Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: All right, so we spent yesterday obviously cleaning up the tape from Week 1. Before we left yesterday, we introduced the Washington Football Team to our players to make sure they had a brief glimpse in terms of big picture of who they are. The players spent last night looking through the scouting report and some of the preliminary cutups we had made for them and then came in today. We're going to focus this morning simulating more of a Wednesday install, which would include early downs, punt, punt return, field goal, field goal block. This afternoon, we'll come back and we'll do more of a Thursday install, which is going to be kickoff, kick return, hands team and third down install. Tomorrow morning, we'll show up and we'll simulate more of a Friday in terms of red area install, review all the special teams situations, review all the end of game situations and then we'll get on the train and we'll go on down to Washington. I'd say when talking about this opponent, obviously, it's a division opponent. In talking about the NFC East, it's a unique division. I think these are different type of division games. Every division wants to talk about having passion and who you play. I think it's important to recognize the history of all the teams in this division, the physicality, the passion, the fan bases. These things all play a part in terms of how we have to prepare for this game and understand the environment we're walking into. Last year we played in Washington and it was very limited fans. We have to expect a very hostile atmosphere this week. I think it's going to be a great atmosphere to play in, personally. I think when you go down anywhere, when it's us versus everybody else, that's always good to really test your team sticking together and see how we operate in that type of situation. In terms of talking about these guys on the field, look, it starts with (Washington Head Coach) Ron (Rivera). I think Ron's a terrific coach. He does a great job. He always has his teams prepared. I think the theme of their team is really, they do what they do, and they do it very well. You look at the defense, between Ron and (Washington Defensive Coordinator) Jack (Del Rio), it's been the same defense for a long time. There's variation within it, however, the history of the defense is the history of the defense. We can expect to see in the game what we see on cutups, but that doesn't mean it's going to be a cakewalk. It means it's going to be very challenging. They don't have to do a lot because what they do is very sound. They have very talented, very good players, starting with their defensive front. Obviously, those edge players are second to none. All right, the interior tackles – (Washington Defensive Tackle Daron) Payne, (Washington Defensive Tackle Jonathan) Allen, and (Washington Defensive Tackle Matt) Ioannidis coming in there – these guys can all make plays. They're athletic, they're stout. There's multiples that they can operate in. You talk about their linebackers and their secondary, to me, the theme is speed and aggressiveness. These guys play very downhill. They're aggressive to get in the box, aggressive to make plays, aggressive to jump routes on the outside. They're fast. They flow over the top. They play off what the disruption of the front causes in front of them and they do a good job right there limiting big plays. You play against this team, you have to be prepared to go down the field tick by tick by tick. They're a very good team situationally getting off the field on third down and red area. They're a very good team of not allowing explosive plays. They're a good tackling team. Ok, you've got to make sure you try and challenge them in the open field when you get the opportunity. But this is a fundamentally sound team, they're very prepared. They come in and do what they do. Offensively, (Washington Offensive Coordinator Scott) Turner's offense, we've seen a lot of it throughout the years. It hasn't had a lot of variation, that's not an insult. It's just they have what their package is, they know how to go ahead and dress it up a little bit, but they play to their players' strengths. They're consistent in what they do. They're able to produce plays. I think when you talk about their offense, obviously, they've added explosive weapons on the outside. They drafted (Washington Wide Receiver Dyami) Brown. They signed (Washington Wide Receiver Curtis) Samuel, I know he's on IR right now, but the focus for their offense has been adding explosive plays, pushing it down the field. Fitz (Washington Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick) not playing in the game, it's really looking at how Fitz plays and really giving that element. I think the thing you talk about with (Washington Quarterback Taylor) Heinicke replacing Fitz, they both have a