Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: First off, give credit to the Falcons. They played a good game, they made plays down the stretch when it counted. I was pleased with a lot of things our team did today, but ultimately we didn't finish. We've got to do a better job of finishing drives, finishing the game. A lot of things that we saw positive that we worked on throughout the week coming out of the Washington week showed up in the game in a positive way, but big picture-wise we've got to do a better job finishing the game – that's coaching, that's playing, that's executing, that's making sure we do what we have to do for 60 minutes. With that said, I'll open it up for questions.
Q: How disappointing is this loss as mistakes keep happening?
A: Obviously, you prepare every week to have success. You come out of any game without success and there are things you're obviously not happy about. The key for us is to make sure that we go back to work, we correct the mistakes, we keep being productive in things we're doing well and we stay together as a team and keep pushing forward. That's the biggest-picture thing right now.
Q: Your defense for the second week in a row gave up a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. How do you fix that?
A: Go back to work and we keep on working on it. I thought they stepped up at the end of the first half, did a good job in the short-field two-minute. We've got to keep making aggressive plays. Obviously, it comes down to making sure we're in the right call, executing the techniques and the fundamentals at the time. We've got to make sure we put it all together.
Q: A lot of missed opportunities in the red zone, penalties again have come back. You preach discipline constantly. How do you clean this up? This is a few weeks of this now and it has to affect you. You're the guy who says, 'discipline, discipline, discipline' – this keeps happening. How do you clean this up?
A: I think the thing that showed up today in terms of penalties on the field, really that comes down to more technique post-snap instead of focus and finish. We've got to make sure we keep drilling that and correcting that in practice to make sure it doesn't show up again. That's the biggest thing. Obviously, we had two of the tackling penalties. I've got to look at them on tape and see them a little bit closer in terms of what they are. We always stress keeping our eyes up, seeing what we hit, making sure we remove ourselves from the situation. Sometimes there are bang-bang plays that are pretty close. We've got to make sure we go ahead and put the players in the right position that we eliminate those shots right there.
Q: Do you have to worry about the morale of this ball club at all?
A: I think the DNA of our team is a team that comes back and goes to work. Look, no one is going to be happy after a loss, that's the reality of what it is. The element of what we do as professionals (is) we've got to come back and go to work. We've got to watch the tape, we've got key on it and we've got to prepare for a tough opponent coming up next week. In terms of the morale of the team, I trust in the way the guys work, the way I've seen them work on a day in and day out basis and they stick together as a team. That's the biggest part I'm looking for is how they work.
Q: You had a bunch of guys go down in the first half. What have you heard on (Linebacker) Blake (Martinez)?
A: I haven't had any word on Blake. Obviously, they took him out. I was told the same thing you guys were told – knee . I have not seen Blake, I have not talked to the doctors after the game concerning Blake. I don't have an answer on that one. Hopefully it's not serious. Blake is obviously a key part of our team, he's a leader, he's a hard worker, he's a tough dude. We'll see where he's at and hopefully it's going to trend in the right direction.
Q: In the fourth quarter, you guys is you burned two timeouts early. How much responsibility do you take for mistakes like that?
A: On one we had the communication issue with the headset dropping down, in terms of the coach to player system, so I wanted to make sure we were in the right call. We had a third down situation – I wanted to make sure that with the system going down briefly that we went ahead and we handled that the right way. Obviously, we didn't convert on that one and we kept on going. In terms of the other ones, talking about the end of the first half timeout, that was by design to go ahead and see what they were doing at that point based on where we were at in the half, what we had coming up, so that was by design on that one.
Q: On defense, you had two of your guys, (Defensive Back) Logan Ryan and (Cornerback) Adoree' Jackson, both drop interceptions. Can the defense survive when its top players can't make those kinds of plays?
A: Those are the things we talk about in terms of having opportunities and making sure we finish. We've got to make sure we keep putting the players int eh right position. Those guys played those plays aggressively, put themselves in position to get it and obviously it's things we've got to keep on working in practice – JUGS machines, interception drills, things of that nature. Those are things you go back to work on, you focus on and you show the players in terms of, 'Okay, this is what's happening. Here's what we've got to key on,' and we make sure we keep pushing in the right direction to fix those.
