Head Coach Joe Judge
Q: What did (Tackle) Isaiah Wilson weigh in at yesterday and how was his first practice?
A: Like any new player when they get here, the first thing we want to do is really get like a base line on somebody to see where they're at. Obviously, you want to get guys in here and make sure that you have an understanding physically of what you can do with them. It was encouraging what he did. We put him through some individuals yesterday. We put him through some work with our strength coaches and he did some stuff with our basic group at the end of practice and did a good job. Obviously, there's a skillset there to work with. He's been very good so far in the building with us. Like any new player, we're going to go ahead and make sure we have all the information before we go on forward with him. In terms of his specific weight, I'm not going to get into that with any player right there.
Q: It looks like obviously (Wide Receiver Darius) Slayton and (Wide Receiver Sterling) Shepard won't be able to play, so I know you guys have limited (Wide Receiver Kadarius) Toney's role because of how much practice time he's missed. Maybe he's not ready to take on a big role and I get that, but do you think if you guys asked him to do more than he's done, is he to the point where he can kind of take that next step?
A: Like I've said from the beginning, too, his role has grown as he's been on the field more, (been) more available and built in more experience in the system and chemistry. His role has improved every week and increased every week, so we would expect that to be the same this week. He had a good day of practice yesterday for us, so it was encouraging. He'll be out here today and kind of go back to the game plan with him. In terms of who we have available, we'll have a number of guys up at the game. All the receivers will play, obviously. A number of guys will play on offense. Guys will have roles in the kicking game, as well. I would expect him – directly to answer your question – I would expect him to be doing more than what we've seen in previous weeks, just naturally, not based on anyone being injured. Just naturally based on his progression within the system.
Q: So Shep and Slayton are going to be out? We haven't seen them out here, is that fair to say at this point?
A: I'd say we'll have a final answer today. We'll have a final answer today. We'll try and do a couple things with them and see if there's any likelihood of them getting out there. They're going to meet with some doctors and trainers to see if we can move around a little bit. We'll see where it's at today. In terms of anything final, we won't do until a little bit – a couple of hours from now probably.
Q: Getting back to Isaiah Wilson, from any conversations you've had with him, do you get the sense that he understands this is a second chance and that he wants to make the most of it?
A: I would just say, just very directly with all the players who come in our program, everybody has a history personally and professionally. When you come here, I don't care about anything that happened before. If we bring you in here, we've already done the research, we've vetted you, we've put you to the point that we say we're willing to work with this guy. So for any player that comes in here, you've got a fresh start. All we care about is what you do here on a daily basis – your commitment to the team, how you work on the field, how you produce on the field and how you handle yourself outside to represent the organization. That's important to us. So, in terms of any baggage anybody may have, there's not a person here – reporter, coach, player in the locker room – we've all got a history. We've all got a story behind it, right? Not all of it's perfect. What I'm concerned about with our players is to make sure that when we have them here as a New York Giant, that we help them improve and that they're committed to doing the process of what it takes every day to improve.
Q: When you talk to the guys, not making excuses by any stretch, but when you're looking at two of these games you've lost basically on the last play. Do you bring that up in terms of – obviously, you lose the game and that's your record – but do you bring that kind of stuff up to the guys as an illustration of how close this is to being not 0-3 so to speak, if that makes any sense?
A: I'm not going in there trying to paint any picture of anything that we're not. With that being said, as I've said a number of times, every week we go in, we put the tape up on the screen. The tape is the evidence, OK? The tape is the evidence. We go through things we have to improve on, things that limit our opportunities to have success and we go through things that we're doing well that we have to build on. We want to look at the tape not only from our own perspective, but we want to make sure that we look at it from how the opponent's looking at us as well. When you show them the tape on Monday and you tie it back in throughout the rest of the week with some of the installs, you have to be willing to look at it and say, 'Hey listen, here's something we put on tape. Guess what? The Saints are watching that, too. Who do you think they're coming after this week? Who do you think they're looking to expose this week? What scheme do you think's coming off of this right here?' We want to make sure the players are looking at it from that perspective as well, understanding that how the opponents look at them. I'm not an excuse-making guy. The players aren't excuse makers. We don't sit in here and say, 'if this, then that.' What we look into is just very simply, what do we have to do on the field to correct and how's that going to give us a greater chance to have success? I'm very pleased with the way the guys have responded. I've talked about this continuously throughout last year, continuously throughout this year as well, our guys have a lot of mental toughness. Our guys come in every week, they respond. It doesn't matter what the result is the week before. They come in every week. It's a new week. It's a new opponent. It's a tough opponent. We've got to move forward, and you've got to go ahead and push and put everything into that opponent. This week we've got a great opponent with the Saints. It's going to be in one of the best atmospheres we'll ever have an opportunity to be in as a coach or a player. It's something we have to prepare for and embrace, and we have to go down there with everything we have.
