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Quotes: Coach Joe Judge, C Nick Gates, LB Azeez Ojulari, LB Reggie Ragland

JOE-JUDGE

Head Coach Joe Judge

Q: Just looking back now and taking a look at what that first group did, the first 18-20 snaps. Obviously, you didn't have a lot of your marquee quarterbacks, receivers and running backs out there, but just the work of the offensive line in their 18 snaps, what did you see from them?

A: There's definitely some positives out there to build on. First time action is always enough to get a clean up and focus on the meetings today and going through, starting with fundamentals, going through the assignments, communication to make sure we're all on the same page. There were enough positives right there to really get a look in terms of what we can do to keep helping these guys and put them in the right position, and maybe some things you want to stay away from in the future in terms of play calling or snaps. But this is the time of year you really find out about that. In practice, you find out about some things. When you see a foreign opponent, you find out a little bit more about it right there. In terms of how they worked, how they responded on the sideline, the adjustments they made, that was encouraging. We've got to keep making progress and moving forward.

Q: Obviously, you have some injuries on the offensive line and you probably would bring some guys in basically to have a look. On the offensive line, is it just a matter of communication and a matter of getting used to each other. Realistically, how quickly can new guys coming in get up to speed to do what you need them to do in your offense?

A: First part of the question I'd say is we're talking to personnel today and tomorrow on the entire roster. Obviously, there's some moves we have to make with league rules. We're looking at the week going into Cleveland, but then also just building our own depth on all parts of the roster. In terms of bringing some players in, we're looking at guys at all positions around the league. There's going to be a lot of guys that are available, so it's our job to do our due diligence to make sure we know who's out there and available in the league. On the offensive line, you've got to have a lot of bodies to operate, so in terms of bringing somebody in, there's a good chance that we're going to look to bring somebody in before going to Cleveland. In terms of how fast somebody can get caught up, I'd say that it's really independent to the individual and their experience level, but I would say as coaches it's our job to get them caught up with what we're going to ask them to do. You don't start with the entire playbook, you start with the install they have to operate with, harp on the technique and the calls they're going to have at the line of scrimmage to make sure they can go out there and operate with your guys. 

Q: Two things, how did (Quarterback) Clayton Thorson come out? And if he's banged up, do you need another quarterback just to operate a practice?

A: We're going to wait to see what the doctors say about him. He spent time with the medical team today. We're going to find out his final status. Obviously, we'll make more of a decision on that. Hopefully it all comes out for the best, he's been working hard for us. If there's an injury at quarterback, we'll look to bring in an additional player to help us go ahead and function for the remainder of training camp or however long someone's out.

Q: Strange note on the game snaps, it seems that (Linebacker) Cam Brown didn't play any defensive snaps. Was there a reason he didn't get in defensively? Is he down the depth chart or is something holding him back?

A: No, actually it had nothing to do with that at all. The focus for him was going to be play special teams last night. He got in, did a good job for us, I saw what I needed to see. In terms of defense, we had some other guys we wanted to evaluate who have been doing a good job for us in practice. Him not playing last night really doesn't reflect specifically anything on his status defensively. I really wouldn't read too much into that at all, to be honest with you, but he did a good job for us on teams last night. 

Q: Just wanted to check on (Linebacker) Blake Martinez because there was a group of inured players that we didn't see and I didn't realize he was injured. Did he get injured during the week?

A: I glanced over it last night and someone said something to me. He actually had a non-football injury, so he's actually back in the building with us today. It was one of those things that sprung up. We just wanted to get him away from our players and just make sure everything is good before having him in the building. It had nothing to do with football and, to be honest with you, if it was a regular season game, he would've been able to go ahead and tough on through it. We just wanted to make sure he had time to rest and put him away.

Q: And (Cornerback) Rodarius Williams. Obviously, you want a guy to get a ton of reps like that. How did you evaluate how he performed? And you played him inside – I don't know that you'd done that in camp at all. How much of a challenge do you think that is to throw him in that situation?

