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Transcripts

Quotes: Coach Joe Judge, RB Saquon Barkley, DB Logan Ryan, LB Blake Martinez

Head Coach Joe Judge

Q: What can you tell us about (Cornerback) Adoree' Jackson?

A: We're going to check to see how he is today. He'll be with the trainers a little bit, we'll see where we can ramp him up to. Looks like we dodged a bullet right there, but we'll see day by day how it is and we'll move him around a little bit today with the trainers.

Q: Who's the next guy up there?

A: Everybody's competing for it right now.

Q: I see (Wide Receiver) Kadarius Toney out here. Is he going to work a little bit today?

A: We're going to keep him with the trainers for the first part of practice, see if it builds up a little more based on how that goes in the early part, then we'll see how it goes in the later part. Today is going to be very situational, we're almost going to jump right into team from the beginning. We'll have some brief individual periods, we'll have a quick seven-on-seven, get the guys juiced up and rolling, then what the rest of today is going to look like is we're going to create a situation and just play it out – all fourth quarter situations. We'll start with the ball in four-minute offense mode. We're going to manufacture some things to make sure we get in the situational part of the game, so you may see a manufactured penalty or a manufactured first down or whatever it may be, or an ignored sack for both sides at some point to make sure we manage to get the emphasis of the drill, to build in more of the two-minute mode, the end of game situations, the substitutions and everything that comes with it.

Q: What did you think of yesterday's practice?

A: I think, like every day, there are some good things to build off of, a lot of things to clean up and every day we have to improve, learn from our mistakes and get better. Good competition with a good opponent.

Q: On Kadarius for a second, he's been out for a while. Is this still COVID-related or is this an injury?

A: I'm not going to get into anybody's individual medical right there, but this guy is getting better every day. He's working with our trainers and doing everything they ask him to do, so I'm pleased with the progress he's making. He's doing everything we ask him to.

Q: From an outsider's perspective, the big story for you guys for camp was the day you guys had that fight and then had to punish the players afterwards. In retrospect, how do you feel about that day and how have you seen the team respond since then?

A: That's completely behind us right now as a team. We've moved on. We've obviously emphasized the importance as a team of not having penalties in practice and moving forward making sure we come to play as a team between the lines, between the whistles. From the outsider's perspective, I can't speak on. From the insider's perspective, I'm pleased with the progress the team has made since that day. 

Q: Will (Guard) Shane Lemieux be out here today?

A: He will not. No, he will not.

Q: Is he dealing with something long-term?

A: No, we actually left him behind. Everyone was on an individual medical basis. There were some things that were more available in (New) Jersey than they are up here, so certain guys we left behind just to make sure they had the availability of rehab they needed, equipment they needed and what they're doing specifically themselves.

Q: Were (Linebacker) Tae Crowder and (Defensive Tackle) Danny Shelton also left behind in that same group?

A: Yes, they were. Similar reason, just for parts of their rehab in terms of what we had available back there and what we thought would be better for those guys over the course of this week in terms of getting ready for next week.  

Q: How much will you expect from (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) today? What will be your plan?

A: The biggest thing we're going to do is manage his volume. He'll be in a red jersey today. Just like guys in red jerseys yesterday, it'll be non-contact on those players, whether it's a quarterback, punter or a position player. We want to make sure we stay off of them. He's going to do some stuff on the seven-on-seven. He'll work mostly early in practice. We're only looking to get this guy 10-12 or so reps, build his volume up little by little and when that's done he'll condition with the trainers. 

Q: You mentioned yesterday the idea of needing to get hits before you play in an actual game. In your mind, do you still have enough time the next couple of weeks before you get rolling in the regular season for Saquon or anyone else to get that contact to be ready for the regular season?

A: I'd say it's definitely individual based on the person. I'd say there's enough time to get a lot of things accomplished. Again, the medical team will play a large part in where everybody is available for specific parts, but as we build in he's consistently ramped up every week, increased his volume, increased his load. Today he'll be in team drills for the first time, so we'll how he handles today and we'll build him in tomorrow.

Q: You mentioned earlier that with a guy like Saquon you want to make sure you can manage his situation as much as possible, even in a joint practice. If Saquon's in the seven-on-seven, do you already know who will be the personnel for the Patriots?

