive Lineman Ben) Bredeson?
A: I was actually really pleased with the way they came through the other night. There are some things we have to clean up and keep building forward at all positions – the offensive line is no exception. However, I'd say the way Billy and Ben have jumped in here in a short period of time and really made a lot of gains for us, jumping in and learning the vocabulary with one week of practice and then you have another week of a couple walk-throughs going in there. I thought one thing that really showed through last week, some of the leadership Nick showed, we had explored the option of what would happen if (Guard Shane) Lemieux wasn't going to be available, which he wasn't obviously. Nick was obviously going to be a factor of possibly playing that guard position, so we did a lot of work last week in practice of getting Billy some reps at center, Nick some reps at guard. That was really something that, from a signal caller's standpoint that Nick's in, can be a tough transition sometimes. I thought he showed his leadership as a team captain and the way he put the team first and really brought to us in terms of making sure that Billy got the reps at center. Ended up looking good enough in practice that we went with that in the game, so that gave us a good jumpstart going into the game that Billy had enough work with the offensive unit, making the calls, pointing in the right direction. I like when Ben got in. I think Ben competes his butt off. He's making a lot of gains for us right now. I like the way both guys work and obviously we're trying to get to be the best unit we can be. I talk to guys all the time, it doesn't matter offensive line-wise how you are individually, it's we've got to be the best unit because everything works collectively with those guys.
Q: How hopeful are you that Shane can come back this season, or is there surgery in the future and is his season over?
A: From everything we've talked about, we can't rule anything out right now in terms of something being over. He'll obviously have to wait and see how his body responds. I'm very hopeful that he can come back, but that being said, I don't have a crystal ball right now on that.
Q: So surgery is not in his imminent future, that's what you're saying?
A: I know he's talking to the doctor about a couple different procedures right now, so we'll see where that goes.
Q: Losing Nick – I know it's always got to be the next man up, but as you were talking about his leadership, what kind of emotion and what impact did that have inside the locker room with the guys?
A: Nick's a key figure for us, he really is. He's a guy that the entire time we've been here he's been a team-first guy, he's been an all-in guy, he's a guy that comes to work every day with a great amount of energy and enthusiasm. We're still going to rely on him to do that. As he gets better and comes through his healing process, we want to keep him as involved with the team as possible. This guy was voted captain by his teammates for a reason and that's for leadership. This guy has done a lot of unselfish things and I believe he'll continue to have an impact on the team. In terms of the emotional part of it, I think when Nick went down the other day, everybody hurts when it happens. I say all the time, you don't want to see any player on the field get hurt, you don't. The game is the top level of competition. You want to see everyone play with their best players and find where you shake out at the end of the competition. Especially the type of injury he had, that's a gut punch to a lot of guys and I think the team definitely kind of wanted to rally a little bit for Nick and pick it up. You saw the first play right after that, obviously had a good run play, (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) had a good breakout run right there, so there was some good energy and enthusiasm to get going forward. But I think everybody in here hurts for Nick. Everyone knows how hard he works, everyone knows his journey, his road of getting here, what he's had to overcome. No one wants to see Nick lose an opportunity. We're all thinking long-term right now for Nick. He won't play this season obviously, but we're all thinking long-term for Nick and what's best for him individually. We're going to do everything we can as an organization and as a team to support him and help him along the way.
Q: Why didn't (Tackle) Matt Peart play and where does he stand in that right tackle mix?
A: With the way it just shook out the other night, we just didn't get him in the other night. Felt (Tackle) Nate (Solder) has been doing a good job. We're going to rotate Matt on through the tackle position. We'll kind of take a look at him maybe playing some stuff inside as we get going right here. We'll kind of work around through practice these next few days and kind of see where things shake out. Matt's been making big gains for us and doing a good job. I think (Tackle) Andrew (Thomas) and Nate are doing a good right there playing tackle for us.
Q: In terms of Billy Price, (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) and Nick had developed chemistry from playing together for so long. Billy kind of just got here a couple weeks ago. How can Daniel and Billy grow now because they kind of have to do it on the fly, which is during the week?
A: Practice, that's what it's for. Coming out every day and that's exactly what we're trying to build is chemistry in practice and the experience of being on the field together and getting together as far as all the little nuances that happen. But Billy is a vet, a guy that puts the work in. Daniel is a guy that stays here and makes sure that he gets with every receiver, center, whoever it may be that he has to have a relationship with, so I have faith those guys will continue improving.
Q: You're playing a Falcons team that's given up 80 points after their first two games. What's your early assessment of their defense?
A: You know what, I'm going to hold anything on the Falcons until a little bit later in the week, but I would say right now this is a team that's very capable, very talented, very well-coached. Look, (Falcons Defensive Coordinator) Dean Pees is an outstanding coach, been in this league for a long time for a reason. Relative to what their defense did the first two games, that's not going to have any bearing on what's going to happen this Sunday. We've got to go ahead and get ready to play.
Q: Where is (Tight End) Evan (Engram) now?
A: He'll be out here today kind of moving around a little bit. We'll see where he's at physically in terms of where we can push him through practice. We'll see what that looks like today in terms of having a better view of what the weekend may hold, but he's making consistent improvements. He's been doing a good job with the trainers. Everything he's been asked to do, he's done, so it's moving in the right direction.
Q: Is he still on track this weekend?
A: I couldn't even answer that until I see him a little bit today.
Q: Is there anyone else that came out of the game with any injury that we might notice won't be practicing?
A: We've got a number of guys right now (with) just kind of some normal nicks and bumps type stuff coming out of the game. We're in shells today, it's not going to be full pads. There's certain guys maybe getting a little bit different volume in terms of what it is. We'll kind of go through the other part of practice. Some guys may have to go ahead and just see where they're at physically before kind of pushing forward a little more.
Q: How's (Cornerback) Adoree's (Jackson) ankle?
A: He's continuing to improve. I see him and his play and his speed and reaction on the field keeps improving right there. I haven't heard him complain any. I think guys with injuries like that kind of stay on throughout the course of the year. I don't think you ever assume something's past it. We talk to our guys all the time, any kind of a sprain or soft tissue injury, you've just got to assume it's always there for the remainder of the year – get treatment on it, take care of your body, put yourself in position. He's done a good job being a pro with that as far as staying out here, so in terms of where he is with anything, I think he came out of the game the other day in a pretty good position. He'll be out here with us today.
Q: Did you hear from the league on the (Defensive Lineman) Dexter Lawrence (II) penalty?
Q: Do you have plans to speak to (Wide Receiver) Kenny Golladay and (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) about the things that happened on the sideline or the things that happened on social media, about any misconceptions or things that might not be right on track the way you want it to be?
A: I've already spoken to all parties involved about all that stuff you guys are referencing. Look, I'd say in terms of – you guys asked me the other night about Kenny, there was no argument on the sideline. There was no him versus Daniel or anything of that nature. This is a guy that in the heat of the moment, you speak very passionately. You kind of speak with some emotion. I speak with emotion on the sideline. There was no blowup or anything that has to be made of it. I understand sometimes the perceptions will be what they are, but like I said the other day, there's no issue there. Now, in refence to KT (Kadarius Toney), I have spoken to KT and I'd say the one thing about that is the initial tweet or whatever it is, social media thing – the initial whatever it was had absolutely nothing to do with the New York Giants, National Football League or football in general. I think from that guy's perspective – obviously we have a lot of players that are very active on social media. Our message to the players is always, 'Whatever you put out there, make sure you don't have to explain, clarify or defend.' We want to make sure everybody puts out there what they want to put out there. I think it's a different generation and I don't say that in a bad way. I just know, look, thank God there weren't camera phones and social media when I would have been tempted to use them myself, to be honest with you. But in terms of educating our players on what to do and put out there, I'm not going to speak for any of the players. We do that on a consistent basis. I will say I spoke to KT and the thing that was put out there that kind of caught flames or whatever you want to say, the initial thing, had nothing to do with football. We're very open with our players. I talk to them all the time, when there's something to be disciplined, we take care of it. In this instance, in terms of that initial deal right there, we talked with him on through it and the biggest part is educating these guys that if you're going to be active on social media, sometimes you may just have to go and clarify it. Look, maybe these guys need to start hash tagging everything with, 'Not related to the New York Football Giants or the NFL or football,' or whatever it may be, I don't know what they choose to do on that right there. We've just got to make sure we understand that we are in a different situation with our jobs, that it is very visible to the outside and that anything you put out there is going to be interpreted and related directly to what your profession is.
Q: Do you expect that if he was healthy, that he will never have a game again here where he has no touches?
A: Do I expect it? No, I would expect all of our skill players to touch the ball every game. I can't say that something would happen or wouldn't happen. I don't know if the circumstance would come up, but we don't go into a game plan ever with any of our skill players at any position – tight end, running back, fullback, receiver, you name it – where we say, 'Okay, this guy doesn't touch the ball.' We don't do that, so every plan involves our guys. There's different things that come up within the game. I thought our offense took a step in the right direction the other day. I thought we were productive, I thought we did a good job in early downs. We were able to move the ball down the field. There were some things we have to correct and clean up as a team, but I like the direction the offense is moving right now. Look, sometimes some guys get more targets than others, but there's nothing by design to exclude anybody.
Q: What does he need to do to play a bigger role though?
A: Just keep being himself, learning the league and when the ball comes your way, make a play. That's it. I explained the other day on the sideline to him, I talked to him about it. I said, look, there's times in the game where it's natural to become frustrated because you want to make an impact for your team. The one thing I'd say for this guy is he works hard every day. This guy comes out here and he works hard. He's doing a lot of things to put himself in a better position and he's doing a lot of things learning the league. He's put himself in a position to be an impact player in this league. Now, you guys ask all the time, what's the impact? The impact comes down to how you execute within that 60-minute stretch of the game, right? So, I'd say with the way he's preparing, he'll continue to get better and he'll be in position. But as a receiver, a tight end, whoever's in the passing game, you don't control when the ball comes your way. Your job is to get open, catch the ball and then do something productive with it when you get it. You can't worry about the balls that don't come your way. Your job is to go ahead and when it comes your way, make a play on it.
Q: With Nick's surgery, is that something where he has a rod in his leg?
A: I don't want to go into the specifics of the surgery. I'll let (Senior Vice President, Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) and his staff comment on some of that stuff. Look, I'm not trying to be coy on anything. To be honest with you, I don't want to go ahead and put something out there where I'm not exactly right on that. I've talked through a lot of the big picture stuff with the surgery, and I tell these guys all the time, you can just simplify it down to me and tell me when it's an itch or a scratch or whatever it is. I don't need to know all the scientific terms. I just know it was a traumatic injury. Obviously, there's going to be a great deal of recovery involved with that. We're going to do everything we can as an organization to help Nick through it.
Q: Has he been back to the building?
A: No, he has not. He's still in D.C. right now. He's still in D.C., which from everything I've been told, that's very common with what he's had done and they're going to be very specific about what they do with him throughout his recovery, which is looking out for the best for him.
Defensive Back Logan Ryan
Q: Obviously, I know you guys have high standards for yourself, how do you feel like the defense has played through these first two games?
A: Not good enough, obviously. Just not good enough. Not to the standard we want to be, but we want to improve all year anyway. We obviously want to start better, but we want to make strides from week to week. I thought we started the game off well with some three-and-outs. Our rush defense improved. We still have to improve in our two-minute, some of our tempo stuff, so that was a lot of emphasis today is working out the communication. All that stuff needs to get better, and I trust that it will. We've got good players, we've got good coaches and we're working hard, man. I want to let people know that in times of adversity or what not, just double down on yourself. I'm not going to be the type of person to change and start trying something new and trying something I never did before or panic. I think you need to have some poise and (I) try to bring poise to the situation, having some experience in this league. It's not the end all be all, we've just got to make some improvements and that's what we're doing. We have guys that are willing to be coached and willing to improve.
Q: Even when you guys were at your best last year, the scoring right before the half seemed to be a recurring problem. It's been the same problem these first two games, too. Why is that, allowing scores right before the half?
A: I honestly don't remember last year what the problems were or what not. It's just guys fighting hard. (We) had to address our two-minute defense at some point last year and obviously, we're doing that now. It's the same players on the field, so just going out there and executing. I think two-minute – I had a coach once tell me, 'It's two-minute technique time.' Everyone just needs to focus on their technique, do your job a little bit and just do your part of the puzzle. These quarterbacks nowadays, these offensive signal callers, they'll find you if you're not in your right spot and they've been doing a good job of finding that. These quarterbacks have played well. I give credit to them. But I'm excited about our offense. Our offense – that was an exciting game to be a part of and they're putting up a lot of points. They're looking good moving the ball. If they play like that and they're getting us 29 points a game, then we're going to be a good team this year. I firmly believe that. I was watching film and I was watching games, from a football fan, just like everyone else, and I'm watching Kansas City-Baltimore, 30 points. Seattle- Tennessee, 30 points. Every game I watch, I'm seeing guys give up 30 points, 30 points, 30 points. It's just early football and we need to do a better job of it. The rules (aren't) made for us to succeed defensively as early and often anymore. We've just got to do a better job of doing the best we can.
Q: What have you seen from (Cornerback) James (Bradberry) because he was obviously lock-down last year, and it seems like quarterbacks are throwing – the numbers are they completed six-of-seven Week 1 on him. Obviously, he had a couple penalties, any concern there?
A: On James Bradberry? One of the best in the league? I mean, he made a play that honestly, if we get a missed field goal at the end, James Bradberry made the play to win the game. Hey, that's the nature of being a corner. What'd (Ravens Offensive Tackle) Alejandro Villanueva say, 'As a tackle, it's like jumping out of an airplane, not a lot of upside'? That's the same thing as being a corner. Either they don't throw at you and they don't write about you or you give up a play and now you suck. That's the nature of being a DB and that's why you've got to be a different dude and that's why they pay you a lot of money when you're pretty good at it. But James Bradberry made a play to win the game for us at the end of the game. Analytics probably show that we probably could've won the game after that play, and we unfortunately didn't. He made a play to win the game and a lot of corners – I played it for a lot of years – when you're not having a great day, it's really hard to respond. To see some of the top guys, and James is a better corner than I ever was, to see him respond in the way that he did to make the game-winning play, that's like a great basketball – Steph Curry when he's having an off-night and he hits a buzzer- beater three-pointer and we're calling him a hero how he's able to respond with adversity. So that's what James did, to me. He came in and almost hit a buzzer-beater. He hit it with 20 seconds left and they came and hit a buzzer-beater.
Q: You mentioned in your mind the defense isn't playing up to the standards that you guys have. What's the mental state of the defense? Are you approaching it like, 'We're pissed off' or 'Hey, calm, we've got this we just have to do what we're supposed to do'?
A: Yeah, I think we've got to relax, and I think we've just got to do what we do and establish what we do. We haven't proved anything yet this year, and I think we're pretty good on paper. I think we have some good players, some good coaches, and we know that. We've just got to go out there and perform. Defense is not an easy spot to play. The rules are changing. Everything's kind of against you, but we've got to go out there and band together a little bit and it starts with me. There were some game-changing plays I didn't make last game. I don't feel like I made enough of an impact for myself. We all look at that accountability, but there's no pointing fingers. There's no panic on our side, like, 'Oh, we don't have enough. Who's going to play in the secondary? Who's the middle linebacker going to be? There's no this, there's no that.' No, I think we have all those pieces. We've got to calm down and play the game and make improvements from week to week. Nobody has their A-game stuff in Week 2. We need to do a better job of getting to our stuff and need to do a better job this week. I think that's what practice is for. That's what we're out here doing is practicing hard and trying to make those improvements and being coachable.
Q: What kind of challenges does a guy like (Falcons Tight End) Kyle Pitts present for you guys?
A: We all know, he was like the most highly touted draft pick I ever heard of coming out in a long time. He seems like he's a 6-5, 245 (pounds), fast, tight end, receiver. We saw last game, I watched the game, he made some athletic catches. I know (Falcons Head Coach) Arthur Smith and (Falcons Defensive Coordinator) Dean Pees well, they were in Tennessee with me for years and I was battling with Art on the practice field for years talking a lot of trash to him. He knows how to scheme up his guys to get him the ball. So, he's a really smart guy and he's going to find a way to get him the ball. Him and (Falcons Running Back) Cordarrelle Patterson and obviously (Falcons Wide Receiver) Calvin Ridley are guys that they're going to scheme up. They made plays against Tampa last game and Tampa did a good job responding and making plays at the end to win the game. Those guys are going to make some plays and we've got to do a great job of limiting that.
Q: Can a defense consistently stop an offense without an elite pass rush or without a consistent pass rush?
A: As long as you're disrupting the quarterback, it can be anybody on defense. The pass rush can come from anywhere and anything. Yeah, I definitely believe so. I think a defense can, I was on a defense with Tennessee where we had nobody with 10 sacks, and we were in an AFC Championship. We were one of the top three defenses in football. 100 percent, on defense, you've just got to play team ball. Honestly, a lot of times you see teams that lead the league in sacks and they're really not that good on defense. I don't think it's a direct correlation. I think it's third down. I think it's two-minute. I think it's points allowed and I think those are just some situations that we're talking about that we need to be better and keep the points down.
Q: With so many guys seemingly open on receptions, is it a lack of communication or is it breakdowns or what?
A: Guys open on receptions? I don't know. I don't think there's a lot of guys open on receptions. I think guys are making some tough catches. I think (Washington Tight End) Logan Thomas made a tough catch on me in the seam, it was a bang-bang play. I think (Washington Wide Receiver) Terry McLaurin made a tough catch on that touchdown. I don't know, I don't think it's – we've got to check Next Gen (Stats) to see how wide-open guys are. I just think guys are making some good catches and we need to be tighter in those windows. I don't think it's – I can't agree with the question.
Q: You seem to be saying, 'We've just got to do what we got to do, be patient and it's going to happen?'
A: I wouldn't say patient. I'm in early and I stay late every day. I'm not changing who I am, and I think poise is the word that I want to lead with. You got to have some poise. I think we got to have poise. We're not going to panic over being 0-2. We're not going to panic over losing a game by one point.
Q: How damning would 0-3 be, that's where I was getting to? 0-2, the odds are pretty low to make the playoffs, with each win you get –
A: How bad is it being one game out of the division lead? Our whole division is 1-1, right? So, everyone loses, and we win, guess what? We're division leaders next week. I don't know how damaging it is with the playoffs, we're one game behind in the division. So, Dallas won by a field goal, we win by a field goal at the end of this game, then we're division leaders right now, if Dallas loses. That's the nature of this business guys. It's going to be close in the end and we've got to make improvements from week to week. When we get to November, December football, then this stuff will start adding up, but right now, we've got to make improvements and we've got to find a way to close out these games so we can stick with the division leaders.
Wide Receiver Kenny Golladay
Q: The camera kind of got you during the game. You want to explain what happened there in your view?
A: Really that just comes with me a little bit. Really, I've never done anything like that either – but really just passionate, just being a competitor. I love just doing anything I can to help the team. I let the emotions get the best of me.
Q: Was the message just, 'Get me the ball more'?
A: No, not so much that. Pretty much just me talking to JG (Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett) a little bit and that's two competitive guys right there. Moreso, just me wanting to do anything I can. Not so much, 'Give me the ball more,' though.
Q: You said it's not something you've really done in the past. What do you think spurred it this time?
A: Division game. Wanted to leave that spot with a win if anything.
Q: Does it have to do a little bit with most of your targets are on early downs and you kind of want the ball in the clutch?
A: No, it's not dealing with that.
Q: Not like third down, end of game stuff, nothing like that?
Q: Are things all good with you and Garrett now?
A: Yeah. I mean, that was literally right there during the game. Me and him spoke right after the game. It was literally nothing.
Q: How do you feel about how these first two weeks have gone for you, how you've played, how much you've been involved or not involved? How do you feel about all of that?
A: I did no training camp (practices). It's going to be rough, (it's my) first time in this offense, but everything will start clicking.
Q: Do you think things would be a little bit different if you guys were winning (and) it wouldn't have been an issue?
A: Who knows, really. I really can't speak on if we would've won or not, so I don't know.
Q: Despite that ending, are you encouraged by how the offense looked in Week 2 compared to Week 1?
A: Oh, yeah. I want to say we had 10 possessions. I think we scored or at least came out with some type of points on seven of them. DJ (Quarterback Daniel Jones) is running the ball good, (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) had a big run, Shep (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) I want to say had about nine or 10 catches for like 90 yards. We put some good stuff out there.
Q: How do you keep that continuity going this week?
A: Day by day at practice, just keep building, just keep stacking good days on top of one another.
Q: How'd you think you played?
A: I think I left some stuff out there. I know I had one drop across the middle, I wish I could have that back. Other than that, played pretty good. Wish I could've made a few more plays.
Q: Were you surprised with how well the line played considering you're moving guys around, one guy got hurt and you guys had a pretty good game?
A: No, I'm not surprised. I see the work that those guys put in and how close they are with each other. It's just going out there and believing that you can do it. That defense over there in Washington, they've got some guys up there. I feel like we did a pretty good job.
Q: How much do you think the ten days can help you, though? Like you said, you didn't practice for a month and you had to play two games really quick. Now, you've got ten days to get yourself right.
A: It's kind of huge. We had that Sunday game, then came back (for) a Thursday game, so those three days that we pretty much had off, that's huge for you to get the body back.
Q: How does your body feel?
A: Tired, but I got some good rest, so I feel pretty good.
Q: Do you feel like you're sitting on a big game coming up?
A: Do I feel like I'm sitting on a big game? (laughs) Of course. I come to every game thinking I'm going to have a big game. But as long as I keep putting the work in, everything will start coming together.
Q: How does a team keep something from spiraling? Like 0-2 now, how do you stop that?
A: There's a lot of football left. We've got to put that behind us and just focus on Atlanta.
Q: The TV cameras got it wrong, so then we all got it wrong. We all thought it was you and Daniel, so what was Daniel's role in that? It seemed like he was maybe trying to calm you and Jason down. Was he in the middle of it playing peacekeeper?
A: No, he wasn't it.
Q: You said there was no frustration there and it was passion. Do you sense that with the whole offense, that guys a little antsy here?
A: No. Like you said, I wouldn't say I was antsy, moreso just I'm a competitor. I want to go out there and compete. I want to be in those tough situations. It all just boils down to just wanting to whatever's best to help the team.
Q: How happy are you with the role that you do have right now? Do you expect it to alter and change as you come along and get healthier?
A: I'm happy with the role. I'd say I'm happy with the role. I'm getting put in some tough situations and (I've) got to make some tough catches, and that's all I could ask for.