Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement:Typical Friday for us, we'll progress on all phases. We're going through everything for the game, get some guys moving. Got a number of injured guys that will move around with the trainers today and kind of see where they're going to progress as far as going into practice. The number one question I'm sure you guys will have is about (Quarterback) Daniel's (Jones) status. Look, at this point, he has not been cleared for contact. So, we're going to go ahead and hold him out of this game. At this point, we don't feel 100 percent comfortable with him until the medical team clears him fully. As of right now, we'll rule him out. We'll evaluate him for the future, including as soon as next week, with the doctors. We don't have any answers on the immediate future yet. His status for this week will be he'll be out.
Q: Will he go to Miami with you since you're going to Arizona from there?
A: He'll go to Miami.
Q: Did Daniel, based on his personality, want to fight you or is it just that he needs to listen to the doctors?
A: Daniel always wants to play. He's going to try to find every which way possible to play and convince us to play. I've talked about that in the past and it's the thing you love about Daniel is how competitive he is and how much he wants to go ahead and fight to be on the field. All that being said, we had to make a decision.
Q: Is it just a strained neck?
A: I'm not going to go into any specifics about the injury. I'm going to keep it just as what the status is. I'm not going to talk about the injury specifically.
Q: It's more than pain tolerance for him?
A: I'm not going into anything on the injury right there.
Q: You've alluded a couple of times when we asked if it's season ending that it is not at this point.
A: I would say at this point that would remain true.
Q: But there's a concern that it could be longer term than just a week?
A: No, we just have ruled him out for this week, and we'll evaluate everything for the future as we get through it.
Q: You normally don't tell us ahead of time. Why did you tell us now?
A: Just being forthcoming with you today. I don't know, maybe I'm in a funny mood today (laughs). Look, in this case, it was just time to go ahead and say it. We made a determination. Daniel will still be out here today with the team. He'll still go through practice, do some things. He's actually looked well moving. That's been encouraging, the way he's thrown the ball, the operation of the team, that's all been very good. He's still Daniel. He's still leading on and off the field and still doing everything we ask him to do. I know this is frustrating for him, but a decision that we have to make that's best for him.
Q: (Quarterback) Mike (Glennon) taking over no problem?
A: We have a lot of confidence in Mike. He's played for us this year, he's played well in the times when he's gone in. Look, we expect Mike to go in and run the offense.
Q: Was there an appointment that Daniel had to go to try to receive final clearance before today?
A: There's been a series of check-ups and this morning we had a meeting with the medical team and based on the information that was given and the decision that's been best for Daniel, the ruling has been he's out for this game.
Q: What do the doctors tell you about why he wasn't tested for a concussion?
A: I haven't been given any information on that. I would say in terms of the flow of the game, there were a couple shots he took, I think there's one specifically, but typical Daniel, he just got up, bounced back and obviously they didn't call it out from the booth. They didn't put him in protocols as far as the league looking. The officials didn't throw a flag on there I think, so I don't think there was enough red flags right there based on how he reacted to something or anything they saw on the field to definitely go ahead and put him in that.
Q: I just mean during the week once he developed his injury.
A: Oh, as far as within the week? They've talked through symptoms of different things. I thought you were talking about specifically in the game. Yeah, they obviously go through all the checkups for all that stuff.
Q: That's a lot of change for your offense. A new play caller last week, a new quarterback this week. How do those two things mesh? If (Senior Offensive Assistant) Freddie (Kitchens) was working with Daniel, there would be steadiness at quarterback. If Mike was working with (Former Offensive Coordinator), Jason (Garrett) you would have steadiness to the offensive coordinator. How do those two mesh when you have so much change?
A: Mike worked with Freddie all last week as well. Everyone's job is to be prepared, it's our job to put them in position to go out there and make plays. In terms of Mike, Mike does a great job of being ready every week. He does a great job of that. He's a true professional, he's a good teammate, he's a good leader. In terms of him working with Freddie, yeah, no concern on that.
Q: Do you plan for (Quarterback) Jake (Fromm) to be number two?
A: The plan is for Jake to be number two, yes.
Q: How much progress have you been able to make with him this week that you are able to be so confident with him as the number two with two or three days work?
A: Yeah, I don't think it's anything that's truly unique about getting a player earlier in the week like a Tuesday and getting them ready for a Sunday game. Really, you look through kind of –
Q: It's not different for a quarterback?
A: Well, I think it's for anybody. If you pick up a safety or any other kind of signal caller, there's always a lot of things that go into it. What you try to do with quarterbacks or any of those players at signal caller positions is compartmentalize things for them and try and choose 'same as' teaching and get into the concepts and the families of what we're doing and bring him along. I think Jake's a smart guy. He's definitely put in a lot of hours of work this week with (Quarterbacks Coach) Jerry Schuplinski, (Offensive Quality Control Coach) Nick Williams, a bunch of other guys as far as getting caught up. He's been on the field, he's operated through practices, he's done some good things. Obviously, there's some schemes and system things that carry over from other offenses that a lot of the teams have. It's just knowing what the verbiage is, but he's done a good job so far coming along for us.
Q: How do you get the run game going and do you feel like you have core runs in your playbook that you can go to that are staples of what you want to do as an offense?