A: To start with the question on him playing inside, there was a function of that that was due to where we were at in the game with who we wanted to play and keep on the field and really evaluate. A lot of these younger guys you want to see them through some extended play and see how they can handle the volume of the game and some of the things that come up. To be honest with you, we're always looking to build up a player's versatility. He's done a little bit of that in practice for us through spring, a little bit through training camp, but it was an opportunity to put him in there and see how he functioned. So, he showed some things he did well and some things we've got to keep on building with him. In terms of just the overall volume, he's a young player. He's done a good job for us in practice making plays. We've got to keep bringing him along. I think for any guy in the first game, I don't care if it's regular season or preseason, there's always an adjustment. It's not unique or different for him as well, so there's definitely some things we will show him that he did well and other things that we're going to correct, whether it's communication-wise, technique-wise, going forward. I was pleased he was able to go out there and play a lot of football last night. That was a lot of experience in a game that will help him going forward.  

Q: Last night you mentioned (Wide Receiver) Matt Cole and (Wide Receiver) C.J. Board as standouts for their special teams work. At that position, how important is it for guys to be able to contribute on special teams? On the flip side, I know (Wide Receiver) David Sills (V) didn't get any special teams time, so is that something that could be held against him when you have to make decisions?

A: No, and Sills contributes on special teams for us, so again, everyone's plan last night in the game was very unique and different to them. Some of it's for the function and how to operate offensively and defensively throughout the game and the majority of it was really to see certain players and evaluate them for extended periods of play. In terms of Sills, we made a decision last night just to play him on offense. In terms of C.J., he was going to carry a heavier load in the kicking game, so the decision was to play him in the first half on offense and have him alive for the entire game on special teams. That's where it was at in terms of C.J. and Sills and how that goes. I'd say for any player, you've got to do more than one thing. It's something our players understand. If you can only do one thing, you better do it at an absolutely elite level, but everyone's got to contribute to the team in multiple ways. You only take 46 guys to a game, 47 now, but you only take a certain amount of guys to the game, so you've got to be able to play multiple roles. Whether you're an offensive player or a defensive player, the kicking game's a part of your job description and everyone has a role whether that's playing on field goal protection if you're a defensive lineman at times. Whether that's part of the hands team if you're a skill player who's not necessarily a coverage specialist. Everyone has to have a role and both those guys have carved out nice ones. They've competed throughout training camp at a high level for us. C.J. and Matt last night went out there and their strength is their speed and that flashed on tape right there for us when we watched the game today. They're both guys that are quiet. They just do their job every day and come to work and are fun to be with.

Q: Do you intend to take injured players with you to Cleveland and specifically (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney), do you think he will be on that trip and able to participate in those practices?

A: Yeah, right now we are planning to take injured players with us. The purpose being going out there and letting them do some of their rehab and recovery while we're out there either at Cleveland's facilities or on the field while we're practicing, so that will be the plan right now. If something changes or someone has a unique situation that could include a person, two people, whatever may come up right now that we don't have listed as an issue. But as we go through medical meetings today and tomorrow, that's something we'll have to address.

Q: What's the next step for (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) in the progression here?

A: We're going to sit down with the doctors later today and go through that. He responded well last week to the volume and the load. I thought the plan of obviously putting him through a couple of days, backing him off, ramping him back up, so obviously they have a really good feel for his body working with him throughout these last few months through the rehab process. At this point, the focus is really to kind of get him moving more and more within the football movements. In terms of what that's going to mean for him this week in Cleveland, we'll have to wait and see. I wouldn't anticipate him being in any kind of live drills this week. As of this point, that would be the plan, but we'll see where it goes as we go on down further and further when his body is ready for all the football.

Q: What have you seen from (Linebacker) Reggie Ragland? He obviously wasn't active for the first week of training camp, but he seemed to be pretty active last night in making some plays and getting off blocks.

A: Reggie's a real smart, instinctive player. He's a thick bodied and physical player, which is big to play in that inside linebacker role. He definitely makes plays with awareness, a good communicator. He's got a lot of fire to him and Reggie's fun to have around. He's a real straight-shooter and he'll tell you what's on his mind, which is good to have around the building. He's not afraid to have a tough conversation with you, so I'm really glad he's a part of our team right now. 

Q: We haven't had cuts like this – it's been 90 to 53 the last couple of years – will you just cut from the bottom of the roster? Washington cut some veteran guys to maybe to let them see if they can catch on somewhere else. How will you approach the cuts?