Q: Just to follow up, you brought up the atmosphere, how difficult of an environment is this? You're used to do doing this around the league, but this is going to be a pretty high energy, charged situation down there. Do you speak to your guys about that? How do you go about preparing for that?
A: I think you just speak to them about the facts of what it's going to be. You don't go down there and try to make it what is. This isn't like 'Hoosiers', where you've got to go down there and measure the court and all that type of stuff. The reality is, though, you're going to deal with elements outside of the 11 on the field that affect your communication on the field and things you're going to do. You have to prepare for that. Obviously, we jammed the music as loud as we can the entire practice. We try to make communication as stressful and difficult as we can. In a game, if it was a situation where it was an outside game and there was a chance of rain, we'd practice with wet balls, greased balls, whatever we have to do to make it tougher in practice than it will be in the game. We do everything we can to simulate the game and give our players a chance to prepare for it. We can't just talk about noise and say, 'Hey, it's going to loud.' We have to make them operate in the noise. In terms of the atmosphere down there, look if you've played in that dome, coached in that dome, it's a great atmosphere. These fans are some of the best in the world. They're very passionate about their team. You've got love the city and their resiliency and just the in-your-face mentality they have. It's down south, but it's very much like a northeast city. They're very in your face about it. This team takes a lot of pride in representing their hometown. They take a lot of pride in making sure they represent the city with that kind of mental toughness and how they play chippy on the field. That's a big part of their program. We're going to go in there – the best look you can really have for that we're about to see on Sunday is you got to go back in time to that (Hurricane) Katrina game.
Q: You're already short on the inside linebacker with (Linebacker) Blake (Martinez) going down and I saw (Linebacker) Tae (Crowder) was added to the injury list yesterday. Is that a major concern?
A: Tae was out there practicing yesterday. He's out here again today. We've got to put everyone on the injury list that's got something. This time of year, you're going to have a number of guys with nicks and bumps. We'll see where Tae's at today, move him around. But he had a good practice for us yesterday.
Q: We saw (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) in and out last week. How much better is he doing this week physically?
A: Yeah, I think Kenny came out of the game last week in a good place. He had a good practice for us yesterday, he's progressing health-wise. He was productive for us on the field last week, we would expect to see him this week.
Q: Do you need him more because you're missing two guys? Can he handle, physically, a bigger workload? Can he play 100 percent of the snaps if you need him?
A: I mean, he played 50 snaps last week. I'd say for a receiver, in the number of snaps we had in the game, that's a pretty big load. We've taken a number of guys for a reason. We expect everybody who's at the game to contribute.
Q: Do you see a much healthier (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) in Week 4 than you did in Week 1? Is he somebody that trusts his leg more? Somebody who believes that he's ready for that full workload more?
A: Yeah, I've seen confidence from Saquon the entire time we've had him. So I can't speak for him in terms of internally and how his thought process goes. We obviously communicate on a daily basis. I know the trainers do a great job talking with him and preparing a plan for him, making sure we do the right thing by him. I see a guy who continues to impress on the field and continues to put himself in a position to be an impact player for us.
Q: Who is the left guard if (Guard Ben) Bredeson can't go?
A: We've got a couple of guys who we're rolling on through. We'll kind of make that decision later today.
Defensive Back Logan Ryan
Q: So, does Rutgers have a chance this week?