lot of similarities in terms of their competitiveness, how they play and think on their feet, how they improvise during a game or how they extend plays. These guys are really true gamers, and I say gunslinger in a very complimentary way for these guys. These are guys you cannot sleep on. I mean, I have a lot of respect for Fitz. I think it's important to see everybody's players in the game and see everybody play. We cannot sleep on Heinicke. This guy's a good player. This guy's a talented player. This guy goes out there and plays 60 minutes and he's going to give us everything we can handle. We have to be very prepared. We have to play very sound, very disciplined and very aware with him on the field. You tie in, obviously, (Washington Tight End) Logan Thomas, one of the top tight ends in the league. They do a terrific job on third down, red area using this guy. They're going to find ways to isolate this guy in space and get him in the right matchup. He's a big catch radius type of guy. He makes a lot of contested catches. He's a tough matchup. You've got to get him before he gets going, that's easier said than done. We've got to make sure we get the right matchups and we understand how to play against this guy. Then obviously you talk about the backs, look, (Washington Running Back Antonio) Gibson, (Washington Running Back J.D.) McKissic, you can hand these guys the ball, they can make plays. You can throw screens to them. You can throw check-downs, you can get them on a swing route and you can put them out in the actual route going. They're very versatile. You can have these guys on the field – it could be 21-out personnel, meaning the fullback is out of the game, just the two halfbacks, and is it 21? Is it 11? They're really creating receivers with their running backs and spinning multiples. They can get to the same schemes in multiple personnel groupings, so it's a great challenge with these guys right here. Special teams-wise, (Washington Special Teams Coordinator) Nate (Kaczor's) a great coach. They're really built for coverage units. They've got a very good core of very talented specialists, big leg specialists. I think (Washington Punter) Tress Way has been one of the top punters in this league for a long time. This guy's extremely fast. He's tough to pressure. You don't want to waste too much time really trying to go after this guy. He does a great job getting down the field. They've got speed on the outside with their gunners to force fair catches. The other thing is, you've got to do a good job with Tress of the balls on the ground of stopping the roll. He gets a lot of hidden yards for the net punt that comes off of balls that are not fielded, that he gets rolling towards the goal line and they steal extra yards right there. So we've been very sound with our specialists this week. We've got to be sound in our protection units. These guys will do a great job putting size on the inside. We expect to see some size in the A-gap to try and test our protection, as well as on the field goal protection. These guys do a really good job coming off the edge. You've got to make sure that you're stout in there and you protect for your specialists and we give (Kicker) Graham (Gano) a chance to get the ball off. But there's not one part of this game playing against a team like Washington that they're not going to have talent and a lot of players and they're not going to be sound in their scheme. So, it's going to take a good week of preparation. Obviously, it's a short week. There's different challenges that come up in these weeks. I'd say first off, primarily, you want to make sure your guys are physically recovered as much as possible. You want to have a fresh team going into Thursday. The best way we can equate it to our players is you come off of a game on Sunday, all right, you're really getting ready for a Thursday practice, which for us is a higher volume, higher tempo type of practice. We have a lot different situations with them and a longer practice on the field for us throughout the week, so our guys can have a little of that simulation in terms of knowing what they have to prepare for in that short period of turnaround. And then mentally, you want to make sure that you can go out there, operate, and execute whatever you ask your team to do. It's very important you understand who the opponent is. It's also very important to understand who you are and how you have to execute how you have to play. So, with that being said, we have a lot of work to get done in a short period of time for Washington. When we get on this train and we want to make sure our guys are prepared and when we get there Thursday night, obviously, we want to make sure we're ready to go out there physically and mentally to be able to run and hit and play fast football. With that being said, I'll open it up to any questions you may have.