A: We're looking to keep the best 53 players when we make our final roster decisions. We'll talk through the roster over the next couple of days before we have to make our official moves. We'll keep all of that in mind. In terms of releasing vets for any specific reason, that's not something that's been a part of our conversations at any point. Everyone we have in our program we have a plan to work with and develop and have a role on this team. We'll just have to talk through what's best for the team going forward. 

Q: One of the strangest reactions on the bench last night was seeing (Running Back) Sandro (Platzgummer) run 50 yards, everybody exploded. What happened with that?

A: You know what, everyone likes Sandro. Best way I can put it. Everyone likes him. He works hard. Everyone was glad to see his opportunity, and everyone was happy for him when he got in and made the most of it. I think you can boil it down right there. He's a guy that the players really respect and like. These guys in the program he's in, as far as some of the overseas players, it's always a different path for these guys, a different background. I think these guys understand and recognize he's from Austria, he's far away from home. There's some unique things about Sandro. He's really finishing up and finalizing being a doctor over in Europe, so there's a lot of things to him. He works hard. He doesn't say boo. He doesn't ever complain. He just comes in and does his job and the team respects the way he works. When anybody has success like that, I think everyone shares and enjoys it.

Q: Did you say Kadarius is coming with you guys to Cleveland to rehab out there?

A: Yes, all plans are to have him out there. There's no conversations at this point of anything different. That will be the same for all of our players. The only thing is if maybe some of these injuries coming out of the game that may be something different for those players. In terms of everything prior to this game, the plan is to have all those players with us out in Cleveland.

Check out the best photos from the Giants' preseason opener against the New York Jets.

Center Nick Gates

Q: How valuable was it to get the starters out there last night and get some reps? How do you guys think it went overall?

A: It was good to be back out there and playing a game and facing other people than your own team. There are some good things and there's some bad things, but we definitely have a little bit of ways to go before we're in mid-season form.

Q: Obviously, last year you didn't have those preseason games. How much value can you get out of these three games?

A: I think the preseason games are huge for us, especially as a young offensive line. It gets us reps, it gets us going against pass rushers and run stoppers. I think it's just good to get out there and play games.

Q: What is your personal review of how you guys did in those three series'?

A: There were some good things, there were some bad things. I watched a little of my film late last night. I didn't get into detail of that yet, but, from a first look, there was good and there was bad. There's dozens of things that we need to clean up and things we need to do better, but there's definitely some things we did a lot better than we did last year.

Q: Does it tick you off when you guys don't go for those fourth and shorts in enemy territory? It looked like you fired the ball back at the ref there.

A: I always do that. I always pick the ball up and throw it back to the ref. That's what (Head Coach Joe) Judge called and that's the play call, and I'm not going to go against it or argue it. It is what it is. I just always seem to pick the ball up and just throw it back to the ref, so I don't know. It's just a habit.

Q: A question about communication and just integrating new guys as they come in. Coach was saying before that he'll probably have to look at bringing in some new guys, due to the injuries and whatnot. How do you guys approach integrating these guys that come in who haven't been with you all spring and the first part of summer, and get them up to speed in terms of the communication, especially the nonverbal communication?

A: I think we tend to bring in the older vet guys when it's mid-camp just because they have experience. They understand how it is and how everything is done. The signing becomes a little easier when it comes to that aspect instead of bringing in a rookie. It's really kind of on them to get into their playbook and just understand the basics of how the offense works and how everything is run. I think I do a pretty good job with communication and getting everybody on the same page, so I think it's not too hard for them to come in and do well. 

Q: Do you think it will be important for you guys to punch one in during the preseason? Does that matter? I'm just wondering maybe to get the taste of last year out of your mouth, do you guys have to punch one in and score some points in the preseason, or is it all about progression and progress?

A: We obviously want to score whenever you have the ball on offense. I think it's always fun to score, that's the best part about being on offense. You get to score the ball and you get down there and celebrate with your team. I think it's a little bit of both, just being able to progress and see how the offense runs and how we do everything together, I think it's good both ways. You definitely want to score. I mean, you've got to score to win the game. If you don't score, you can't win the game. So yeah, you always want to score.

View photos of the Giants taking the field for warmups prior to the preseason opener against the Jets.