A: Of course. Did you see last game, man? (Rutgers Head Coach Greg) Schiano's back, playing good football. We've got a good chance. We're going to cover that spread, I know that for sure. I think we might have a good chance to win that game, too. Ohio State hasn't been looking too great from what I've been seeing. Even though I'm a fan of (Ohio State Defensive Coordinator) Kerry Coombs, he coached me before, I know he works hard, but I'm a bigger Rutgers fan, so I'm going for Rutgers.
Q: How are you guys doing this week?
Q: The team, you guys.
A: We're good, man. We're great, man. We're alive. We're out here getting better at our craft. A real submarine mentality, like (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) might speak about, it just feels like (in) our locker room. We're going obviously into a hostile environment, a fun environment, an electric environment. We're going out there to try to win a game. We're really locked in I think this week.
Q: Obviously, the 0-3 number stares everybody in the face, but you've lost two games on the last play of the game essentially. Is there anything you can take out of that? Not to make an excuse for it, but obviously you have to close the games, but can you look at positives there and say, 'Well, we're two plays away from being 2-1'? Is there any element to that?
A: Yeah, 100 percent. That's the reality of it. You take any win, you take any loss, you try to improve on it. Last game, there was a lot of three-and-outs. We forced a lot of three-and-outs. We had a fast start to that game, defensively and offensively against Atlanta, so there's tons. But any time you've got to play an entire season or build, you don't say, 'Oh, the win, we're not going to watch any tape, we're perfect.' And the loss, 'Oh, everything was horrible.' That's not it. It's always in between. It's never as bad as you think. It's never as good as you think. So, you take the good things you did and some of the stuff we did, getting off the field on third down and you implement that this week and you try to clean up the end of game stuff or whatever that might be. That's what we're working on to close the game out better.
Q: Have you put your finger on that though? Like the end of game stuff or the end of the half stuff, really – what it has been that's led to breakdowns during that time way more than the rest of the game?
A: Yeah, just repping it. Just repetition and taking the things we like to do and doing more of that. Last game for example, to end the half we got a turnover. We let up a drive in four-minute or two-minute. Our offense turned the ball over, we got a strip-sack, so that's improvement right there. So just take that strip-sack and do that again and we'll be good.
Q: That atmosphere in the Superdome, it's going to be – it's always ratcheted up. But the fact that it's their first game back since the hurricane and stuff, what are you expecting out of that? You're a veteran you've been through a lot of hostile atmospheres, but what are you expecting out of that? What kind of preparation this week maybe have you done?
A: Exactly that. A hostile, not even hostile – an energetic environment. It's a passionate fanbase. That city has been through a lot and they get to have their team back and they're going to be excited just like our fans were excited for our home opener. It meant a lot there, too. It's going to be exciting, and I just think anybody – most of us who's got to this level of football played in big time games on the road. There's a lot of guys in the SEC, they played LSU, whatever it may be. It's going to be loud. We anticipate a lot – we had a lot of crowd noise going this week to communicate in that. At the end of the day, it's blocking and tackling, catching and running, and it's going to come down to (Saints Running Back) Alvin Kamara, (Saints Quarterback) Jameis Winston, (Saints Head Coach) Sean Payton, that offense against our guys and our defense. That's where the matchups going to be.
Q: You were blunt, I remember back in Foxboro when you guys had that first bad practice against the Patriots, you made the comment that if you have a bad day and (Linebacker) Blake (Martinez) has bad day, you lose by 100. I know it was probably a little bit tongue and cheek if you want to say when you said that that day, but with Blake not out here, how much more do you take on your shoulders as a leader in that huddle? Have you been impressed with the guys that are stepping in for Blake?
A: Yeah, definitely. I could put that pressure on myself to do more, but I can't replace Blake. No one can. I've got to do my job and there's a lot on my plate already as a signal-caller on our defense, a leader that will line us up a couple of times and then everything that I have to do in the multiple positions I play. A guy like (Linebacker) Tae Crowder to step up, have his best game in his NFL career so far, in the midst of getting the green dot in the middle of the game. I think guys like that, opportunities man. That's what happens in the NFL. I didn't come in an established leader. I had to earn my opportunities and when my opportunities came, I ran with it. Tae Crowder got an opportunity last week, he did really well. (Linebacker) Reggie (Ragland), he's here for a reason. He's played a lot of football. He filled in and he did pretty good, too. Obviously, we can't replace Blake, but guys have got more opportunities. Guys stepped up last week, so I don't have to do more and JB (Cornerback James Bradberry) doesn't have to do more. We've got to trust everyone who's out there and I trust Tae a lot.