Q: I know you're always confident in all your players. Did you get more confident in your offensive line? You just spent some time on how good Washington's defensive line is – the way your offensive line held up against Denver's pass rush, did that –
A: You guys ask me all the time about the offensive line and that's (what) your job is supposed to be, you guys are asking the right questions. I see a lot of things at practice. (I) talk all the time about I see things that you can build with. I see things you can build with. I see things in practice. Like the number one thing in my mind, like look, I'm going to tell you now, like you come into my meeting on a Monday, I don't care if you win by 30, lose by 30, it's always the same tone, same meeting. I kind of try to keep it like this and when I turn the tape on, the first thing I see is what do I have to correct right now? What's the opponent watching and what do we got to fix? How do we help our team right now and go out there and teach our players of how we've got to fix it? So, the first thing I'm thinking is corrections, but then I'm looking for, what did we do well enough to win? What can we build on? When I watch our offense line, the first thing that starts with any offensive line is the camaraderie. They've got to play together. Now, some teams, that's just five. I say it all time, if you're on the trip, you're playing. I want all of our guys playing. I want them building chemistry and making sure we have the right kind of mixes that we only get in a situation someone has to play because of need. I want to play guys playing because we're developing all of our players. We're going to be able to play with all of our players on our roster. We keep bringing along, we can play a little bit fresh, a little bit ahead. So, starting with the camaraderie with those guys, like look, what's said on the outside, we don't worry about it on the inside, OK? But they're aware of it. They're aware of it. That's a challenge for these guys and I like the way they respond to that every day. They come out and they work, and they don't really care what's being said about them. It's not going to deter from how they work and stick together as a team and support each other. They go against a very tough defensive front every day in practice – ours. So, that's one-on-ones, two- on-twos, games inside, they're going against a very talented front and they've got guys who are going to get after them every single day. We like that because we feel that when you play a front, like Washington's, who's very talented, obviously, we've prepared them for that. So, they've seen a lot of the things, talent-wise, speed-wise, power-wise and schematically, they're going to see from different opponents. I wasn't surprised to see our guys go out the other day and operate the way we planned on going out there and operating. I wasn't. I expected them to go out there and play well. Are there things you got to clean up? Yeah, absolutely. There's always something you got to clean up and I always start with, what do I have to clean up as a head coach? What do I have to do better? What can I help the coordinators do better? What can we get the position coaches doing better? And then we got to get to the players. Until we get it right as coaches, the players can't do anything. So, we're going to always look to fix things and clean things up. However, along those lines, I'm not surprised by the way the offensive line plays. I see the way they work every day. I know what we demand on those guys. I know the situations we put them in to challenge them and make it tough, make it tougher than it's going to be in the games a lot of times. I see how they respond to it. I like the way they respond to coaching. I like the way they respond to tough criticism. So, I'm not surprised with the way these guys played because of how they work.
Q: With (Offensive Lineman) Shane (Lemieux), did he reinjure his knee? Or is that just something that you guys are going to have to manage?
A: Everyone's got individual things we have to account for. I thought (Guard) Ben (Bredeson) got in the other day, he did a good job. I thought Shane did a nice job when he was in there, as well. We have a number of guys coming out in the short turnaround. (If) today's really Tuesday, it would be a player's day off. So, we had a number of guys right now we're going to kind of start with the trainers today and kind of move them into practice. It's a walkthrough practice, but kind of move them as we get going and see where they're at physically. I wouldn't say anybody's involvement or lack of involvement in practice today would have anything to do with playing on Thursday. We still have Wednesday to get guys out there. It's a walkthrough day. We've had a lot of meetings this morning, more meetings this afternoon, followed by another walkthrough. I wouldn't look too far into involvement one way or the other right now going into the game.
Q: What can you take from what the Chargers were able to do against that pass rush particularly early in that game? They really neutralized, especially those edge guys.
A: Well, I would say this, we've got expect to see a lot more production from Washington than what we saw in last week's game. You can take a look at the tape right there and you can say, obviously, there's some things schematically that the Chargers did. They did a lot of things that's nice with the quarterback and tying in the run game and quick passes, getting out. However, to me, anybody you play you have to expect to get their absolute best. It's a division game. Like, look, if you try to fall asleep on someone because you think they didn't do what you thought they're going to do in the first game, like I promise you, we're going to see the best Chase and Sweat had to offer. That's not going to be a surprise to us. We know we're going to get their absolute best.
Q: You said Young and those guys, what is it that makes them so good?
A: They're both long. I'm going to talk about Chase and Sweat right now. Look, they're both long, they're both extremely fast off the snap. They're first step quickness is extremely quick. They eat up a lot of ground. They have those long legs. They don't waste momentum. They don't waste motion to get into it. They use those long (?) with their arms to get in your chest and bull you back. Sweat's really a powerful guy. He's really a power – he's a long, powerful guy that can really play through your edge and he can get through your chest thick if you overset him and he can get to the inside shoulder and it's tough to go ahead and reset down on him once you lose that leverage. Chase is a rare guy. To be that big, that fast, that strong, that powerful and that athletic. I think this guy really, you look at the traits this guy has off the field. I mean, this guy's a true leader. This guy's a bell cow for these guys. He was as a rookie last year. You can see the way they rally around him and you can see the way he works and prepares, and it comes in a game right there. I mean, this guy's a special player. He's really one of the elite guys in the league. Just a rare combination of all the skill set, which obviously in the draft is why everyone was so high on the guy, but I think that nobody misevaluated this guy, I'll say it right now. Like, maybe he didn't go high enough.
Q: On the quarterback position, you obviously spent eight years with the best there in New England. Just curious when you're coaching (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones), do you ever talk to him about things that (Former Patriots Quarterback Tom) Brady did in terms of preparation, attention to detail and ball security? If so, does Daniel embrace those conversations?
A: I don't try to live in the past. Obviously, we share experiences with all of our players from places we've been. You've got to use your experience with other players in terms of things that may have helped them along the way. I don't try to live in the past. I don't want to walk into anything and say, 'this is how somebody else did it. You do it that way.' You can't emulate and imitate anybody. Look, Daniel prepares extremely well. Daniel goes out there and practices hard every day. He goes out there and we have confidence in him because of the way he prepares on a weekly basis, doing everything it takes to be ready for the game. In terms of going ahead and reflecting back on what somebody else did, sometimes you can tie that in a little bit schematically, maybe talking to a receiver on a different kind of route pattern or some kind of stem and you can kind of say, 'Hey, listen, this is how some guys used it,' but you use that from tape you see on tape every week. I mean, you can watch Denver from us just playing them and telling our receivers, 'Hey, you see how (Broncos Wide Receiver Jerry) Jeudy did this right here, like, that's a good way of doing it. That's some good, savvy mannerisms right there.' You can watch the Chargers and say, 'Hey, you see how they ran this route right here. If we're going to have something similar in the game plan, this is the way we can go ahead and set it up right there.' So, you want to use everything available you have as a tool to teach. Anything that you can use to paint a mental image for your players and get them to go out there and play faster because they can understand exactly what you're looking for, you want to use that and not waste any opportunity. Do I walk in and I say, 'Hey, I've had the opportunity to be around really good players at other positions. You should do it this way'? Absolutely not. Everyone's a unique player. You have to let them play to their strengths. You have to let them be their own player. We've got to go ahead and teach as best we can, but we're not looking to try to go ahead and make anybody a version of anybody else. We want the New York Giants to be the New York Giants.
Q: Is there any chance (Tight End) Evan Engram is going to be able to go this week?
A: Yeah, I hope so. Yeah, I hope so. I know he's been pushing. He had a real good day of rehab the other day, moving along. He's making a lot of jumps in terms of how he's working. We'll see where he is today physically and reevaluate that probably tomorrow based on how today goes, and we'll see if he can get ready for Thursday.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q: What kind of challenge do you face when you go against a team with (Washington Defensive End) Chase Young and (Washington Defensive End) Montez Sweat out there?
A: They're a good defense. It definitely starts up front like you said. They've got those two guys and a lot of guys who can get after the passers and disrupt a game with their pass rush. We've got to do a good job getting the ball out on time and protecting, making sure we're on the same page and communicating well. They're certainly a good front and we'll be ready for it.
Q: You've had success against them. Is there something that you're able to see when you play them?
A: I don't know, not necessarily. I think every year is different, every team is different, every game is different, so we'll prepare for this one individually of the others, but I think we'll have a good game plan going in.
Q: On Sunday, Chase Young in particular did not have the kind of game he expected to have in terms of getting pressure on (Chargers Quarterback Justin) Herbert. What do you expect from him Thursday?
A: He's a good player, he's proven that. Like I said, we'll be ready for him. I thought Herbert did a good job getting the ball out on time and making reads and being decisive there, so that's the challenge. We'll protect well and then understand where we are as far as communication, getting on the same page and then me getting the ball out of my hands.
Q: When you're watching film, obviously you're watching defense. How much do you pay attention when the opposing quarterback does some things well against that defense? Obviously, you're not going to change your style, but do you say, 'Oh, maybe I've got to focus on trying to do that, it worked for that guy'?
A: I think there are definitely things that you can pick up from watching other guys play and you can kind of see their game plan and their mindset going into games. We have a different system, different plays, different players, but there's definitely things you can learn there. I think he (Justin Herbert) did a good job getting the ball out of his hands.
