Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement:We'll work on some third down and some calls. Really, our focus still remains on including the foundational base and the fundamentals, building our communication and the chemistry of the units. This is critical as we go to pads next week. We've got to make sure that we start this week with a big strong base on fundamentals and keep building our conditioning. We'll actually peel back the time a little bit today. We are going to try to mirror this as much as we can in terms of the pattern we have in the regular season. We've been two hours on the field the first two days. Today, we'll be about an hour and a half. That generally patterns what we do in the regular season. After this, we'll have a day tomorrow where we'll actually tone it down a little bit and focus more on teamwork. We're going to be more at a lesser pace. We call it the "Pro Bowl Jog," which is what the league officially calls it, but it's more of a spirited jog through, if you would. A lot of focus tomorrow on review we put in already, what we're going to put in next week, our communication across the units, and then just trying to build a team operation, breaking a huddle, no huddle, or whatever may come up in that situation. So, with that all being said, I'll answer any questions I can.
Q: Do you guys know the severity of [Offensive Guard] Shane Lemieux from yesterday yet?
A: No, I'd say for the next, call it 24-48 hours, we'll really kind of understand where he's at. I will say this, I'd say the worst-case scenario looks to have been avoided, we're happy about that. But, in terms of trying to come out here and try to make a diagnosis on Shane, we've got to see where he's at. But, one thing I take for Shane, he's kind of like a wild animal. He'd cut his leg off to get through a bear trap if he had to, so him not being out there is kind of driving him nuts. He's already been in my office today talking about the fastest way to get back and, look, my message to him is always when the trainers say you're 100 percent healthy to go on the field, we'll put you on the field.
Q: Joe, I noticed like all the linemen are wearing knee braces. Is that something you require them to do?
A: It is. The message to our team is, look, as much as they hate wearing knee braces -- and trust me, they do -- they hate having an injury and being out for the season even more if something happens. So, until we can practice at the right tempo together and everyone is staying on their feet, we're going to keep the knee braces on. And anytime we go full pads, live contact, we'll always have the knee braces on in practice.
Q: Do you think the knee brace could have helped Shane avoid the worst case scenario?
A: Based on what it was, no. It had no impact on what happened.
Q: Joe, for a player like [Wide Receiver] Kenny Golladay, I know this is practice, it's camp, but how quickly do you want to see him produce on the field, get open, score touchdowns? Even if they're just red zone drills, does that stuff matter to show what he's going to do it come the fall?
A: It matters for any player to keep having his production every day. You watch them with all the players right now, specifically to Kenny, who the question was geared towards, is it's really that he just keeps advancing within our systems, concepts, schemes, and understanding techniques. One thing I've been very encouraged with Kenny is, first off, the guy is tremendous to work with in meetings. I mean this guy is keyed in, focused, locked in, like he's staring through you the whole time. He's absorbing everything. He's very, very ahead on how he pays attention in meetings and he carries it over to the field. Mentally, he's really caught up really fast on what we're asking him to do. He was good in the spring, as far as working. The time throughout the summer with [Quarterback] Daniel [Jones] and the other receivers, I believe that helped him and all the other receivers, as well. He practices really hard, that's something that's very important. When you look at our guys, they practice hard. A lot of times anybody new comes into our program, sometimes there's a learning curve. I'd say with Kenny, he's really jumped off as of right now. We go through every day, in terms of what it looks like with the eye test, but then also going through the GPS numbers, the volume, the yardage, the intensity, the high intensity reps he's had, and he's always at the top of the scale right there amongst a couple other guys. So, to show the output he's given, we've just got to be smart, as coaches, to make sure he's put in position. This part early in camp is key to really watch our players. We're not managing them if we don't want to challenge them and push through it, but we got to ramp up our team the right way. The difference in last year was we had that 10-day acclimation period, where it was more strength and conditioning, almost like a spring phase two. They're with the strength coaches on the field, we had more spirited walk-throughs at night. Then, we got to go ahead, build a practice and we had those time restrictions. We're still within some time restrictions this year, but we've got to make sure for all the players that we've got to monitor reps, we have to monitor the volume of what they're doing. That's a large part of why we start in the red area, to be honest with you. We start short by going back to volume, so in day one, when the intensity and urgency is very, very high, and there is a natural anxiety, that we aren't putting them in position to run there and just telling them to run go routes and post routes. One-on-ones out the gate, right now, are more risk of injury because their bodies aren't ready for that response yet.
Q: Joe, what do you see from [Defensive Tackle] Danny Shelton?
A: Actually, yeah. I see the same thing from my time with him in 2018 as I do now, and that's a guy who, first off, comes in every day with a huge smile. Nice guy, loves life. I don't want to speak for Danny on that, but just from being around him, he's always smiling. He's a great teammate. Anything you ask him to do, he does at 100 percent, whatever is best for the team. He's a guy that will talk to a vet as well as a young player in terms of trying to help them with something he may have some knowledge on. He's a guy that's really good as far as building culture and a rapport with an individual position, and also within the unit. I think guys who come to work and love football and care about their teammates, that's natural for that energy to spread and guys that have tight bonds in the locker room. But, as far as a player, he's obviously a big, athletic man. You see the way he showed up at initial tests -- which you guys weren't there for, but you see a guy with that size run the way he did and work through the summer on some things he had to overcome, and work through from some spring injuries and some nicks and bumps that he couldn't go through all the way. It showed his commitment and work ethic to what he's pushing himself to do. This guy has really changed his body throughout his career, he really has. I mean a lot of big guys accept being big. We try to impress on all of our players that conditioning has to be an advantage for us. You watch the way Danny prepares and practices, that definitely shows up his understanding of how he fits in our system.
Q: He's also a guy who's a big run stopper who's not been able to stick. He's bounced around a lot considering he's a first-round pick. Why do you think that's the case?
A: I can't speak for other teams. It's the National Football League, there's always movement. Coaches, players, roster turnover, that's just the nature of it, and it's a small league. There's a lot of guys who may leave and come back or may be coaches somewhere else later on. I speak from my previous interaction with him, I was very pleased with the way he came to work every day. He helped us tremendously and going through this year, I'm glad he's here along with all of our defensive linemen. That's a group that's really fun to coach. [Defensive Line Coach Sean Spencer] does a great job with those guys. I think [Defensive Coordinator] Pat [Graham] has a lot of schemes that he puts them in a good position to make plays in. But the drawings on paper are only part of it. These guys have got to do their jobs. One thing they do is every day they come out here and they work very hard, they're very detailed and attentive.
Q: The best we could see from 150 yards away of [Running Back] Saquon [Barkley], it looked like he was doing a lot yesterday, running routes, really running full speed and stuff. What have you guys seen from him and what's the report you've gotten back on him so far?
A: I'd say with all of our players, what we're trying to do is wherever they're at in their recovery phase is they get to a point where we try to mirror practice as much as we can and see if we can build up their own mental game so that when they get back with the team they have confidence because they've already done as much in a practice as can be. Right now, that's where Saquon is and a couple of players are in that mode of mirroring our practices to bring them back. Also, the trainers may on certain days have different plans for them based on de-loading them or may ramp up a little more based on what the rest of the team is doing and their status. What I've seen from him every day is a guy that comes out and he's just very focused on keeping it narrow and just understands that today is what's important and he's got to go ahead and take a step forward every day. And I think the players do that, the coaches do that, and it leads to those building blocks day by day for long term success. So, I'm very pleased with where he's at. He's got a great attitude, he's shown a ton of leadership for us right now, does a tremendous job staying engaged. The important thing for guys when they're away from the field mentally, they've got to stay sharp and involved in communication and the installs so when they come back they're playing full speed.
Q: Joe, with the addition of [Cornerback] Adoree' [Jackson], what's your excitement level pairing him with [Cornerback] James Bradberry? Obviously, Bradberry had a great year last year. What are you expecting out of that tandem?
A: Well, it's more than just those two right there. We've got players on the backend that all have different skillsets which adds to our versatility. We were talking about Adoree' early on, he can play inside or outside, he's an experienced player, he's an intelligent player. I've known about him from playing against him throughout the years, and he brings a different element as well as a possible return specialist and things of that nature. But I would say along with those two corners, our other corners, some of our safeties, it gives us the ability to have different matchups based on the wide receivers that you're playing. Within our division, a lot of good receivers, different body types. Washington's receivers and Dallas's receivers, different body types and skill levels, so you've got to have the ability to move pieces around throughout the game plan and matchup as best as you can.
Q: In regards to James, could you have asked for a better – he obviously comes here as a pretty big signing last year, the larger market and has the kind of year he has. Could you have asked for a better first year from him in a new system?
A: There's kind of two parts to that and I'm going to answer them both. First off, when we step into the building, business is done, so in terms of the status of what somebody's getting paid, we don't care about that. I tell players all the time, I don't deal with contracts. I don't ever want to deal with contracts because the best players are going to play. I don't ever want to feel tied to something and have the negotiation influence who steps on the field. But I would say, for a guy who was a high-profile signing last year, it's natural, the players are looking -- What's this guy's story going to be? How's he going to work? James has really done a really good job for us. He's a good teammate, he's very intelligent, he works very hard, he produces on the field, he's very coachable. That's one thing about our guys is they're always looking for a better way, always looking for a way to help. I love the way he comes out here every day and works. Really does a great job in that room. The DBs as a whole, when you talk about the corners and how [Defensive Backs Coach] Jerome [Henderson] and [Assistant Defensive Backs Coach] Michael Treier really work with those corners right now, they're really having a great gel right now and chemistry of how they push each other, understanding that they're all competing, but at the same time they're not only competing against each other, but pushing each other.
Q: Joe, since you're winding down as the week goes on, is tomorrow more a walk through and community relations thing?
A: Yeah, absolutely. To be honest with you, we haven't had a chance to really interact with the fans and that's in different elements. One is football and then, the key focal point of this program is we're going to be a strong community. We're going to be very involved with the community and show support for the people who show support to us. That's something from day one I've talked about, is that good service is very important to us and even last year, all our guys made great contributions and strides with being tied to the community. Just like we were, it was all tied in through Zoom, it was all remote, it was all virtual. This is the first exposure we've had, although there's other COVID protocols. We can't be touching hands on, kind of like how we are right now. It's still the first time we get to be face to face with them, to address the fans and approach them to speak and it's very important for us that, you know, not everybody has the opportunity to see us. It's important for me, it's important for this organization that we're going to come to you. We're going to make the effort and make sure that we can get to you and make sure you get the opportunity for the team that you cheer for, that we're going to come to your community. Ultimately, your community is our community. A lot of players on this team have different backgrounds -- coaches, not everyone is from Jersey, from New York, from this area, but we all live here, this is home now. So, we've got to make sure that we embrace it and we support it. People are in the stands and how many times you hear people come in and say, "Why are they booing us?" Well, first off, you buy a ticket, you have a right to see a good show, alright. Let's just call it right there, but at the same time, you see people complain all the time, you know, we want them to come there and be good fans and cheer, the reality is we need to earn that. But, we want to also make sure that we support them on the other side and they understand that we're there for them. The Mara and Tisch families do a tremendous job supporting with financial contributions. Whether it's equipment, fields, grants, whatever it may be, a lot of organizations. As the face of the organization, these players and coaches, we are responsible for getting out there.
Q: Joe, what does a guy with elite speed like [Wide Receiver] John Ross [III] allow you to do on special teams and offense?
A: That's a pretty broad question. I'd say, you know, the old adage 'speed kills,' you've got to play fast. I think the one thing that he's really demonstrated early on right now is his ability to control his speed. That he's not a fast, out-of-control player, but he's got the ability to run fast, threaten you deep and also stick his foot in the ground and redirect and come back for the ball. We're working him out, his kickoff return, was working yesterday on punt installs with the punter. We continue to work on a different phase and different responsibilities. Again, we're going to keep the 53 best players and if that goes heavier or steeper or heavy at another position, all those guys have to have roles in the kicking game, as well. We've got offense, defense, special teams, we need all three phases to be successful. Offensively, we're trying to carve out right now who we think does well with our system and then build it to them. This early part of training camp is going to be kind of like a sample, kind of put them through everything, see what really kind of comes out, what we focus on and build it to his and everyone else's strength and skill set and then start refining and that'll be on special teams as well as offense. I'll tell you one thing I'm impressed with right now – so, obviously, the speed stands out, but the work ethic and he's coming in, he's very down to earth, very humble guy, a great teammate. Before we really had to interact with him, a lot of the teammates who got together with him in Arizona and threw around, so you get a lot of feedback from the players and they say, 'Hey listen, we like this guy. He came and fit right in with the group.' I'd say we have unique receivers, I'm talking about personalities and work ethic-wise, and I've coached receivers other places. I'm not dogging anyone else's unit, that's not what I'm saying at all. We don't have any prima donnas, we don't have any guys who are above any one job, we don't have any guys where something's too small for them. We like our guys and [Wide Receivers Coach Tolbert] Tyke does a great job getting these guys to understand we're about doing the dirty work. You can play 70 plays in the game and you can catch eight balls for 80 yards, that's a great day. Eight balls for 100 yards, that's a great day. Alright, what did you do the other plays? How'd you block? How'd you cover kicks? What did you do that was worthwhile? How did you impact the team when the ball wasn't in your hands? That's something our guys have to understand and embrace. We've got to run the ball effectively, but everyone who doesn't have the ball in their hands has to do their job and block. Our guys do a good job of getting down and dirty and give good effort.
Wide Receiver Kenny Golladay
Q: What are you and [Quarterback] Daniel [Jones] trying to get out of those post-practice sessions that you have?
A: Really just reps. Trying to get on the same page.
Q: What did you make of that hit from [Linebacker TJ] Brunson?
A: That's football. You know, there's a lot of competition going on out there, a lot of guys out there just competing. So like I said, it's football, it's going to happen.
Q: How quickly in a training camp do you want to get going and start producing? Obviously, these touchdowns don't count, it's about getting to Week 1. But how quickly do you want to be showing it here to know that it's going to happen when the fall rolls around?
A: I'm new here. It's day three. We've got a lot of training camp left, a lot of ball left. I'm out there just trying to get better each and every day.
Q: Kenny, when you say you and Daniel are trying to build chemistry, I assume that means you already gained chemistry and you just want to build on that, right?
A: Exactly, pretty much so it can just be like clockwork. You know, anything you do a lot of times, you get comfortable with doing it. Pretty much, when we do extra stuff after practice, it's so we can be better the next day at it or whenever it comes up.
Q: Is there anything about this transition that has surprised you a little bit? You've never done this before, you've never gone to a new team, learned a new system and learned all new teammates. Has anything these three days made you say, 'Woah, it's a little different here?'
A: At the end of the day, it's football. I've been doing this for a while. Work is work, I never shy away from it. I actually came here to work and to try to help this team get better, and for myself to become a better player.
Q: Is it more work because it's a new team? You have no familiarity like you did with your other team?
A: I would say work is work. We came out here to do our job. Of course, it's different because I'm on a new team, so the atmosphere is different. But work is work.
Q: The atmosphere is different in what way?
A: I'm in New York. I was in Detroit.
Q: How do you think the first three days have gone for you? What's your personal review of it?
A: Ups and downs, but at the same time it's day three.
Q: You've gotten some different looks in drills in coverage on you. [Cornerback] Adoree' [Jackson] has come over and covered you. This early in camp, is it beneficial to see guys of that quality, but also different styles to see where you're at right now?
A: Definitely. Those two guys are totally different players. Adoree' is a little smaller, [CB James] Bradberry a little more my height and more of a physical guy. Man, it's great competition when I go against both of them.
Q: How would you describe the different ways in which Adoree' and James play?
A: Well, first I'll start on James. The noticeable difference is just height and length. Taller guys, footwork is a little bit different, even though JB has great footwork. Adoree' is a little bit more quicker, but both are great competition.
Q: James was joking yesterday that he might let you get open periodically in training camp.
A: I might let him break up a few passes, periodically.
Q: What's the key to the contested catches? Everyone wants to just run free and that kind of thing but that just doesn't happen a lot in the NFL. You're a guy that makes a lot of contested catches, what's the key to that?
A: Effort and want to. I'll put it like that. You got to want to go make that play and that's pretty much what I pride myself on is just catching the football.
Q: Would you prefer to have more uncontested catches?
A: I prefer to catch the football. However it comes, I just prefer to catch the football.
Q: Have you always done the post-practice work with your quarterbacks or is that something new because it's a new relationship?
A: Yeah. I have done after practice workouts. Just routes, fades, anything we didn't hit on in practice, that's the perfect time to hit it at after practice.
Q: Who quits first? Daniel's known for dragging guys out there for a long time.
A: It's more about just getting quality reps. So we don't have to be out here all day but once we hit something good a couple of times, we call it a day.
Q: I think you got in some workouts in the weeks leading up to this from the last time we spoke to you with Daniel. How many did you guys get in? How long were you in Jersey before camp started?
A: I got out here a little bit early, just pretty much just getting my body right. I'm from Chicago, so getting used to the East Coast time and settle in.
Cornerback Adoree' Jackson
Q: Would you have scored on that interception?
A: I would've hoped so. I hope nobody would've caught me or tagged me.
Q: Is that kind of a message of not taking it easy three days into camp?
A: We're just competing, man. That's the best thing, receivers versus DBs, running backs versus LBs, whatever it may be – tight ends, safeties or corners. Just competing and that's what we try to pride ourselves on, just going out there and competing every day no matter who you are going against because you don't know what you're going to see in a game, so you might as well train yourself here at practice.
Q: Three days into camp, what do you think of the room?
A: Man, I met with the guys in Tampa and we worked out before. I already thought highly of them. I knew most of the guys from prior playing in college – [S Jabrill Peppers], played with [DB Joshua] Kalu, [DB Chris Milton], played with [S] Logan [Ryan] -- so I knew most of the guys, and playing against [CB James] Bradberry in Carolina. So, seeing these guys and playing with them, and I play with my own attitude, so that probably helps a little bit more. So, I think the chemistry that we have knowing each other – social media is a big thing, so we all follow each other and know each other. By next year, we'll know each other even better.
Q: What's your impression of James? Last year was his first year here and he had a big year. You said you've known each other before. Talk about that tandem that you guys can be a part of.
A: Man, Bradberry is a cool dude. Like, not just as a football person, but as a genuine person, just being able to talk to him, share experiences, bounce ideas off each other. At the end of the day, I'm always asking him questions trying to learn from him. He plays at a high level still and it's just amazing being around such a great guy.
Q: How would you compare your skills versus his skills? Obviously, different kinds of players.
A: That's the thing, we're just different. I mean, but just competitors, that's the one thing I can say. We pride ourselves on that long-distance competing day in and day out. Now we're on the same team, so it's like, damn. See him and it's like, 'Oh, we're finally going to compete' or vice-versa. They see us making plays and they're trying to compete, so I like the room with me and Bradberry and just trying to compete and make each other better, and that's what we're trying to do.
Q: How much better do you feel physically than last year? I know it was a struggle for you last year really from the start.
A: Oh, my mindset and everything changed from the injury of last year and being able to hone in on myself. Not renew my faith, but keep my faith strong and make it stronger. I think that was a big thing for me to be able to come out here no matter what's going on. You may be sore, you may be tired, but at one point I wasn't sore and tired, I was just out. So, it's just a blessing to wake up every day, so that's my mindset every day. When I wake up, I just thank the Lord for letting me be alive.
Q: When were you able to flip that switch then?
A: I don't know. It was a rough year for me, so I couldn't tell you one point. But I knew I was trying to stay strong, talk to my family and those around me, to those encouraging. It's just tough. I've never been injured and to not be able to do the things you love is tough. Sometimes you doubt yourself, but as long as you remain faithful and have some positivity around you, you'll be alright. I think it just happened over time – I couldn't tell you an exact date – but it happened over time and I'm thankful I went through what I went through.
Q: It wasn't until after the season though? Is that fair?
A: I could say towards the end of the season because I was playing a little bit. Still, it was just my first time getting out there, so sometime in the offseason or towards the end of the season. I'll give you that one.
Q: Adoree', do you have a little chip on your shoulder this year? I mean, you were a number one pick, it didn't go the way you wanted it to last year in Tennessee, now you come over here. Do you still have the attitude that, 'Hey, I was a number one pick. I'll show it'?
A: No. What's crazy is when I first came here, I treated myself like a rookie, like the new guy. That was my mindset every day, just trying to learn from everybody no matter who you are in the room because at the end of the day, if you're doing something some way and I'm like, 'How did you do it like that?' and implement it to my game. So, for me I'm just trying to enjoy it and soak up all the information that I can because you're never too old to learn and you're never too young to learn, as well. So, I think that's just been my mindset, just to think that I'm not anybody and trying to improve on my game.
Q: Whenever [Head Coach] Joe [Judge] talks about you, he talks about versatility inside and outside. How much did you play in the slot in your career?
A: I remember when I first started playing in the slot when I was in college. I was like a safety hybrid, kind of what Su'a [Cravens] did when he was with us – shoutout to my dog, Su'a, man. But that's how I learned starting on the inside. Went to Tennessee and did it a little bit, so understanding it and knowing it, and the worry to me was trying to learn. I didn't want to let everyone down. Just because you taught it to one guy you never know what may happen and eliminate the confusion. You just want to get down out there in the box and think fast in situations and be ready to play.
Q: James talked about how you two guys complement each other and he said he thought he would handle the big guys and you would handle the fast ones. Do you kind of feel that way as well?
A: I'm just doing what they throw at me. Whatever the ask, I'm just willing to do. I don't have any suggestions, I don't have anything like that. I'm just focusing on every day, continuing to get better, getting my body ready for tomorrow and then the next day and the next day. That's going to come down the line when it comes, but right now just focusing on the present and just trying to work on my craft and trying to get better.
Q: Do you see the benefits of bouncing back and forth and covering different guys? There have been drills where you have been on [Wide Receiver] Kenny [Golladay], then on [Wide Receiver Sterling] Shepard, then [Wide Receiver] Darius [Slayton]. Do you see the benefits necessarily or is it just a matter of just running through the drills?
A: No, everything that we do is to prepare us down the line. Just getting that muscle memory, getting those reps in, doing our thing. That's the nice thing about situational football is what you cover today, you never know when it might come back down the line, it might come in December or something. That's why we've got to focus on every play, reset every play, every period, take a deep breath and understand, 'Okay, I've got to lock in and get ready to go,' because you don't know.
Q: In the times you've covered Kenny, what's it like going up against him?
A: It's crazy, we came out in the same class. To be able to go against him is a privilege. To have those different aspects – you've got Kenny, you've got [WR John] Ross [III], you've got Shep, you've got Darius, you've got [TE Evan] Engram. You've got all those different guys out there, so it's just a blessing to have that versatility so that you can cover and see what you need to work on. That's what I take out every time I'm covering everybody out there, what you need to work on for this type of skillset or this type of skillset.
Q: What stands out about him though? Is it his strength, his size?
A: First time I'd seen him, I didn't know how tall he was. I'm not going to lie, I didn't know how tall he was. Someone was like, 'Yeah, that's Kenny.' I was like walking down the floor to him thinking, 'Okay, he's not—' but then when I keep walking up, alright I'm looking up now. So Golladay, he's a statue, pretty tall.
Q: When the defense has a day like today, does that motivate you?
A: I would say it motivates us to try to keep getting better, doing better, understanding that just because we had a good day that's still in the back of the offense's mind and they can come out and try to kill us. So, I think that's what I like about us is every day we compete. We forget about tomorrow, we take the practice and say, 'Okay, now we have to improve and get better.' That's the best part about every day coming to practice with these guys, we're not thinking about yesterday and we're not thinking ahead about tomorrow, we're thinking about the present and how we can get better.
Defensive Tackle Danny Shelton
Q: You're no stranger to a new team, how has this transition been this year?
A: It's been good. It's been a different offseason for me. I had my injury obviously and had to go through rehab and go through being released and picked up by the Giants. It's a new experience for me, but a great learning opportunity and feel like it's been great so far.
Q: You have a past history with [Head Coach] Joe Judge and you guys did a lot of winning together. How does that affect what's happening here?
A: Really familiarity and just me knowing the expectations. Knowing that we have to put in work. Knowing why I'm here, why the rest of us are here. Everybody has a role and everybody has to come to work with the same mindset of doing your job. I feel like it's just familiarity, being comfortable here and made it easier to be comfortable.
Q: Joe didn't run the show in New England, he coached special teams. Is he the same from what you knew about him then and what you know about him when you see him now as the head coach? Is it different? Because it's different for him.
A: I think Joe's just a great guy. I mean, he's the same person, really. He always has energy. He always has that fieriness about him. He's like one of the guys that you just want to play for, you don't want to let him down. I was on a field goal for him and I messed up a couple of times. I hated that I did that and tried to get back on field goal and tried to prove myself. But now seeing him as the head coach is awesome and he's a hard-working coach and really cares about football and winning and just the guys. Getting everybody on one page.
Q: Did you ever get back on the field goal unit?
A: I'm here to play where he needs me, so I'm excited to have this opportunity.
Q: Does the environment here remind you of what it was like in New England at all? Just the way the program is run?
A: I think it's very similar. I just like being out here. Honestly, it's the players for me. Seeing everybody lock into the system. Young, high energy and it's just a great feeling.
Q: It seems like you have a fun group on the defensive line? Do you find that?
A: Yeah, definitely. Our room is a lot of talent and a lot of guys who want to work, and I think that's what makes our room fun is that we're constantly competing and wanting to be better, wanting to grow.
Q: How much do you know about Dalvin Tomlinson and how much have you heard his name since you've gotten here?
A: Very few, but obviously he's a great player. He earned his contract and we've just been focused on this season and building this team and getting ready for pads coming up. It's really just communicating and everybody working and everybody getting better.
Q: His absence is what brings you here, do you look at it that way? He gave them something for four years and now they need someone to do that again.
A: The way I look at it is I got an opportunity to work, so coming in and wherever they need me, I'm going to be ready. Whether it's me getting in the playbook, me getting in the weight room, cardio, conditioning, I'm just going to do everything I can to get on the field and help the team win.
Q: People would look at you and think that you're the guy that's going to stuff the run in the middle. Do you see yourself as more than that?
A: Yeah. I mean, that's what I work to. I want to be a better me, a better D-tackle and when I get the opportunity to do more, I will.
Defensive Back Julian Love
Q: What position, coming into camp, would you say you play?
A: DB. Just do whatever they ask me. I'm ready for it all.
Q: What was that experience like last year where you moved around so much in the secondary?
A: It was different, but I enjoyed it. I just tried to be on the football field as much as I can. I'm a student of the game, so I'm always learning. I had some great vets teaching me the game. Obviously, new coaches that helped me a lot. I feel good the longer I've been now at each position.
Q: When you're back there now, most guys are in their second year in this system, can you tell that there's a lot of smarts back there?
A: Oh yeah, definitely. I think we're excited to build as a group together. For me personally, this is my first time since I started college with the same D-coordinator two years in a row. I'm excited to work with Coach [Pat] Graham again. I know we all are just eager to get out there and we'll see how it goes.
Q: How can you tell that guys know what to do? [Defensive Back] Logan [Ryan], [Safety] Jabrill [Peppers], these guys – [Safety Xavier] McKinney's new obviously, newer. Can you tell during certain plays that everyone is on the same page, everyone knows what they're doing here?
A: Yeah, I think that's the expectation of everybody. We're well into the thing now as a group and building off of last year. Now, it's just taking the next step. What can we do to get better as a defense? I'd say everybody as group, collectively.
Q: When you look at your group, how competitive is it going to be?
A: It's going to be very competitive. I think we have a lot of talent. It's clear to see that. We're excited. [Head Coach] Joe Judge always says, 'in the Mississippi heat, it takes more than one set of hands to grease the pig.' So we're excited just to all work together collectively as a group.
Q: Is that truly what he says?
A: Verbatim. That's what he says.
Q: Have you spent a lot of time down south?
A: I guess he did. Not me, but.
Q: Julian, it's one thing to say, 'oh we have a lot of guys who like to compete.' When you know you have a coordinator who wants to use you guys in different ways and it's proven that he will get you on the field, how much harder does that make you guys work knowing that you're going to see the rewards because of the way he does things?
A: From day one, Coach Judge, he told us that he rewards versatility and he's a man of his word in everything he does. As you can see, a lot of us played multiple spots last year. That was no joke. That was not just word play. That's truly what he believes in, so now this year obviously we have a lot on the back end especially with the secondary, so we're going to be versatile. Joe Judge, he loves that, and Pat Graham really appreciates that. We're going to really attack it and be multiple in every way they see.
Q: How do you feel about the idea, at least my perception, that the defense, at least early in camp, has sort of gotten the better of the offense when you guys go live drills?
A: I think we're just really – I don't know anything offensively, so I'm not going to speak on that, but defensively I think we're pretty close. I think we have a good sense of camaraderie already. We've done a lot over the offseason as you can see or probably saw that the DBs got together in Tampa with Logan. Just things like that over the offseason kind of help us know each other. That's all we're doing. When we meet, we meet hard. And that means like, if anything is slightly off, we're going to correct it. We're going to be each other's group collectively. If the coach sees something, then he'll tell us. If we see something, we'll tell the coach. It's really just kind of getting after it because we're trying to be the best and that's what it is.
Q: How much do you think those kinds of things carry over like being together and obviously in regards to being on the field and playing?
A: I think it's important. I think it's really important. You think of a work place, you think of a team, a group, a friendship, relationships, you got to know one another. Everyone communicates differently. That's something that I have always thought since I was young growing up. I've got to talk to people differently and just understanding how each person receives knowledge and gives knowledge is important. That's how we're learning, so I'm going to talk to the one person differently than I'm going to talk to another one. That's how we're building. That's how we're growing as a group.
Q: When you have a defense that has the coordinator for the second year, does the playbook get bigger? Does it expand?
A: I think, you know – what would Pat Graham say? He would get in his bag really. You have so many tools, so many weapons that you can be creative. You're not going to overcomplicate things, for sure, but what he wants us to do is just get our boots on the ground and play fast. However he sees us doing that is how we're going to do it, and that's on us, too. We want to be doing multiple things and more things, so we got to get our easy stuff down quick and just really play aggressive and fast.
Q: So of the DBs, who wants to be the smartest in the room?
A: I think all of us. I think we challenge each other so much. Me, I'm a student of the game. Just from where I went to college, people expect a certain thing of me. I try to get a bead on the game plan each day. Hopefully, before Logan because that dude's in here pretty early, so we'll see.
Q: How'd you like throwing out a first pitch?
A: Man, that was some high heat, right? I think somebody clocked it at 96.
Q: I think you're dreaming there.
A: It was a first pitch. I didn't practice it, so it was fun. I had fun.
Q: Were you nervous?
A: Yeah. There was nobody on the field, just the mascot. I'm like, 'ok, I got to throw it.' So I sent it, no lob pitches over here. I sent it.
Q: Was it better than 50 Cent?
A: Definitely better than 50 Cent. Definitely better. Everyone kept sending me pictures and videos of 50 Cent, so definitely better.
View the best photos from Friday's training camp practice at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.