Q: When you look at the Saints, is there a difference in their offense with (Former Saints Quarterback Drew) Brees gone and Jameis in?
A: Yeah, there is. I mean, definitely. You can't replace Drew Brees. He's a Hall of Famer. Same play-caller, but it's definitely a little bit different with Brees just because he does more at the line of scrimmage himself and gets the ball out how he wants it in his targets. I just think with (Saints Wide Receiver) Michael Thomas injured also, it's just a little bit different offense than last year. They're finding ways to not turn the ball over, to be positive, get the ball in (Saints Running Back Alvin Kamara) 41's hands as much as possible. I mean, they're still a really good offense because they have a really efficient offense and because they have a really good play-caller.
Q: You talked about this kind of submarine mentality kind of thing, does this team feel like it's better than 0-3? Obviously, your record is what it is, but going back to what I was saying before, the games have been – it's not like you guys are getting dusted. What does this team feel like?
A: 0-3 doesn't define us. I've never played a season where we only played three games. I never played a season where we only played three games. There are times you have two-game skids, three-game skids and that doesn't define the season. Where we are right now on the standings of the NFL, the teams that are 3-0 may not be in the Super Bowl in the end. You've got to keep on playing the weeks. I never had a team be defined in September. I got asked a question earlier, I've always been on great teams in my career, that's not true. There were times where the team was not very good in September. Our record was not the top of the league and we ended up closing. So, we all know football is how you play towards the end of the year, but you've got to keep yourself in the race and that's what this is about. This team definitely doesn't feel defined by 0-3. I just think that we realize we've got to put work in and execute better and that's what we're focusing on. Whether we're 2-1 and not getting better from week to week or 0-3 and realizing right now what we need to work on. I'll take what we've got to work and we're going to work on it. Obviously, I wish for a better record, but I can't control that anymore. I can only control what happens in this New Orleans game.
Q: You're a fan of football, you were there for a while, (Buccaneers Quarterback) Tom's (Brady) going back to New England. What do you think of that?
A: I'm excited to get a win and get home and watch that game. I'm going to be tuned in. If you're a fan of football, that's a fun game to watch just because of the significance of it. I've obviously played with him. I've played against him. I always said it's the best matchup in the world. If you're a football junkie like me and you want to play against the best, he's the best. So, it's going to be fun. I know for him and (Patriots Head Coach) Bill (Belichick), I'm sure they're going to – I can't say they're going to treat it as business as usual, but they're going to do everything they can to win, like a maniacal amount of film- watching going down. I'm sure they're spending more time watching film than sleeping. I'm excited to watch. It's going to be a game against two geniuses. If you're a fan of the game, it's a good game to watch and learn to see the strategic part of the game.
Q: I can't remember if we ever asked you this, you intercepted his last pass ever as a New England Patriot. Did you keep the ball?
A: Yeah, so it's funny. The ball was just laying around my house because I don't really do a lot with my stuff, like I'm not egotistical and have just portraits of me all over the place in my house, so my kids like kick the ball around. When I saw Tom starting to – some of his autographed cards going for like a million dollars, I was like, 'Let's put the ball up on the shelf at least.' (laughs) So, the ball is up on the shelf and I actually spoke with Tom this offseason and when the time is right, I probably should have had it ready for this game, but I want to auction the ball off for some of the proceeds for my charity, if we can get behind it and split our charities and try to do something. Now, I don't know who is going to want that ball. I don't know if a Patriots fan wants his last ball ever thrown is an interception. I don't know if a Titans fan is really going to pay. Like I don't know what the Titans fanbase, the media market, you know? So, I don't know where it's going to go.
Q: Tom didn't want that one?
A: Yeah, Tom might want it back (laughs). Tom might pay to get rid of it to burn it. No, there's been talks between me and Tom on doing something with that ball. Hey man, it might go down in his Hall of Fame thing. Maybe I'll get a little asterisk by who his last pass – or maybe it's a 'Jeopardy!' question when (Packers Quarterback) Aaron Rodgers is hosting it. It can be a 'Jeopardy!' question. It's pretty fun, but yeah, I picked the ball up off the floor and I'm going to try to do something to raise some money for charity with it.
Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney
Q: How'd the week go for you?
A: It went pretty good like it always does.
Q: That move you put on that dude on your one catch, putting him on skates, that looked like what everyone is used to seeing in your Florida highlights. Did you feel like yourself in there?
A: I just feel like I was trying to do what was best for the team and make a play, what I normally do.
Q: (Head Coach) Joe Judge was saying earlier that you've done more and more every week in terms of your role increasing. What has that been like for you with them putting more on your plate and feeling like you're kind of getting more in the flow of things?
A: (It's) been pretty good as far as accepting the role that I'm being placed in, as far as receiving more reps and stuff like that. It's just all about executing when I go out there to play.
Q: What changes if (Wide Receiver) Sterling Shepard and (Wide Receiver) Darius Slayton can't play? Will that put more on your shoulders?
A: No, not really. I mean, all of it is part of the plan, so whatever happens on game day that's what happens.
Q: Have those two gotten in your ear a little bit more this week just to talk to you about playing more?
A: They're always in my corner, always in my ear, always motivating me and pushing me to do more than what I think is possible. They've been in the league longer than me, so they've got more experience. So, they're always giving me tidbits and stuff about what they're expecting and stuff like that, as far as playing.
Q: How much more do you almost expect to see the ball now that you're down two of your key players? You haven't gotten the ball a ton so far, so without them it looks like you should get more action.
A: Really, it's all up to the coaches, up to really the game plan. Whatever the Saints give us we're willing to take, so it's more of that instead of just being selfish and wanting the ball every play.
Q: But you would like for it come to you I assume, no?
A: I like to win and follow what the coaches say every day.
Q: Is there an extra level of excitement knowing you could get more action on Sunday?
A: Yeah. I'm always excited, though. It kind of gives me a different feeling when it's – well, first off, I'm playing close to home too, so that gets me more excited too because I know a lot of people will be able to come to the game and stuff like that. (It's) really just a play by play, day by day thing with me, so just ready to play right now.
Q: How many ticket requests did you get?
A: I had a few, I had a few.
Q: Did you fulfill them all?
A: No, not really, but you can't fill up the stadium, you know what I'm saying? If I could, my whole city would be there (laughs).
Q: Are your folks going?
A: Yeah, of course. They're always going to be there.
Q: Have you played in the Superdome?
A: No. I went to a Saints and Carolina game probably when I was in like middle school. That's the only time I've really been there.
Q: What do you anticipate? You've played in a lot of packed stadiums and atmospheres in college, but what have you learned about that stadium? What are you expecting this weekend?
A: Really expecting a lot of chaos because (at) LSU, going there and playing there, that's really crazy. I wouldn't compare it to the Swamp because nothing compares to the Swamp, but it's up there. It's a pretty hard place to really get a lot of communication out, as far as being loud.
Q: When you're a competitor and you go into a scenario like that as this team and individually, does that kind of get the juices flowing even moreso, the idea that this is kind of the big stage that you want to play on and want to compete in?
A: I'm always ready to go no matter where it is. We could play in the parking lot right there. No matter where it is, I'm always having that same energy, the same juice, so I don't really feel like it's based off the situation.
Q: I wanted to follow up with when you said a lot of people are going to be there. Number one, how much is your phone kind of blowing up this week with not just ticket requests, but people saying they came home to see you? And what is your comfort level with playing as a slot receiver? We've seen you do a little bit of it at Florida.
A: As far as the phone, not too many people try to bother me throughout the week because they know I'm getting prepared for the game. As far as the second question – (can you) repeat the second question again?
Q: We saw you being used in a lot of different ways at Florida. What's your comfort just playing in the slot?
A: I played it at Florida, so I'm pretty confident there. But, I'm a true receiver, so I could really play whatever – inside, outside.
Q: Have you done one more than the other here?
A: No, not really. It's been all pretty much receiver, not based on inside or outside. Just all receiver.
View rare photos from the all-time series between the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints.