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Quotes: Coach Joe Judge, DL Leonard Williams, WR Kenny Golladay, C Nick Gates


Head Coach Joe Judge

Q: I know it's a new season, but if you look at this offense since you've been here and since (Offensive Coordinator) Jason (Garrett) has been here, you guys haven't really been able to score consistently. When you look at just the offensive system that you guys are running, what gives you confidence that you can get to a point where you will be putting points on the board like teams around the league do?

A: I think the big focus for us right now is really just focused on making sure we're going to keep putting players in a position to be successful. I saw a lot of positive things yesterday from players like (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) and (Wide Receiver Sterling) Shep (Shepard). Those guys (were) making plays down the field. I think those guys definitely showed up and made an impact for us. To me, there's a number of plays you can play with and you can draw up a lot of different patterns and routes. Obviously, we have to be creative and give the players a chance. I'm more focused right now on the fundamentals and the execution to go with, making sure we're emphasizing ball security, running, blocking, making sure we can break tackles and extend plays right there, protecting leverage on the routes. But in terms of just the overall system, our focus right now is really more on putting the players in position and get them going. I saw a lot of improvement from a lot of guys. I was pleased with the way the offensive line played last night from a big picture standpoint. Obviously, there were some things we've got to clean up, but I was pleased with the step forward those guys have taken and improved consistently. It was good to have them out there for obviously the entire game length. Different than a preseason or a practice competitively, so it was good getting them out there and having a lot of execution together. That's obviously moving in the right direction for us.

Q: (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) said after the game that he needed to see how his knee responded before meeting with the medical staff and you guys when it comes to Thursday and beyond that. Just curious how Saquon came out of yesterday and after you've watched the tape, what did you see from him?

A: It was good having him out there, obviously. The emphasis was really getting this guy out there, getting his feet wet. He hasn't had the opportunity to play in the preseason. Obviously, he hasn't played since last year when the injury happened, so the focus for us was really getting him out there, letting him get going, getting in sync of playing in the game. Obviously, it was the first time he was truly under a live fire with fully getting tackled and all that stuff from all different angles, so it was good and encouraging to see him come out of there. I thought he responded well. For all accounts right now, he came out of the game good for us. In terms of Thursday we'll see what the game plan brings as we move on forward. I didn't see any setbacks from anything last night and I didn't get any reports on anything as far as medically with him. But in terms of him meeting with the medical staff, that's kind of just part of the normal procedure for him and for all of our players that are dealing with anything.

Q: I saw that (Safety) Jabrill Peppers only played half of the snaps on defense yesterday. What was the thought process there and beyond that, how did you feel like the secondary helped up against (Broncos Quarterback) Teddy Bridgewater yesterday?

A: I think, obviously, Teddy played a really good game. They moved the ball consistently and stayed on the field, and our job is to get them off the field and disrupt his timing. I thought the guy played a good game. Obviously, give credit where credit is due and he's a good player, he's on a team for a reason. We've got to make sure we keep sharpening up how we're calling plays and putting players in position and making sure that we execute when it's called our way. In terms of Pep, I wouldn't read anything into that at all. Pep's a guy who's going to play a lot of ball for us. Pep's going to play a lot in a significant role, he's a captain on this team, he's a key member of our defense and our special teams units. A lot of it was kind of based around making sure we try to thin some of the loads out for this guy in different things he had to handle. It wasn't anything reflected on how he's played or performed. If anything, we came out of there with some of the things he did in the game, saying, 'Hey, he's a guy we want to have on the field as much as possible.' So, we've just got to make sure that we consider some of the things that he's doing and when he's available having him out there on the field for us. The plan was really just with his best interest in mind, in terms of making sure he can stay fresh through all the different responsibilities he has on the team. But I would definitely not read too much into that. He's a key part of our team for a reason.

Q: When (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) was asked about the fumble yesterday, he essentially said he has to be mindful of that and be better going forward, but this has been a recurring situation. How do you make him better in those spots to where he's not turning over the ball, especially at critical times?

A: Like him, with any other player as well, you've got to show them on tape what's happening, show them what the symptom is and why it's been an issue, and then you've got to make sure you drill it on the field and improve the technique. We've got to keep doing a better job of coaching, putting our players in a position within practice where we're getting the ball attacked and the exact fundamentals of what they're getting issues with. We've just got to keep stressing on a daily basis with all of our players, which we make an emphasis of, but we've got to keep doing a better job of coaching that and making sure going forward it's not an issue with any player on our team.

Q: A quick follow-up to that, as a teaching moment for the Daniel Jones fumble, would you and your staff tell him if he slid there that he could avoid that fumble?

A: That's part of what we teach anyway. There are times where a guy's going to be aggressive and he's going to have to go ahead and lower his shoulder to get an extra yard in a got-to-have-it type of situation. There are other times as a quarterback where you go ahead, and you slide, and you avoid the contact. Look, Daniel's a tough dude and I'm the one that's got to tell him to slide sometimes. I know he hates hearing that. He doesn't want to be treated like he's got kid gloves on, but that's part of what we teach him in terms of getting down and protecting. You can see obviously on the runs after that run right there, he worked to go ahead and get on the ground and protect it until he got in the endzone on the final play.

Q: That was a first-down play, so he's not necessarily fighting for extra yards or anything. He already had a nice gain, so in that specific play is the coaching instruction – you have to slide there and that solves the problem with the fumble?

A: I'd say the coaching on any of these situations is if it's not a got-to-have it, you want to protect the ball as best as we can, whether it's getting out of bounds or sliding and getting down.

Q: How do you balance demanding better from your team with still finding the positives which you have detailed yesterday and today?

A: To be honest with you, that's what our meeting was about today. Look, it's real simple for me and again, a win or a loss, you've got to come out and you've got to show your team the truth of what happens on tape. You've got to show them examples of winning football, what we did well, things we can build on and things that are going to help us move forward and win as a team. Then, you've got to show them things that you have to eliminate as a team, things you have to improve on, and you have to do it fast to make sure you don't eliminate opportunities. To me, it's not about going in there and giving motivational speeches or trying to get in there and embarrass anybody. It's just you put the tape on, you teach through it and you correct it. Our job is to be teachers. Guys come in everyday, they sit in meetings in a classroom, and they've got to learn, and that's really what it is. We go out there on the practice field and we have to take what we've talked about in the film room and put it on the practice field and make sure they can execute it. But to me, our guys have always been very good. We preach about being mentally tough and it can't be an emotional rollercoaster. Win or lose, it doesn't matter. The emphasis every week is you come in and work to improve. That was the emphasis today, as well.

Q: Is Saquon going to play barring his knee having a problem here?

A: This week coming up?

Q: Yeah, I mean, is that the plan? It is three days of rest and it's a very awkward situation for a guy coming off a big knee injury.

A: I would say unless the medical team tells us something else, our intention's going to be to keep on progressing this guy throughout the season and playing with him, unless there's some kind of setback. Look, he came out last night, from all accounts, in a good position. Our plan to this point is to go ahead and include him in the game plan as we work through this next day and a half.

Q: How unique is this spot though, to have that coming off of this major knee injury and only have three days after your first game?

A: I couldn't speak specifically on the uniqueness of it. I don't know what other players have done this in our league and turned around and had to play in this. But every injury is unique in itself, so we have to rely on the information from our medical team here in terms of what we can and can't do safely with our players.

Q: I'm sure you'll give a full rundown on Washington tomorrow, but just at first glance, what do you think of their quarterback situation and (Washington Quarterback Taylor) Heinicke?

A: First off, I've got a world of respect for Fitz (Washington Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick). Never having coached this guy but competing against him a lot for a long time in different spots, this guy's a great competitor. He does a great job. I'd say with Heinicke, to me obviously, it's not the same guy, but there's a lot of the same characteristics. I think you can get a little of a gunslinger in both these guys and I don't say that in an insulting way. I say that in a very complimentary way that he's a guy that can go out there and can really function and operate and think outside the box, extend plays, be creative within the system and, obviously, he's been very competitive in all the games he's been in. I've got a lot of respect for this guy as a player. Obviously, I started watching this guy back in the playoffs and all last year as well as some other spots he'd been in. Seeing this guy out there on the field, he's going to be a challenge for us. He's going to be a challenge for us. He's a competitor and he's going to look for ways to extend plays and get the ball downfield to their receivers.

Q: You said that you liked how your offensive line played yesterday. Just wanted to know specifically what did you like about what they did?

A: I liked the way we gave ourselves an opportunity for Daniel to get back there and get the ball out on time. Really did a good job of operating upfront, the guards and centers playing with a good, flat, firm pocket. The tackles did a good job for the most part of staying inside-out, keeping the rush riding on by. There are always a couple extra ones that we've got to go ahead and correct and build off of. That's all been addressed today in the meetings and that'll be a focus going forward as it always is. But seeing consistent progress from that group and how they played together and progressed, that's something that's moving in the right direction for us.

Check out the best photos from the Giants' season opener against the Denver Broncos.

Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams

Q: Obviously, there are such high expectations for this defense coming into the season, but when you look at yesterday's game, is there something in particular that makes you most frustrated or disappointed with the way you guys played on defense?

A: Yeah, I think that was something we talk about as a team and as a defense is starting fast and not dipping our toes in the water. I think from the very first play of watching film today, I think we did that. I think we started fast. (Linebacker) Blake (Martinez) had that big TFL (tackle for loss) to start off the defense. I think as far as the run game, I think we were pretty stout for the most part. Overall, we played pretty decent. I think we just have to do a better job of getting off the field on third downs and fourth downs. Like you said, we have high expectations of ourselves as a defense and there were a few plays that we left out there that we would obviously want to take back.

Q: What did you see from the pass rush? Why do you think you couldn't get consistent pressure as a whole on (Broncos Quarterback) Teddy (Bridgewater) yesterday when you watched the film?

A: From what I've seen watching film is we were focusing on getting middle push and not giving Teddy a step-up area and I think we did a good job of collapsing the pocket in the front of him and not allowing him to step into his throws. But like you said, we weren't being consistent at making him feel uncomfortable. I think what we have to do is while we're getting that middle push and stopping the step-up lanes, we also have to get off of the block and get hands on the quarterback.

Q: You've been in this league long enough to know the Sunday-Thursday turn around is certainly difficult. Is it easier in a sense to put aside a loss when you have to concentrate on the next team so quickly or is that not the case?

A: I don't think it's necessarily the case. I think coming off of a loss, people obviously are going to be in their heads about it a little bit. Like you said, I've been in this league long enough to know that good teams will look at this short turn around as an opportunity to get that bad taste out of our mouth. The faster we're able to play a game and get a win under our belt, the faster we can move on from the loss that we just had the past week. It's a short turnaround as far as guys' bodies recovery-wise, and mentally being able to prepare for a team with a shorter week. But like I said, we're trying to be optimistic and opportunists about it and we're looking at it as an opportunity.

Q: (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) always talks about not riding the roller coaster. Is that particularly hard after Week 1? It's always going to be either half the teams in this league are going to be going to the Super Bowl, and half of them are never going to win again. How do you handle that going forward?

A: With the roller coaster stuff, like you said, we can't dwell on the past and dwell on the fact that we just lost. There was a lot of good stuff that we put on tape, and there were some bad things that we had on tape that we have to correct. We have no choice but to move forward. The games gonna keep going, there are more games every week. We can't dwell on the past. We just have to move forward and continue to do what we did well and change what we need to change.

Q: I'm wondering what do you know about (Washington Quarterback) Taylor Heinicke? Is there any disappointment that you don't get an opportunity to face (Washington Quarterback) Ryan (Fitzpatrick)?

A: I mean, I love Ryan. I would've loved to play against him. He's a big vet in this game. I played with him when I was on the Jets. I obviously had a lot of excitement being able to play against him. If Heinicke ends up playing, we have to prepare for him just as much as we would if Ryan was going to play. He's capable of making plays in this league and he's also athletic enough to make plays on his feet, just like Ryan. I think it's pretty much the same type of game plan that we have to prepare for.

Wide Receiver Kenny Golladay

Q: You were one of the guys that kind of warned us a little bit that this was going to take some time to get the offense going and cohesive. I was wondering where you thought it was in terms of what your expectations were heading into the first game…

A: I feel like we did a lot of good things. We fell short a few times, but I feel like the big plays that we did make, they really can show you what this offense can really do.

Q: What did you like about the couple of plays that you made and what did that show you about working with (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones)? You haven't really had the chance to be on the field in a competitive environment like that.

A: Well first off, I would just like to say I had a lot of fun. That was the first time me being out there on the field, period, in a long time. It was just great catching balls from him. Especially just trying to do whatever I can to make a play for the team. That was my whole mindset going out there and that's my whole mindset going into any game. It's just pretty much just trying to make a play.

Q: You played 52 snaps, like 85% of the snaps on offense. Was that a good workload for you coming off the hamstring? How did you come out of it with this short turnaround with a soft tissue thing like that, is it going to be difficult for you to be back up to speed for Thursday?

A: I'll be good, we have time. Definitely going to have to take care of my body with the short week, but yeah, I'll be ready to go for sure.

Q: You came out of it okay? Did you feel it during the game or anything?

A: For sure tired and everything, but at the same time, it's football at the end of the day. When you're out there having fun, you don't even feel it. But as far as me coming out of the game, I came out good.

Q: How did you feel at the beginning of the game compared to at the end? I know you mentioned you hadn't been on the field for a while and as we talked about, you had a few of those catches from Daniel and it seemed like you were getting into a groove by the fourth quarter.

A: I really went out there at the beginning of the game – whenever my number is called, I just wanted to make the play. I think I caught one across the middle, it was either first or second quarter. Really just trying to let the game come to me and not trying to do too much, not trying to do more than what I'm asked to do.

Q: How do you feel about that chemistry you're building with Daniel now that you've come out of this game and experience with him?

A: We've just got to build from here and I feel like we'll do that. Like I said, we got practice that will help us with that. Then just being able to get those balls from him in the game, that was good because then you can just see a little bit of what I can do. Just to help him and just help the team.

Q: You're a guy that wins the contested catches. Is it important for the quarterback to learn in a game that he can trust you on those types of passes in traffic? Does the quarterback benefit from learning that if he throws the ball into coverage, Kenny is going to catch it so that he will do it next time like, 'hey I can throw this ball into coverage and Kenny will catch it'?

A: I wouldn't just say he can have the mindset of, 'letting me throw it into coverage.' But in this league, there's going to be tight coverage. I'm just glad I was able to make those plays because everything isn't going to be just wide open. I do want him to have that trust in me and I know that's going to take time.

Q: You mentioned earlier what this offense can be and what I'm sure you hope it will be. What do you envision when you think about this offense of what it's going to be in several weeks or down the line when you are at full go? How close do you think you are to it right now?

A: First off, like I've been saying, this is Week 1 and guys are really just now starting to get back out there. I think we can be explosive, just pretty much what everybody else thinks. When you just look at it, you have a lot of guys that are on this offense that (have) made a lot of big plays, but at the same time we just have to put the work in. Yesterday was pretty much a day for us to continue to just grow. To be honest, the sky is the limit for us as long as we put the work in.

Q: Can you be explosive this Thursday? Are you guys ready to do that here in Week 2?

A: I'm sure – I can speak for everyone in we try to go into every game trying to be explosive. We want to make those explosive plays. Of course, I'm going to say I want myself and the rest of the guys on the offense to come in with just that mindset and just dominate and have explosive plays.

Q: Do you think the rest of the offense has the same kind of confidence that you do?

A: Definitely.

C Nick Gates

Q: What'd you see went you back and watched the film of your performance and the whole offensive line?

A: We've got to run the ball better, which is the main point. You're not going to win too many games if you can't run the ball on the ground and be able to pound the rock. I felt pass-pro was a lot better than it was this time last year and we've got to keep excelling on that and keep moving forward when it comes to that.

Q: Were there holes did you think? You hadn't played with (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) in a long time. Were there holes and he was just missing them or were there no holes?

A: A little bit of both. Sometimes there was a little hole here that he could have maybe stuck to, but sometimes there was not a hole at all, and he tried to make a play and he just couldn't. But we just got to no matter what, just as an offensive line be able to make sure he has a hole to run through and just give him a little bit of something, so that he can see. He's been out for a whole year, so he has to just regain his confidence in us and get to running the ball again and get comfortable back there.

Q: In a short week, do you look at this as a good opportunity to kind of put aside this loss and move on right away or is it still going to continue to linger with you?

A: Like (Head Coach Joe) Judge was saying, it's already Thursday in our minds and we got to get ready for Washington on a shorter week and be able to just put this behind us. We went through the film today and corrected all we've got to do, and we've just got to move onto the next game. It's a short week.

Q: I'm curious, you guys have had a lot of recent success against Washington. Is there anything you look at that's like a common thread there that you can attribute to that?

A: I haven't really gotten to watch too much film. I was going to go in after here when I get home and watch a little bit more. But I just think they're a good, tough team and we've got to play them like we usually do. We've got to run the ball and establish the run and I think that'll help us. They're kind of a different team this year. Just the way they've been together for a couple of years together and they're working well, so we've just got to go in there and execute our plays and be able to do what we want to do.

Q: And I know you don't necessarily block him, but you played against (Washington Defensive End) Chase Young last year a little bit. Is that a guy that you guys when you get to the line of scrimmage kind of point out and how much do you have to sort of pay attention to him specifically?

A: Oh, definitely. Chase Young's a really good player. I mean, their whole front seven's really good. They have really good pass rushers, and they get to the quarterback and disrupt the QB that way. But yeah, you've always got to see where (Washington Defensive End Montez) Sweat and Chase Young are, and you've got to help those tackles out as much as we can.

Q: My question was going to be about the Washington pass rush, the Chargers actually did a pretty good job against it. What is the key against a rush like that where it's not just the outside guys, but the interior guys who rush really well, too?

A: Just inside, you've got to keep the pocket firm and the tackles (have) got to be able to run their guys around the edge. We've got to give (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) time to be able to step up in the pocket and get rid of the ball and he just has to get the ball out on time, too. We all kind of work together. Just if we don't hold the pocket firm then the tackles can't run their guys behind and Daniel can't step up, so we just got to – it all works together.

Q: Do you guys as an offense need validation in the form of points on the board? Like you guys believe in yourselves, right? And there was a lot of optimism coming into this season that the offense could be better, but when you start with a game like that with a point total like that, is it hard to believe that you can accomplish what you're trying to go out and do?

A: I wouldn't say that. I mean, you've got to score points to win games and that's what we've got to do. I feel like we moved the ball fairly decently and we just got down to the red zone and we couldn't execute, and turnovers and we had a messed-up snap count by me. Our drives just stalled, and we can't have that against a team like Washington. We've got to help our defense out and put points on the board.

Q: I know under normal circumstances when you're dealing with a Thursday game, we've talked to players in the past and they said it isn't until Thursday where their bodies start kind of feeling better and getting ready for that Sunday game. Because your Thursday night game comes so early in Week 2, is there any advantage physically knowing that you haven't been through the grind of a full season yet, that you feel like maybe the bodies can respond a little bit better and sooner to be ready for a Thursday night game?

A: Yeah, we were talking about that earlier actually. I definitely think it hopes that it's our second game of the year and not like our eighth or ninth game of the year where your body is kind of beat up from games before. But as we speak, I'm on the massage table right now. I'm just trying to get ready. Everybody's got to do their part to get their body right. It is what it is, and you can't make an excuse that it's a short week or anything. You've got to go out there and make sure your body's right.

Q: I was wondering if anything changes for you this week in terms of having that 'C' on your chest now and if you feel any more responsibility to take a frontline job in trying to get things straightened out.

A: Definitely. Having the 'C' on your chest does come with a bigger responsibility. We got us – Saquon, Daniel, we all have to get in the room together and go over protections and runs and just make sure everyone is on the same page and talk about what everybody's seeing. I feel like I've always had a little bit more responsibility last year and this year, especially being the center and now probably just being a captain. We've just got to get in there and all be on the same page and get everything rolling.

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