A: Generally. We talk on the front end, express who's going to be in in different situations. I can't tell how they think themselves and I'm going to try to pretend to do that either, but it's going to be more of a situation of they understand personnel groupings that are going to be on and when he's in obviously it's non-contact just like some of other guys in red jerseys.

Q: I imagine it'll be some veteran Patriots out there to release (him).

A: Yeah, it should be. Again, I don't know what they're going to do with their depth charts, I don't know what happened in their meetings this morning, so we'll see how it works. 

Q: What are you looking to see from him in that kind of setting and in those specific drills?

A: Just want to get him out to move a bit today. There's not some kind of checkmark he's got to fill, some kind of box, it's just acclimating him in at this point with team drills and more competition. The biggest thing coming off of an injury like this is it's the reactionary speed. It's not the running with the trainers in a straight line, it's not having a predetermined cone drill you're going to work off of. It's the quick reaction on movement, on finding the space, on trying to avoid somebody. That's really what you've got to go ahead and train your body in a game, so we're going to start small and then we'll go ahead and go from there.

Q: In talking to (Patriots Wide Receiver) Matt Slater the other day, he gave you a ton of credit for him becoming the player that he is. Did you foresee this for him and can you describe your relationship? He said you pushed him in places maybe he didn't want to be pushed at times.

A: I think that's our job as coaches is to make sure that we get the most out of every player. It's what we owe those players. You guys asked me about practicing hard and it's our job to push them to their limits so they know where they can get to. In terms of Matt specifically, he made me a better coach every day. When you have a player of that caliber, you've got to know that you've got to come into the building every day you've got to be ready to make them a better player. With someone so accomplished as Matt is and works as hard as he does that you've got to bring it every day. You can't have an off day. You walk in slopping around and think you're just going to give them some plate of whatever, they're going to look at you and you're done. That's just the reality of what it is. You've got to come every day and be ready to coach these guys and get them better. In terms of my relationship with Matt, I have a lot of relationships with a lot of players on this team that I've coached. Obviously, my loyalty right now is with the Giants, but I would say if Matt needed a kidney tomorrow he'd have it tonight.

Q: How much would you like to get a hill of your own in New Jersey?

A: I think it's a great tool. It's a great way of conditioning your players, but it's a great way of conditioning your players safely. One thing the hill does with the incline is it actually protects the lower extremities with the soft tissue injuries, so it's an ability of really pushing your players when they're tired and training them to build in that conditioning without really exposing them to something dangerous. 

Q: Did you do work on (Patriots Quarterback) Mac Jones in the pre-draft process and if so, what did you learn about him and what impressed you about him?

A: I'd say the answer is kind of yes and no. The answer being yes of it's your job to know everyone who's out there. We weren't really in the market at that position right then, however there were a lot of other guys on that team and guys that played against that team that every time you turn the tape on obviously you're seeing the quarterback and obviously he stands out. He's a very talented player. I'm not here to evaluate their players, but I think anyone getting ready to evaluate anybody from the draft, whether it's one of their receivers, running backs, offensive linemen, whether it's a DB from another team playing against him, it doesn't really matter, this guy is all over the screen, so you see him every day.

Q: I know you're tight with (Alabama Head Coach) Nick (Saban), was there anything he told you about Mac that you're willing to share?

A: No. 

Q: What did you think of him yesterday? He had a good day against you guys.

A: I thought they executed well as a team. I think we had some things we can build on, some things we have to clean up. We have to come out today and compete.

Q: Do you find it hard to evaluate where your offense is just because so many of the key players are on the side?

A: It's our job to make sure that we be productive with whoever's on the field. When we play teams in the regular season, we're not going to be able to go ahead and have an asterisk next to it saying, 'But we didn't have so-and-so.' We've got to get ready to play and we have to be ready.

Q: (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) has made a couple throws rolling to his right in the red zone. Is that something he's improved on, something that you think will be a bigger part of the offense?

A: We'll wait and see game by game how that builds in. I think Daniel has done a good job improving all of his throws and making faster decisions. I think that just comes naturally with his years in the league and experience in the offense that's going to keep on building. I thought he had a really good week last week for us. There are some things that we're going to go ahead and put him in situations for today to help him execute and prepare for the season. 