Q: You've had a lot of success against Washington, you're 4-0 against them. Is there a common thread that's running through what you've been able to do against them?
A: I don't think so. I think each game is different and each team is different from year to year, so we'll prepare for this one and be ready to play Thursday.
Q: You guys have started 0-2 each year the first two years. You've seen how hard it is to dig out of those early holes. How important does that make this game for you to avoid that?
A: It's certainly big. Every game is big. We've got to do a good job coming back, learning from the things that happened on Sunday and making sure we correct them and move forward. We treat it one week at a time and focus our full efforts on Washington and getting a win this week.
Q: You guys seem to have all the weapons, but you're not putting up the points. Do you have to do it to make yourselves or to just believe you can do it?
A: I think we all believe we can do it. We've got to execute and be more consistent with it. I think situationally we've got to be better in certain areas and convert some more opportunities. I think we believe we can do it and we know we can, so it's about going out there and executing.
Q: When you went back and looked at the film, what did you see on the fumble? Was there anything that you look at and say, 'I could've done this, I could've done that'?
A: Just securing the ball better and making sure I'm keeping it tight and keeping it tight to my body throughout the play even before contact, so it's in a good spot. I can definitely be better there.
Q: What do you say to the idea that people are like, 'It's year three and we're talking about the same things, the fumble, why does this keep happening?' What's your response to that?
A: I think each situation is separate from the other and I've got to learn from each one of them and correct them. That's the way I'm looking at it and I've certainly studied this one from Sunday and trying to work on it.
Q: How frustrating is it for you that ball security, just in terms of fumbles, continues to be an issue?
A: It's certainly frustrating. Those are big plays and certainly changed the game, so I've got to do better.
Q: How fine of a line is it knowing when to slide and when to go headfirst?
A: There are certain situations where you can probably do both, but I think there's also something to learn from that on Sunday and making those decisions.
Q: If you had the chance to do it over would you slide in that spot or are you still okay with diving and just protecting it better in your mind?
A: I think certainly protecting it better, but watching the film, (I) definitely could've slid also. Might have been smart.
Q: What does it do to your mindset when a defense is basically designed to not let you make explosive plays down the field? I know that was something that Denver did and (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) says Washington does. How do you approach that?
A: I think understanding that. I think you never want to assume anything. Just because they're designed that way, there are still ways to create explosive plays and making sure you're seeing it and confirming it after the snap, so I think that's a big piece of it. I think a big way to create explosive plays is doing what you're supposed to, getting the ball where it's supposed to be and guys breaking tackles and extending plays, so we've got to do a good job with that.
Q: After you hit (Wide Receiver Darius) Slayton for that deep pass on the first drive, the next play call was a jet sweep to (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney). I know that's early in the game, and you have a script. Do you have a second play call in your helmet you can check to there or early on are you running what you guys talked about?
A: There are certain plays through the game that we can check and try to get in certain looks, and make sure we're in a good look for what we want to run, but those are different plays here and there. I've got to do a good job seeing it and making sure we're good to go.
Q: Do you need to block out things that are coming from outside or do you think you're kind of wired as the way you are, with nothing really bothering you from outside?
A: I mean, I certainly don't seek it out. I don't pay attention to much of it, but part of the job is being able to handle it and I think I certainly can. I'm not sure it affects my day-to-day preparation or how I go into a game.
Q: Does it make a difference that it's a national game, a little bit more pressure, a little bit more discussion just about you in particular and how important this season is?
A: Not particularly. I think every game is a big game, especially these divisional games, so we'll be ready to go.
Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: How you feeling?
A: How I'm feeling? I'm feeling pretty good. It felt good to get out there on Sunday. Obviously, a short week. Just trying to get my body back and get ready for Thursday night.
Q: Is there anything you're feeling? Do you feel soreness coming off your first game?
A: I mean, I haven't gotten tackled in a whole year or played in a football game in a whole year. Obviously, I didn't play the full game. I probably played like 25 to 30 snaps, but there's always going to be some soreness. Definitely a quick turn around this week, but that's why I've got to be a pro and get my body ready and take care of my body.
Q: Did you miss having that feeling and waking up and being sore from getting hit?
A: Yeah, a little bit actually. You just miss being out there (and) everything that comes along with it when you don't play football for a long time. (I) accomplished that milestone of getting back out there. Obviously, I was upset about the loss. My mom and dad and family members made me realize that we were able to come out the game healthy and (my) goal was to play Week 1 and I did that. Now, it goes on from there.
Q: When you went back and watched the film, what did you see in terms of your runs and what are your takeaways?
A: I went back, watched film, obviously you always can improve in your game. I feel like I can hit some stuff up a little bit more. Just kind of was knocking rust off, that's what I was kind of just seeing. We've got to get the run game going against a very talented defense – probably one of the best defenses in the league. That's going to be important to get your run game going. Watch film, learn from what I did, get the rust off and try to do a better job this week.
Q: How explosive did you feel and how explosive did you look to yourself? The reality is, you haven't played and you're coming off a serious injury. How did it look to you?
A: My explosiveness to me is not a problem. I feel like it's all there still. I didn't really give myself the opportunity or had an opportunity to break a long one, so I guess I couldn't show that. Just got to stick with the game plan, stick with the runs, take the dirty runs. When I get the opportunity to make a big play, make big play. That's something I wrote down in my notes this week is obviously with coming back and knocking the rust off and getting the feel back of the game, it's breaking tackles, getting back to what I do best and find a way to be productive and help the team.
Q: You mentioned the limited workload which I'm sure was not a surprise to you with the limited number of snaps. How anxious are you to be able to get back to your more normal amount of snaps?
A: I'm just listening to the coaches. I'm fully aware of it being a long season. Especially with the added game, playing 17 games this year. I'm just listening to the coaching staff, listening to the trainers, taking it one day at a time and trying to get my body ready and get ready for Thursday.
Q: You told us last week that last season you overreacted in Week 2 and tried to do too much after a frustrating first game. How do you go against doing that again after Sunday?
A: Obviously the frustration was in a loss. Me personally, obviously you want to come back and rush for this amount of running yards and touchdowns and all of that to help your team win, but for me, I really don't see any frustrations. We came back, we watched film, we learn from it, move on, we got a short week, so you've got to have short memory. Especially in weeks like this. For me, it's just take it and roll with it, learn from it, move on, get the rust out and get out there on Thursday against a divisional opponent and try to come out with a win.
Q: How do you know that you're ready to play a second game in five days?
A: Thursday. When I'm out there, I feel like the warming up and all that stuff would definitely indicate it. Because in here, you're not really running full speed just with the nature of the short week. Just keep the communication with doctors and the trainers and listen to them. Definitely when I'm able to start moving around a little bit more, see how my body feels and see how my body reacts.
Q: How much can you handle in regard to playtime this week? This is a really awkward situation, and I don't know if you know of anybody who has ever come back from this serious of an injury and had to play two games in four days. How do you handle that? Do you expect it to be around the same as last week?
A: Yeah, that's a great question. I don't think the schedule is ideal for coming back off a major knee injury to have two games back-to-back, but that's what it is. That's what's in front of me and that's the challenge I have to face. To the question of my workload and how much can I handle, it's easier for me to stay up here and say, 'I don't know, just listen to the coaches.' When you're in the game and your adrenalines going and you start getting a rhythm and you start feeling yourself again, that can go from less reps or more reps, I don't know to be honest. I'm not in that decision, I don't make that decision, I'm just playing my role by showing up on Thursday and the plays that I do get, try to help my team to the best of my capability.
Q: For you, what are the challenges of knocking off the rust and getting in the rhythm when you're not getting as many touches and as many reps?
A: That's hard, it is hard, but that's part of it. Especially coming in off an injury and not playing for a little bit, but like I said before, I've preached multiple times, we have a great the organization here and great coaching staff that is looking out for my best interest at heart. Obviously, I want to go out there and try to be that do it all guy and help the team win, but it's a nature of what I'm coming off of. The way I get back into the flow of that is just by taking the plays that I get and trying to capitalize as much as I can and staying locked in on the sideline when I'm not in, mentally and physically. Every time I do get in, go back to just trying to make those plays.
Q: Do you have anything planned for Monday which is the one-year anniversary of when you got your first knee brace or anything?
A: I didn't even know Monday was the one-year anniversary to be honest. No, I don't have anything planned special. I guess you could say, 'special day,' but no I really don't. Thank you for making me aware of that.
Q: You and (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) collectively had one of your best games against Washington late in 2019. How close are you to getting that back and what has to happen for you to get back to that theme?
A: We've got to capitalize. We're talented, we know the talent that we have, we trust the coaching staff that we have, but it's on us to go out there and capitalize. That's offense, defense and special teams. I feel like (if) we're able to do that more consistent the seasons going to play out how we want to play out. I think that's where we find ourselves – whether it's from when I've been here, or the last two years, or even last week. Just those situations we need to capitalize on – and that puts yourself behind in ball games or puts yourself out in position to win games. We have the talent, we have the play makers, I think you guys saw what (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep is able to do in the slot. (Wide Receiver Kenny Golladay) K.G. making plays, (Quarterback Daniel Jones) D.J. making big throws, the list goes on and on. We have so much talent on this team, so we've just got to go out there and capitalize so we can be able to show our talent and show how special we can be as an offense and a team as a whole.
Q: Do you feel old now that they've (Whitehall High School) retired your jersey?
A: No, I don't feel old. That was a very cool moment for me to go back home and get my jersey retired.
Cornerback James Bradberry
Q: Do you focus entirely on the receivers or do you look at the quarterback too when you're getting ready for this game?
A: I look at both.
Q: What do you see from (Washington Quarterback Taylor) Heinicke?
A: I see a gunslinger, a guy who's not afraid to take chances. He trusts his receivers. That's pretty much the big thing, he takes a lot of chances.
Q: What does that mean for the defense? That means there's opportunities there for turnovers, right?
A: There's definitely more opportunities with the more chances you get.
Q: How disappointing is it to be a defense that had such a good year and a good step forward last season and to start the way you guys did against Denver?
A: We could definitely have a better start. We've just got to keep building, correct our mistakes from the last game and try to improve this week.
Q: How do you think you played?
A: I played alright. I didn't play my best.
Q: What do you think could improve?
A: Just my overall coverage could improve.
Q: When (Safety) Jabrill (Peppers) is not on the field, is the emotion of your defense different, is the feel of your defense different? He's loud, he's a lot of energy. Is it a different dynamic when he's not out there with you guys?
A: Honestly, it's hard for me to tell every play if he's in or not because I'm on the outside and if they rush the line I'm already outside, so I'm not too much worried about what's going on in the interior. But I will say having Peppers on the field, he does add a physicalness to our defense because I feel like he's our enforcer, so definitely adds a different element to the defense when he's on the field.
Q: You were teammates with Taylor Heinicke. What do you remember about that year? What's your scouting report on him?
A: I just remember him being a gunslinger, willing to take chances, trusting his receivers and giving them opportunities to make plays.
Q: Anything specific? He was probably running scout team then against you as a first team cornerback?
A: I believe so. It was him and (Washington Quarterback) Kyle (Allen), they were both back and forth.
Q: As a virtual unknown, did he like to test the best guy on the team?
A: Typically, on scout team and stuff, I would always be on the number one receiver, so I think they told the quarterbacks to target more often because I was going against – the number one target is typically going to get all the targets. I would say they came after me quite a bit.
Q: Did you watch that playoff game last year when he came in against Tampa Bay and kind of led them back, and everybody was talking about, 'Who's Taylor Heinicke?' Do you remember watching that game?
A: I didn't watch the full game, but I do remember that game. Like I said, he's a gunslinger, that's what he's known for, coming in and making plays.
Q: One of the things that was kind of obvious was there was a lot of wide-open receivers. Is that a miscommunication thing – you're blowing coverages – or what's going on in that situation?
A: I think a couple of them were miscommunications, the ones I remember. I just remember the one with (Broncos Wide Receiver) KJ Hamler down the field, that was a miscommunication.
Q: There were a lot of high expectations for the secondary coming into this game. I don't know that any unit on the Giants would say they played up to expectations in Week 1. As one of the leaders of the secondary, did you take that performance hard?
A: It definitely wasn't up to our standard. We're looking to improve this week and hopefully have a bounce back week.
Q: Were you surprised how much they came at you?
A: No. It's the NFL, you've got to be ready to have a target coming your way at any point throughout the game, so I wasn't surprised.
Q: Is it nice that you get to get back on the field and have another game and just move forward in such a short period of time after that?
A: Yeah, definitely. I didn't feel like I played well last game, so the quicker I can get to the next game the better.
Q: How important do you think it is to get to 1-1 rather than sit at 0-2 for the extra ten days or whatever it is until the third game?
A: A win is definitely better than a loss, especially going into some off time. You want to feel good going into that off time building momentum into the next week, so a win would be crucial for us.
Q: Why do you think you didn't play well? You just said you specifically didn't play well.
A: I thought I could play better in my all-around coverage.
Q: Anything to it? Just an off game or did they do different things? You're a film junkie, did they do different things than you saw on film? Was your technique off? Why do you think you didn't play up to your standard?
A: Some plays it was my technique, some plays I might've been thinking too much. They ran something different than I might've studied. Sometimes you just have a bad play.
Q: How much did (Broncos Quarterback) Teddy (Bridgewater) extending the plays hurt you guys?
A: I think it hurt us quite a bit. A couple of those plays when we missed opportunities where we thought we had him, but he came out and made a heck of a play. He definitely helped those guys out quite a bit, scrambling around and giving them extra time to run around and make catches.
Safety Jabrill Peppers
Q: Going back to last year, you never came off the field, is it difficult only playing 50 percent of the snaps in the game like that?
A: It's different.
Q: Do you expect that to be the case going forward or is that game plan-specific?
A: Right now, it's just the game plan right now. Whatever the coaches think is best for that week, that's what it's going to be.
Q: You're a player who plays off of emotion, is it hard to be the guy you are used to being if you're in and out?
A: You could say that.
Q: What's your mindset for this week?
A: When my number is called, do a better job than I did last week. I've got to play better press technique. When my number is called just make sure I do what I've got to do.
Q: How do you feel like you played when you were out there in Week 1?
A: Sub-par. I gave up two big third downs. I gave up a catch in the red zone. I don't believe – I don't think that one was for the first down, but still nonetheless, the standard I hold myself to, those are routes that I usually cover in my sleep. It is what it is, I've just got to go back to the drawing board, hone in and get better.
Q: Was your snap count the plan going in or was that a reaction to how you were playing or how things were going?
A: I don't know.
Q: Like did you expect that? Did you know that was coming?
A: I guess you could say that. Yeah, I guess you could say that.
Q: They've always said about you that the more you do the better you do with it. If they peel you back and you say that those are routes that you cover in your sleep, did one affect the other you think?
A: I'm not going to say that. I've got to cover better. Point blank.
Q: You're a pretty prideful player from what we've seen, are you a little upset?
A: Week 1 didn't go the way we wanted it to, but luckily, it's a short week, and we can get this bad taste out of our mouth and go out there and play New York Giants football.
Q: Do you feel personally a little bit more importance on this game?
A: Well, I mean, every game is important. This is a division game. We don't like them. They don't like us. So that's where my head's at right now.
Q: Would it be fair to say that the defense had a really tough first game and that it's frustrating not being able to help change that when you're out there?
A: It's fair to say.
Q: As far as when you're handling punt returns, is it necessary to have fresh legs for that? Like to not play as much on defense because then you have your full-go on punts?
A: I don't know. I think it comes down to conditioning. Like I said, if I wasn't returning the punts, I'd be covering someone on fourth down or I'd be running to the ball on fourth down. It's really all the same. I've just got the ball in my hands now and instead of reacting, the guys have to react to me now.
Q: You don't know what your role is going to be going forward, right?
A: That's week to week. That's something you've got to talk to (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) about.
Q: How will you handle that this is your new role?
A: I've got to do whatever is best for the team.
Q: You're proud of yourself, you're proud of the team – starting like this as a team, how do you get yourselves up and into a better place so quickly for such a big game? Do you feel the pressure of this being a big game?
A: Every game is a big game. We're professionals, that comes in your job description. You have to be ready to go each and every week, no matter if it's three days, four days or a whole week, it doesn't matter. Guys will definitely be ready. (We've) just got to come in here, get the work, take the coaching, really watch what the (Washington) Football Team is doing, and go out there and execute the game plan.
View photos of the likely starters for the Washington Football Team ahead of the Week 18 matchup against the Giants.