Q: I don't want to say, 'Play scared,' but does the defense in crunch time get nervous?
A: No. No, I don't see that at all. I don't see that at all. It comes down to making sure the calls are right, the execution is right in the moment. No, I don't see anything in terms of that.
Q: Obviously, you're working a game. Could you tell that the crowd was not happy a lot of times? (Tight End) Evan Engram got booed off the field when he had a fumble. It seemed like this was sort of a hostile situation at times. Did you sense any of that?
A: I love our crowd. It's New York, it's supposed to be a tough place to be, right? Isn't that the nature of where we're at? People demand excellence because that's where we're at, in the biggest market. Isn't that what people want? So, that's what we have to work to give them. It's not their job to show up and here just go ahead and pat us on the back. It's our job to entertain them and give them something to cheer about. That's it.
Q: What do you say to Evan?
A: Keep your head up, keep playing.
Q: What about to the point where even at the end he got cheered coming off the field because of nothing of his doing? What do you say to a player to handle it?
A: We handle what we do in the field, that's the reality of what it is. I got it, I got booed early in the game for not going for it on fourth down. We punted it and everyone erupted and cheered when it was downed inside the five. We've got to make the best decisions for playing the game and putting ourselves in position for success. In terms of any reaction from the crowd, I'm never going to criticize the crowd – what, are you kidding me? It's our job to entertain them, it's our job to please them. That's the reality of what it is. In terms of our players and reacting to that, we're supposed to have adversity, that's the nature of what we do. We talked before about pressure, there's supposed to be pressure in our job. That's the reality of what we do and get paid for. In terms of reacting to something externally, we've got to focus on what we do each play and the process for being successful.
Re: Losing Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton to hamstring injuries
A: I haven't heard much about the status on that other than they didn't finish the game with us, obviously. Hopefully it's a quick turnaround for both those guys. They're obviously integral parts of our offense. I was pleased with seeing some of the other guys step up. (Wide Receiver Kadarius) Toney did a good job, made some plays early on for us. (Wide Receiver) Collin (Johnson) made some nice catches down the stretch. Obviously, (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) played today, made some big time catches, so there were a number of guys making plays – getting the ball in 26's (Saquon Barkley) hands and getting him started in some space. There were a lot of positives of guys stepping up. It's our job to make sure whoever is available for the game, we put them in position and then it's their job to go out there and execute.
Q: How are you assessing Saquon hitting the holes out there and can you talk about (Running Back Devontae) Booker being inactive today?
A: In terms of the inactives, there's a lot of that goes in every week in terms of healthy scratches, injury scratches, whatever it may be. Obviously, we make the best decision for the team. There's multiple roles that are always involved, so for whatever player is down for different reasons, it's not always a reflection of anything that people want to read into in terms of confidence or trusting the player. A lot of times, it's just in terms of how the flow of the game is going to be played and who's available, what we have to do in terms of depth backups and different parts of the team, as well.
Q: About Saquon hitting the holes, how are you assessing the way he's going after the holes?
A: I've seen him have some productive runs. I've got to take a look at the tape before I go ahead and make any broad picture statements on that.
Q: Is he banged up, Saquon? He seemed to be stretching a lot on the sideline and pulling himself out a bunch.
A: I didn't see anything on that. In terms of him pulling himself out, I didn't see that either. We kind of rotate all those back a good bit. Sometimes it's (Fullback Eli) Penny, (Running Back) Gary (Brightwell) in for him there. That's something we rotate a lot.
Q: You're a big proponent of complementary football and the idea of all three phases playing together. You make a decision to punt there at the 50. (Inaudible). Is it more frustrating when you're trying to call a game complementary-wise and one phase is not helping the others?
A: All three have to play off each other, so exactly what you said right there. We've got to make sure we execute at the time in terms of how it comes up. Obviously, the punt from the 50, we're looking to pin those guys back, put them on a long field for that final drive. That was a big part of what we were doing. Obviously, at that point we're looking to play to our defense and (had) confidence in how they had been playing throughout the game and things they were doing. Our punting game has been pretty good in the plus-50 zone. (Defensive Back) Keion (Crossen) made a big-time play earlier in the day for us. We looked to play for it right there, but in terms of offense, defense, kicking game, we all have to obviously execute when the number is called.
Q: How banged up was Kenny Golladay today? We saw his snaps cut back and before the game it looked like you guys were deliberating whether to play him or not.
A: Our medical staff gave us the green light to play (him) and they indicated that it was in the best interest of him to go out and play. It was something we watched throughout practice this week. We obviously managed some of the volume this week in terms of what he did and building him up a little bit. We saw enough from him pregame and the medical staff saw enough pregame to say he was good to go, and obviously he went out there and made some plays for us today. In terms of some gauge of exactly where he is percentage-wise, I couldn't speak for Kenny on that. I know he's a tough dude and he plays through a lot of nicks and bumps. At this point in the year, no one is 100 percent. There's not a player in the league who's 100 percent, so you've just got to make sure you put a guy out there who's safe to play.
Q: What are your thoughts on the personal foul call on (Safety) Xavier McKinney and from your perspective do you think that changed the momentum late in the game?
A: I'm not going to comment on any of the penalties or anything called. I'm going to make sure I check the tape. We got a brief shot on the jumbotron. I'll take a look at it in terms of anything technique-wise we need to focus on.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q: What is the mood of this team right now?
A: I think guys are frustrated and certainly disappointed with the results. We're all competitors and we want to win and we expect to win, so that's frustrating and we've got to understand that and feel that today. But as we move forward, we've got to use that to motivate us to look at what we've done well and what we need to correct and how we need to attack this week going forward.
Q: How do you explain – it seems to be that you guys keep ending up on the wrong side of these tough losses. Can you put your finger on it and say, this is what we need to do, and this is what we're doing wrong?
A: I don't think it's one thing or even two things. I think it's a combination of a lot of little things we've got to do better. In this league, these games come down to the fourth quarter. They come down to making plays when you have to, and we've got to do that better. We've got to execute and make those plays.
Q: (Head Coach) Joe talks about finishing the game, how do you finish a drive and end with touchdowns instead of field goals? What do you guys to do that?
A: I don't think it's anything different than what we need to do on P and 10 when we get the ball. I think it's about executing plays, understanding the situation and how that factors in. Ultimately, it's about executing plays, taking what they give us and not hurting ourselves. We've got to be able to maintain that execution down the field throughout drives and not allow ourselves to stall. We're able to move it and we're able to make a lot of positive plays, move down the field, execute and then you've got to continue that into the red zone.
Q: How hard is it to stay positive after the losses you've had after these past two weeks?
A: Like I said, we expect to win. We want to win. Everyone in that locker room is a competitor and it's frustrating, but we have no choice but to let this motivate us to continue to work, to put our heads back down and go back to work, correct what we need to correct and get better from it.
Q: You looked pretty excited when you take down the ball in the end zone and you kind of a carry a guy in, do you allow yourself in that moment to say, 'I think we have the points to win now. We're finally gonna win a game here'?
A: No, I don't think at any point – I don't know what the time was there in the fourth quarter, but like I said, these games come down to final drives and often times late in the fourth quarter where we've got to make a play. The game is not over. We haven't scored enough until the game is over, until the clock runs out. We've got to be ready and be ready to go.
Q: There was a lot of pressure on you coming into this year to play a certain way. It seems like you have played well, but the wins still aren't coming. Is there a part of you that says, 'is there anything more I can do?' I mean, how much more can you do to affect the wins for this team?
A: A lot. I think there's a lot. We all can do a lot more and we have to. We believe we have a good football team, and we have the guys to make it work. We've all got to do better. We've all got to play better, correct things and move forward. It's going to come from all of us.
Q: What happened on the fumbled snap?
A: I've just got to handle it better.
Q: How much did it change the offense to lose two of your leading receivers early in the game?
A: It affects the game. It affects the game plan. Those are two key guys and big-time playmakers for us, but I thought the guys stepped up and did a great job. (Wide Receiver) Collin (Johnson), (Wide Receiver) C.J. (Board), all those guys who were in there played great. They were ready and prepared, and I thought they did a good job.
Q: How were Shep (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) and (Wide Receiver) Darius (Slayton) after the game?
A: They were doing alright. I think any time you get hurt like that, it's frustrating. Those guys want to be out there. They're competitors, so I know they'll work hard to get back.
Q: Do you feel for (Tight End) Evan Engram when you guys hear boos every time there was a bad play his way? Fans were cheering when he was getting subbed out of the game. Do you feel for a teammate when something is happening like that?
A: Yeah, absolutely. I don't think that was deserved. I think one tipped ball and I could've thrown it better at the end. I'm not sure I really understood that. He played hard all game and fought back from an injury a few weeks ago to be out here. He's a big-time player for us and is going to be huge for us down the stretch.
Q: What do you say to him? You're one of the team leaders, that's got to be a tough thing for anybody to handle when they're cheering him off the field?
A: I think he knows how much we believe in him, how much I believe in him. Like I said, he's a big-time playmaker for us. He's made a ton of plays in the past and I have no doubt he'll continue to do that as we get going in the season. I've got a lot of trust and a lot of faith in him personally and I know our team does as well.
Q: You guys punted from the 39 – I think it was 4th-and three, 4th-and-four, is that frustrating? Do you want to like lobby, 'let's go for it here'? How frustrating is it to play so conservatively?
A: No, I mean, that's certainly not my decision and I understand it at that point in the game. It makes sense, so it's our job to execute plays and to make sure we don't get in those situations.
Q: Was the inability to execute today more self-inflicted or do you feel it was something they were doing on their end as a defense?
A: I think overall, I'd say we executed well. I wouldn't say it wasn't an issue of execution. I think there were certainly some things we can do better down the stretch and things we've got to clean up, certainly. I think a lot of those issues are self-inflicted and things that we've got to clean up and things we've got to do better.
Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: What is your level of frustration with the losses?
A: We just have to finish. 0-3. Obviously no one is happy. We just have to keep trusting each other and stay with each other. Starting 0-3 is where you're going to hear a lot of noise outside. As long as we stay strong in the locker room, we're going to be alright. So we have to keep trusting each other, keep trusting the system, keep trusting the coaches and keep coming to work and try to figure it out.
Q: How much do you guys hear that noise and how much does it affect your psyche?
A: That's part of the game. We have some of the best fans here. We know that, and we know how New York and New Jersey are. That's part of the game. We have to give them something that they can't boo about. We have to be better.
Q: During the Eli Manning's jersey retirement ceremony, when (Giants owner) John Mara came up to the podium, the fans booed him. What do you think of that?
A: I don't that's fair to Mr. Mara. I think he's done a great job. He's a great owner. We just have to keep doing better as a team.
Q: Were you injured at one point or did you get hit somewhere uncomfortable?
A: I got hit somewhere uncomfortable. I got hit in my private part. I don't know what other way to say it. If you're a guy and you've ever been hit there, it's not comfortable. When you have a 220, 230 pound linebacker hit you there, it definitely does not feel good either.
Q: How are you assessing the way you're coming back, the way you're attacking the holes? Is there more to go?
A: There's definitely more to go. I can see it. My teammates can see it. They've been telling me it's coming, that I'm starting to look like myself again. I knew this road wasn't going to be easy. This season didn't start how we would have liked, but I'm going to keep coming to work, keep pushing myself, keep pushing the team, keep being a leader, and keep going.
Q: When you see Darius (Slayton] get hurt, when you see Shep (Sterling Shepard) get hurt, you know Kenny Golladay is hurt, do you feel that weight on your shoulders like you have to more than you normally do?
A: It sucks to see those guys go down. They're key parts of our team. They're leaders of our team, they make big plays for us and they come in every single day and they work. It sucks to see those guys go down. But even with them going down, we still had an opportunity to win the game and we didn't do that. We didn't finish and that's both sides, all three phases. We have to go score on offense, so we don't even give them an opportunity. Special teams, we have to do better. Defense, we have to do better. That's where we are at as a team, to be completely honest. It's been like that for the last four years, three-four years. It's going to click. We've got something special. I told those guys at halftime that we have something special. I don't know when it's going to happen, but we have to start believing. When I say 'we', I mean the players. We have to start believing in each other and believing in the scheme and when that happens, we will have something special. But until then, we're going to keep having losses at the end of the game with field goals, because we're this close and we keep saying it. 'We're this close.' But somebody has to do something about it and that has to be myself and the leaders of this team and just the guys on this team. We have to step up and make plays.
Q: This team was bad when you got here. How sick are you of losing?
A: I don't think we're a bad team, to be honest. I know you guys are going to say what you're going to say and write what you want to write, but that's the NFL. There are no bad teams in the NFL.
Q: You've lost a lot since you've gotten here.
A: I'm sick of losing. Everyone is sick of losing. No one wants to lose, but I wouldn't consider us a bad team. We just have to figure it out, and that's the difference.
Q: In the last answer, did you say you guys have to start believing in each other?
A: What I mean by believing in each other is believing that we have something special, believing that we can go out there and win games when it's close, believe that we can go make those plays.
Q: Were you disappointed that on Eli Manning's jersey retirement day you couldn't deliver a win?
A: Yeah, losing in general sucks. Obviously Eli did an amazing job here and has done some great things for this organization. It would definitely have meant a little bit more to go out there and get a win for him, but we didn't do that. We have to go back to the drawing board, watch film, learn from what we did and get ready for the Saints.
Cornerback Adoree' Jackson
Q: Adoree', can you take us through what happened there in the end zone?
A: I just dropped it [the pass]. I misjudged the ball by jumping and I ended up just dropping the ball. That's the only explanation. I wanted to make the play, but I just didn't come down with it.
Q: Tell us, what was going through your head in that moment when it happened?
A: I was real pissed. I couldn't get the team out of that situation where we get the ball back [on offense] and then you don't know what happens when we're up by seven and things could've gone a different way. Dropping it [the ball] and missing that play, I was pissed at myself, but at the end of the day, you've got to just keep going back out there and battling.
Q: Do you think they [the Falcons offense] made it look a little too easy on the drives that tied the ballgame up and then on the game-winning field goal?
A: I just feel like they out-executed us in that situations and that's one of the things where we have to look at the film, correct it and just get better. We have to bet on ourselves and double-down knowing that games come down to third-down, two-minutes and red zones and just try to correct it and get better.
Q: What keeps happening at the end of halves and at the end of games in two-minute drills? For three weeks in a row, it seems like you're playing pretty decent defense and then in those two-minute drills is where everything collapses.
A: I mean, I credit Azeez [Giants LB Azeez Ojulari] for getting the sack and the turnover on the two-minute drill in the first half and then the second one, we just didn't execute and that's point-blank period. There's no excuses or no anything; we just have to go out there and finish games and execute.
Q: This has happened now two straight weeks, is this defense overrated?
A: Overrated? We just need to go out there and fix it. If you want to call us overrated, you can. I'm going to worry about the locker room and just stay with each other, stick with each other, keep building and keep growing and understanding it's September; we have 14, 15 games left to play. We will figure it out and get it together. Our heads are not down and we're not wavering or thinking about anything on the outside. We're just trying to get ourselves together and keep going in and competing.
Q: From a secondary standpoint, how do you fix this defense?
A: For us, it starts when we get back to work tomorrow watching film or whenever practice starts. We just have to go out there and compete. We made some great plays on the ball and some we just didn't execute and make the plays that we needed to. We're just going to try and be consistent throughout the week and go out there throughout the game and be consistent and keep working.
Q: Adoree', you guys lost Blake [Giants LB Blake Martinez] early in the game. Is there an adjustment for the whole defensive unit when you lose him out there so early on in the game?
A: For us, it's just the 'next-man-up mentality' and understand that things happen throughout the course of the game or throughout the course of the week and understand that you just have to go out there and play and compete. Having him down, we surely missed him, but we're going to have to go out there and play for him and make him proud. Obviously, we didn't do that today.
Q: Adoree', on a lighter note, what's the penalty that you will have to face for dropping the interception in the DB room?
A: I know they are going to give me hell. Whatever the penalty is that they give me, I have to accept it. I understand that I should've made that play and I didn't and it's killing me that I didn't. Whatever they say, it's just going in there and working and compete and just try to improve this week.
Q: The natural reaction when the team struggles to make plays at the end of games especially in the biggest moments is that the pressure is getting to you guys. Do you feel that that is the case and that guys are pressing to make those kinds of plays at the end of games?
A: No, I don't think anybody is pressing. We always talk about rely on your brother next to you and just do your job. It's crazy, I heard [New Orleans Saints QB] Jameis Winston talk about how you don't always have to be Batman; you can be Bruce Wayne, and that's the attitude that we have to come in with and understand that there's 10 other guys out there. You do your job and your brother does his job and we should be alright. I don't think we're pressing anything or feeling any pressure out there. We just have to go out there and make plays.
Q: Do you think it's just bad luck?
A: I don't know. God has us in this little adversity right now. I don't question anything that goes on through life or what is happening right now. I understand that it's a long season and there is a lot of ball left to be played and there are corrections to be made that will be made. At the end of the day, that's how I think of it. We just have the opportunity to get better.
Q: When you signed here, did you think that you were joining a better defense?
A: When I signed here, I was ready to compete and ready to have fun and ready to enjoy the opportunity and embrace the opportunity that is ahead. Obviously, we haven't done it so far, but like I said, there is a lot of ball left to play. I'm excited and encouraged about it.
Q: How demoralizing can it be for a team to go back-to-back weeks to give up these fourth quarter comebacks?
A: It's crazy when it's a lot of bad things that go on. You can also take some of the good things out of it. I understand when you watch film it's not always as good as it seems and it's not always as bad as it seems. It's the little details, the little corrections. It's the little plays that get the wins, and it's the little plays that end up getting the losses.
Figuring out the little plays will help us win and I don't think it's demoralizing at all. Our spirits are up, our heads are up and we're going to go out there and figure it out. That's what we're trying to do and will do.
Defensive Back Logan Ryan
Q: Where do you go from here?
A: Where do we go from here? Keep on trucking. I checked my phone – I don't get many texts after a loss. People don't know how to talk to me after a loss, I'll be really upset. A lot of texts after a win – but I see the Chiefs lose a game, a nail-biter, they lose a touchdown with 30 seconds left and go 1-2. I see the Ravens have to kick a 66-yard field goal to beat the Lions. That's the nature of this game. A lot of this game is parity and it comes down to last-second plays. We obviously saw the Chiefs game a couple days ago with the forced fumble at the end. It's going to come down to the end. We've got to make stops at the end to win the game or our offense has to convert there to win the game. That's just how this league is. I understand people may feel like it's falling right now, but at the end of the day two nail-biters and didn't make the necessary plays to win it. But if you lose every game – every time you lose a game by a field goal or a last-second kick or don't make the play and you go in the tank then it's hard to succeed in this league, so I don't think that panic is necessarily there. Just got to keep moving forward and clean up those mistakes.
Q: How do you fix that as a defense two weeks in a row you were on the field and couldn't slam the door shut and two weeks in a row they kick the game-winning field goal? How do you guys fix that?
A: I mean, you identify what the issue is. There are different plays, different players, different schemes, different game plans and you just try to take the play for what it is. The screen to (Falcons Running Back) Cordarrelle Patterson at the end of the game was a really nice call for the defense that we had called. That's a really good call and that's tough. That's a good player to get the ball in his hands and based on the defense we had called, it's tough. In a chess game it's a tough move, so credit to (Falcons Head Coach) Art Smith. He was a really good coordinator – I've obviously won some games with Art – and good coach, and that was just a good play call to get them in field goal position. The rest we're trying to defend every inch, punch the ball out, try to do whatever we've got to do to make a miraculous play at the end of the game. That's just a good call, hats off to them, but I don't really let one loss go into the other. I don't let one play dictate the other. To play DB, to be a captain on this team, you've got to take it one play at a time, one game at a time and go onto the next one.
Q: From the outside though, people see the same things happening over and over, you guys losing tight games at the end. Why do you say that they should have hope that you guys are going to get it together? What do you see that that's going to happen?
A: Well, we've got to give them hope, right? We've got to give them hope. Nobody deserves to give us hope or anything. You've got to earn that. You've got to earn the trust and earn the hope of the fan base and everyone like that, so that's what we're doing. For me up here today, I don't lose hope because I go to work regardless. I go to work every day, put the work in. You lose by a field goal, 'Oh man, the season's over.' You lose by a field goal, 'Oh man, the season's definitely over.' That's just not the case. We're going to go back to work. I think we played a lot better defense today. I think (in) the end of the game situation we didn't play our best ball and we've got to figure that out. We didn't play great two-minute defense in the second quarter. They get a turnover, we go out there and we get a turnover. That's a good response. If we don't respond there, you guys are going to be writing about how we can't get a stop in two-minute. We got a stop in two-minute today, so I think we cleaned up a lot of things. I think we hit a lot of our targets. I just think unfortunately at the end of the game we didn't get the stops we need. Listen, this is a business, it's a production business and it's about wins and losses, so if you don't win the game, obviously there could be a lot of panic. I try to just bring a little poise and some experience there that you can't lose your mind after every loss.
Q: Given what happened at the end of the game the past two weeks, is this defense overrated?
A: That's up to you. We don't rate ourselves, PFF rates us. We don't rate ourselves. We go out there and play. At the end of the game, this time last year we were probably the 32nd-ranked defense and we finished somewhere better than that, so we don't rate ourselves. We keep on trucking. If you've got guys on defense that worry about their ratings and their rankings and what they should be or could be, that's not why you play defense. You scratch and claw every play and you make some stops, they make some plays on you and you go out and you play again. That's why a lot of people can't play defense nowadays because (with) Twitter and hot reactions, they're afraid to get embarrassed. I got up there, I got stiff-armed today, I dropped a pick today, but guess what? Those guys on the other team, they shook my hand because they know I bring it every game. I'm going to get around the ball, I'm going to force fumbles, I'm going to make tackles. If I miss a tackle, I miss a tackle. If I miss a pick, I miss a pick, but I've made a lot of picks in my career. I've closed out a lot of games. Today, I didn't close it out. I've got a shooter's mentality, I keep on going. I'm not afraid to be out there in the big moments, I'm not afraid if I make a mistake. I go out there and that's why I'm a leader of this team.
Q: When a team is as young as you guys are, is it any harder to keep guys up when the team is down than when you have a lot of veterans?
A: I think the league is relatively young. I think our team isn't that young. I think we have key experienced players, we have quarterbacks who have been in the system, running backs who have been here a couple years. We've got offensive players (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep and (Wide Receiver Kenny) Golladay who have made plays for years. We've got guys all over the defense that made plays for years, playing a lot of ball. We might be young in some areas, but I think we have plenty of veteran leadership and we have plenty of experience. I just think the league in general is a lot younger than it used to be and I'm sure Atlanta – Matt Ryan is really old, so that might help their age (laughs). I really don't know the age difference and all that stuff, but I think everyone is dealing with some youth, but that's just the league.
Q: (Cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson) came in and talked about what he did when he missed his interception. You had a couple out there, as well. Can you take us through what you saw out there on your misses and also what penalty you'll face in the DB room this week?
A: So the first one I'm rolling over to the half of the field and I'm trying to make a break on the receiver, and I see the ball is thrown high so it's kind of coming out of a weird break and trying to make a play on the ball, contorting my body and didn't come down with the catch. It hit my hands, I got to catch it, but it wasn't like my man threw it right to me and I just dropped it. I was trying to contort to make the catch. The other one, something I really put a lot of work in is playing the post safety. In the offseason, we talked about that and I put in a lot of work. I think I had a great read and break out the post. I go to make a play on the ball and bang-bang, receiver hit my hands off the ball. People can sit there and say there are misses and drops, but half the safeties in this league can't get to those balls. Listen, I want to be an upper-echelon safety, I want to make those plays in this league, that's what they pay me to do and that's the guy I want to be around here. Put it on me, put the loss on me, put the drops on me, that's fine. I get on the JUGS machines – I'm here four hours early before the game catching 100 footballs if anyone's here early. My routine is there, my confidence isn't shaken and I'm going to come bring it and make those plays for the team and close out these games and get some wins.
Q: What happened on the pass interference?
A: We just passed (Falcons Tight End) Kyle Pitts off there and I ended up on him. Matt Ryan threw the ball to what felt like the first row, really high, and that dude is a lot taller than me, can probably jump a lot higher than me. I climbed the ladder to go make a play on the ball. I feel like I'm looking at the ball. Obviously, there's some collision there, but if he was stiff-arming me to catch the ball, they're not going to call nothing. I'm trying to make a play on the ball, but I'm 5'11" with a 35-inch (vertical) and he's 6'6" with whatever he got. I'm not going to let him come down with it. I think it's bang-bang, let us play. I'm playing the ball, we're going to have to make a play. Like I said, that's just the positions I'm put in on this team near the line of scrimmage, in the post, covering Pitts, got-to-have-it situations. That's just the situation they put me in and they trust me to make those plays. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. I trust the team is going to put me in those situations again and have a different result.
Q: What happened on that first touchdown?
A: The first touchdown? I've got to see the film. I'm not exactly sure.
Q: Did you see the replay of (Safety) Xavier McKinney's hit that they flagged?
A: I did. It's hard to play defense nowadays. Physicality is not rewarded anymore for the defense, it's mostly penalties. Unfortunately, that's just how they call it. Hopefully he doesn't get fined, I don't think he deserves that. If it looks bad, they're going to call it. I just think that's how you teach it. I don't know, it's unfortunate.
Wide Receiver Collin Johnson
Q: What was it like getting your first action as a Giant?
A: It was great. I'm just happy I got to contribute. I try to prepare every week like my number's going to be called, so whenever it is called, I'm ready to make the play. But it definitely felt good to get in a rhythm.
Q: After this whole offseason and when you signed with the Giants, was there something that (Head) Coach (Joe Judge) was talking with you about – just what was expected to be your role? How has your role kind of evolved throughout the weeks to get to this point?
A: Yeah, he told me learn outside receiver, both X and Z, and just be ready for when my number is called and also contribute on special teams. Like I said, every week I just try to dig in the playbook, get the game plan down and practice whatever they need me, wherever they need me. I'm just down because I just want to be a part of this team and help the team win, basically.
Q: Was there a feeling of disbelief on the side – we know (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) came in hurt, and then (Wide Receiver) (Darius) Slayton gets hurt and Shep (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) gets hurt – is there a feeling like, 'oh my God, who's next?'
A: That's football. You're around football long enough, I just feel like people go down. It's unfortunate, but you just have to step up and that's what it is in this league. Like I said, I just prepare each and every week like I'm the starter, so you're ready when your number is called.
Q: Did you cramp up late in the game?
A: Little bit. A little bit at the end of the game. But I've just been drinking a lot of water, so I'm getting back now.
Q: What was the locker room like after a loss like that?
A: It's about just staying together. We believe in each other in that locker room, regardless of what's going on. We're just going to keep working, and each and every day we're going to show up to practice because that's all we know and that's what Coach Judge preaches. We're just going to continue to work, clean up the little things and just go from there.
Q: You didn't have training camp with the team because you joined after training camp. What's the adjustment been for you to learn the playbook in such a short period of time?
A: A lot of studying. Just getting with some of the offensive assistants, getting with DJ (Quarterback Daniel Jones) on our own time and just studying, basically, because its tough. You don't have training camp. You don't have OTAs. You have to come in and learn the playbook in a week basically. The guys, the receivers, DJ, the coaches, they kind of just really help me out and feel very comfortable in learning it. So, it's been great so far.
Check out the best photos from the New York Giants' Week 3 contest against the Atlanta Falcons.