Q: A couple of guys left with heat issues yesterday, (Wide Receiver Darius) Slayton and (Safety Jabrill) Peppers.

A: They all finished practice with us. Some guys left for different reasons and came back on out soon as they could. Not all were heat, sometimes you just gotta go to the bathroom.

Q: (Running Back Corey) Clement was in that group, too.

A: He returned back to practice, as well. 

Q: I don't know if Peppers was dehydration or cramping or whatever, but we see him leaving practice regularly. It seems like it's a multi-year thing now. Is there anything you look at that you could do to help that process to some degree?

A: It's on an individual basis right there. We've got a great nutritionist, strength staff, medical staff who handle our players in terms of those deals. They communicate with me on a daily basis to put our players in a position every day to know what their load is going to be, how to manage them best. Again, with any player, if somebody is missing the next player's got to just step in and execute.

Running Back Saquon Barkley

Q: How does it feel to be back?

A: It felt good. Obviously, I wasn't at practice yesterday, but it feels good being with the team, feels good to get a couple of team reps. It's just fun to be able to play football again, feel like a little kid and just taking it day by day.

Q: On the two-minute drill, you get in two plays, catch two passes and you run off the field. Did any football instinct in you say 'Let me stay out here? I'm in a groove now."

A: Yeah, obviously as a player you want to stay in. I honestly think the second one I might have gotten a lot more than what we were counting for. I kind of just saw, I think (Running Back) Corey (Clement) running off the sideline, so I knew I was coming off. Just getting back to the feel of things, caught a little swing route in the 7-on-7 and really forgot we were in the low red zone. It's those little stuff that is just going to come to you naturally as you continue to take more reps.  

Q: Did you want that opportunity when you're in that spot to shake the defense or avoid that contact or bounce off the contact?

A: Yeah, I mean that's the next thing to be completely honest. Like I said, it's just taking it one day at a time. But we're at the point where I'm allowed to start taking team reps and those steps are going to happen naturally, especially throughout a couple more weeks coming up. You know me, as a player I want to go out there and make plays and especially in those situations when it's two minute and it's our team versus their team. Those things are going to come naturally, and I've just got continue to be patient and when I have the opportunities, take advantage of them.

Q: Yesterday, (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) talked about how you needed to get hit before you get out there on the field in a game setting. How badly do you want to start feeling those first hits?

A: I definitely want to get hit again. To me, it's not just the hitting, it's just playing football. Even though I only took two reps and a couple of reps in 7-on-7, those reps are so valuable right now and going to help me in the long run.

Q: Did you think you'd get the 11-on-11 reps today?

A: Yeah, I had an idea that I would be getting in. Just had to stay warm on the side(line), and whenever my opportunity was that I was able to go out there, (just) do what I'm able to do.

Q: Do you think your vision as a ball carrier will come back right away?

A: All of that is going to come back just naturally, just with the game and playing football. Obviously, I am going to be a little behind than where I was when I last left off. That just naturally happens when you don't play football for 11 months, 12 months, (whatever) it is. My eyes are going to be alright because I've been watching a lot of film and watching a lot of practice. It's different than watching and actually going out there and assimilating with the speed. It's just trusting my steps, trusting my footwork, trusting the scheme and the line blocking, and all that stuff will come back together. 

Q: When you're watching the film back tonight and you see 26 in a red jersey, is that weird to see?

A: I hate it, I hate it. You've got to do what you've got to do. I said something in the locker room today, 'I don't care if it's pink, orange, yellow, whatever color is on, as long as I'm going to be able to get out there. I'm going to take some reps for my team and that's the only thing that matters to me.'

Q: Were you pleased with how your body reacted to the contact on the last catch and run on the slant?

A: I think that's a positive thing because it's the first time I'm thinking about it, so I would say it's a good thing. I really didn't think about that at all. When I caught the ball, I wasn't even thinking about my knee or anything. That kind of naturally happens, it's like I said before when we talked, the stuff where it's easier for me in the rehab process is when we were assimilating football stuff. So much stuff is going (on) out there on the football field, it really takes your mind off of it. I would say that's a positive sign.

Q: Were you 100 percent today or are you still feeling your way through it?

A: Within the realm of what I was doing, I was 100 percent. I didn't get to really open up, they kind of blew the whistle. I personally think maybe it would have been a different outcome there. I'm going 100 percent with what I'm able to do, but continue as we get more reps and I get more team reps and more work in, more of those natural reps are going to come in. 

Q: You've been back a few weeks now, how close do you feel like your old self?

A: I feel really good right now. I'm taking it one day at a time, continuing to listen to (Director of Rehabilitation/Physical Therapist) Leigh (Weiss), (Senior Vice President, Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes), all the training staff and all the strength guys. My body is responding really well, so that's another positive thing. We'll see how after I continue to take more reps in team periods and team training, see how my body responds to that and we'll get to know a little bit more. 

Q: Did you run the hill with everybody else?

A: Yeah, we ran the hill and they got to do five yesterday and I missed it, so I did my five today.

Defensive Back Logan Ryan

Q: After how yesterday went, how refreshing was it to get the pick early in practice there?

A: It was just good to set the tone for the day. Yesterday it was really frustrating. They've got a good, young quarterback who's smart and they've obviously got a great play caller, great scheme. This is a situational practice and a lot of situations – two-minute, four-minute, red area – and I think (Patriots Head Coach Bill) Belichick and the Patriots are the best situational team in football from any decade, so it was a great test. Yesterday, I wasn't really happy how I played, I probably played my worst day I've played (of) football in a long time. Personally, I just felt like I didn't lead our guys either. I just felt like I was out of it and I didn't lead our guys the right way, whatever the reason may have been. No excuses. That's football though. This ain't best of seven. You strap it up, you play the next game. Fortunately, we got a second chance at it and I think we responded better today. 

Q: Listening to you and (linebacker) Blake (Martinez), it was pretty obvious you guys were pissed yesterday. What was that conversation like that you had as a group?

A: Me and Blake, I think we consider ourselves an extension of (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator) Pat Graham and (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) out there on defense. Pat Graham is extremely smart and puts a lot on our plate in terms of multiples, schemes and defenses, and it's our job to get it, communicate to the guys and have us run it how they envision it. It's a player's league, the players have to make the plays. When Blake has a bad day and I have a bad day on the same day, we lose by 100. Yesterday, we both had bad days. Like I said, it doesn't happen a lot, but it was just one of those days. A lot of people looked at us. I felt like as a leader, how am I going to respond? Am I going to drop my head? Am I going to call it a day? Am I going to get all these pats on the back and 'attaboys' because I played here before? I've got to come out and respond. I feel like Blake and I responded better today and our team responded better today as a whole.

Q: I don't know how aware you were, but after the practice yesterday people were going crazy about how good (Patriots Quarterback) Mac Jones looked -- the rookie and Tom Brady, you know the drill. I don't know how much you heard about that, and is that a little irritating that he did that against your defense?

A: No, we just didn't play well. He did good, credit where it's due. I mean, it's the NFL, he made good throws, but we didn't play like ourselves. Today we played better. You can light them up today and reveal him, but you can't reveal a guy day to day. It's practice, you know what I'm saying? It's practice. I think he's a good, young quarterback. Pretty smart with what he does and I heard he's a hard worker and I know the guys like him, so it's good for him to see him have a good one.

Q: What's it like seeing 26 (Running Back Saquon Barkley) out there in the team drills?

A: You saw it. Once he gets that red jersey off, he's a tough tackle. He brings a lot of energy to our team, he's obviously one of our better players and it's good to see him feeling like himself, bouncing around and getting some action. I know he's been chomping at the bit for it, so I'm just excited for him just in this process coming back from injury. It's always exciting to get that opportunity and dust off those cobwebs. I think he did a good job of that. 

Q: That fight you guys had in camp that day that made national news obviously, how have you seen the team respond since then?

A: Since the fight? That's just a day in training camp. We've had our good days and our bad days. We've been on the road for about two weeks, think guys are a little tired. I miss my wife and kids, so I'm not even thinking about the fight at all. I've got a three-year-old right now and I've got a lot more to think about with him, and what he pushes me to do every single day and sleeping through the night. I haven't been thinking about that fight. 

Q: What do you think of the way that Joe handled things with the team?

A: It was cool, same way a lot of coaches handle it. Fights aren't allowed in a game, so we don't want to fight in practice.

Q: What do you think of the perception that he's just another one of these Belichick assistants, that he's the same as maybe (Patriots Senior Football Adviser) Matt (Patricia) who went to Detroit or some of these other guys in the past?

A: Joe is himself. I've known Joe for a lot of years and Joe is himself – how he talks, what he believes in, his lifestyle, how he grew up. I think he's really hard-nosed and blue-collar, and he shows that. I don't think he's faking that, I don't think he's taking that from another man, I think that's really who he is.

Linebacker Blake Martinez

Q: How'd you feel like the defense played these last two days. How would you evaluate it?

A: I feel like the first day, we made a lot of mistakes and weren't good enough. We didn't come ready to play and didn't start fast. I think we went back and looked at the film, made the corrections, came out today and played our style of ball. There will still be things to correct, but we felt good today.

Q: Did you catch your breath yet from that one drive? I feel like that was like a 20-play drive.

A: One drive? You mean seven? No, I'm joking (laughs). It was good. It was one of those things, you're able to be able to play through that regardless of interceptions, sacks, whatever ends up happening, stops. You keep playing through and it allows you to go to into the game and it be that much easier.

Q: (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) talks a lot about your conditioning and all the running and stuff you do, could you tell any of that today on the hottest day of the year?

A: Oh, yeah. 100 percent. I think I go back to even last year when we played our first game, you could just tell the difference. When we go out there, it just feels so much easier being able to play and not have to catch your breath and do those things, and you're looking on the other side and they're tired. 

Q: Now, what about here, because the Patriots obviously have the same kind of program?

A: Definitely. I think that just makes you even better. You've got to keep bringing you're A-game every single time. There's no advantage. Everyone has the same heat, same playing field, all of that.

Q: What was it like seeing number 26 (Running Back Saquon Barkley) back out there?

A: Oh, it's awesome. He's an amazing player, an amazing leader. Just excited to have him out there. Always want everyone healthy.

Q: Did you get a chance to evaluate how he looked at all?

A: No. I mean, I'm focused on our defensive stuff. I know Saquon's got his thing and doing what he needs to do. I'm just getting ready to play defense. 

Q: Do you guys do more conditioning under Coach Judge than you did in the past?

A: Yeah, definitely. I think his big proponent is making sure we're conditioned, ready to go and have that advantage against other teams. I think it helps.

Q: Is he as tough on you guys as it appears he is from the outside?

A: No, he just wants excellence. He wants to get rid of bad football and we all want the same thing. We're all competitors and we love that about him.

Q: You went against Saquon a lot obviously in camp last year when he was 100 percent healthy. You've gone against him this year, does he look the same?

A: I mean, I'm just going out there playing. He still obviously has the red jersey and things like that. But yeah, he's looking great. He's doing what he needs to do every single day and I'm excited to have him back when he's ready. 

Q: What do you think of that hill at the end of practice?

A: I think it's great. I think it's one of those things – you never really get that hamstring work and all those extra components that kind of builds that callous and makes you ready to go when you only have to run on a flat surface.

Q: You were near Saquon on the sideline, what was he like on the sideline?

A: You know, excited. Just like anybody back being out here playing the game you love. It's cool to see just the excitement across the board. I feel like all of our team loves to be out here, loves to compete and (we're) building a great culture around that.

Q: You had two weeks of joint practices. As a defense, what do you think the biggest benefit for you guys was to be able to work in this environment?

A: I think just the different components, different climates, different people, different offenses. All these different things that come into play – different schemes, different situations. I think that was the biggest component and then just getting those reps with each other against other guys. I think that's the biggest thing.

Q: You guys seemed determined to make the rookie quarterback look more like a rookie quarterback today?

A: No, I mean, every single day there's things to correct. I think we went back in there and knew what we had to do. (We) weren't all on the same page. We came out here and made sure we were way better than yesterday.

View photos of the Giants practicing with the Patriots in New England ahead of Sunday's preseason finale.

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