A: Well, I talk all the time about versatility as a team, so in terms of the core runs, what we work to do is build in through training camp and the spring a variety of runs and families that you get. You want to be able to run different varieties of zones as well as gap, pin and pull type of runs. Different ones apply to different teams and you have to have a variety within each game as well. To just go into each game and simply say, this is what we are, this is who we are, you have to have an identity within that. But then also, I talk about all the time is you have to be flexible to be able to play certain teams. The team we're playing this week, they're going to have a lot of answers for a lot of things you do, and you have to be able to go ahead and change it up and keep moving on them and making sure you keep giving them different looks as well. In terms of what runs we go to, we have a core family of runs that we work off of. You can take a family of powers, counters, gaps, zones. You can take those and say 'now, how do we want to go ahead and run these this week? Is it formation? Is it motion? Is it running out of the base type of situation?' You've got to find how that works against that team and then get it incorporated into the game plan. Generally speaking, you can look at every team and say, 'OK, what are the main things this team runs?' You play certain teams, you say, 'this is a heavy outside stretch team to inside zone looking for the cutback and then they mix in like a game plan counter here or there.' You look at other teams and they've got their family of pin and pulls. There's other teams like Frisco and Baltimore do a great job of just game plan runs and it's different varieties of counters and powers and stretches and things of that nature with different schemed up blocks. There's other teams that may turn around and just say, 'this is who we are and what we're running.' To me, I think it's important for all three phases to have flexibility within the game plan and because I ultimately believe it's important to play every opponent differently, it's important to plan what you have to be successful against that opponent that week. Every game plan, it's not Xerox it and move on to next week. That's not what this league is.
Q: You've obviously been asked about familiarity with opponents throughout your stay here the last two years with guys on the staff and I know it happens across the league. You've also been asked about you and Flo (Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores) this week. Is there a difference between familiarity and then going up against an opponent that sees the game a lot of the same ways that you see it? Like you said, you grew up together, does that make it more challenging? Do you almost fight the temptation to kind of reinvent yourself on a given week, but knowing that they kind of believe the same thing that you do?
A: We've actually had a lot of those conversations this week even with the players asking us the same thing. I think ultimately, you've got to call it the best way you think when you call it for that game. That's about a large part of the matchups they have on their roster and on our roster. But in terms of the philosophies of it, me and Flo have sat next to each other in a lot of meetings for a lot of years, watching practice tape every day, watching two-minute drives, four-minute drives and talking through, 'I would do it this way or here's another way we could do it.' There's a lot of time that we spent, me, him, (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator) Pat (Graham), Jerry (Schuplinski), other coaches on that staff, where we were always talking ball. You'd end a squad meeting and go into the cafeteria and get a coffee before breaking, and all people talk about is, 'hey, did you see that game last night on Thursday night? Did you see how they handled that two-minute? Hey, they could have done this. They could have done that.' We've had a lot of these discussions and conversations. Now, I think with all of us, we've built in enough variety of a menu that you can approach things from the same philosophy, but different schematically, if that makes sense. You find different ways of attacking it. To answer your question in terms of just do you have to try to be something different than what you are and just go ahead and mask it? I don't think that's always the answer. I think you have to understand how Flo's going to approach it and how he's going to coach the game and then what we have to do to put our players in the best position. Look, a lot of times you're going to match it up where what you're trying to do is directly what he's trying to take away, schematically and situationally. Ultimately, you've got to make sure you put the right player in the right place, and they've got to make a play.
Q: I saw Daniel walk out on the field, I assume he's not taking any snaps today and Mike and Jake will?
A: Daniel will get some work. The majority of the teamwork as we prep for Miami will go to Mike and Jake. He'll take some work through drills and fundamentals and stuff. We'll still keep him going and moving. The one thing I don't want to do is de-condition him and pull him out for the entire week, which obviously, he's been going through with the first-team offense throughout the week. I don't want to do anything that would de-condition him and set him back for him being ready for future games.
Q: Just in general, what accounts for the gray area over whether this is season-ending or not? I know you're saying at this time it doesn't appear that way, but what accounts for the gray area there?
A: Because there's really gray area in what it is. There's really no final decision on that. Obviously at this point, we're pushing to get him on the field as soon as he's healthy and ready to go. He wants to be on the field as well. He just wasn't cleared for contact today. In terms of what it's going to look like in the immediate weeks coming up and future weeks down the stretch, there's no answers right now. Everything else would be hypothetical or guessing at this point.
Q: When does he get re-checked?
A: I've got to check with (Senior Vice President, Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) officially. The doctors will be in tomorrow. He's kind of gone through a series of checkups. Monday will be a day all of our players see the doctor and then there's guys that will be with us in Arizona throughout the course of the week.
Q: By gray area of what it is, meaning there's a gray area on the diagnosis?
A: No. There's a gray area of when it will be cleared.
Quarterback Mike Glennon
Q: When did you find out that you were going to get the call here?
A: I thought there was going to be a chance all week. I didn't know for sure, but I thought there was a good chance of it, so I took the reps this week and feel ready to go. Excited to get down there, play in a game and hopefully help our team win down there.
Q: It's obviously not just a new quarterback, it's also a new offensive coordinator, so how comfortable are you with what (Senior Offensive Assistant) Freddie's (Kitchens) doing? Because obviously last week it was mostly (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones).
A: Right, I think probably not that much different than Daniel felt last week. Fortunately for me, they had a little more time to plan it, the philosophy. It was a shorter week and didn't know the news until Tuesday. So, I feel good with what Freddie has put together. We've had good dialogue all week, good communication. I feel good with what we have planned.
Q: I assume your preparedness would not change this week based on what you normally do?
A: I mean, I think there's a little heightened, knowing you're going to be out there versus the what-if game, but it was good to get the reps. It's something that typically you don't get. But as far as my film study and all that, I feel like I do a good job of that and have been a pro with that through my career, so not much in that aspect.
Q: How tough does their defense make it on a quarterback?
A: Yeah, they're playing really well. They create challenges obviously with their pressure looks. That's something that we know that we're going to have to do a good job of if we want to win this game. Obviously, it's been something that we've spent a lot of time on this week, and I think we have a good plan and how to attack it.
Q: How many questions has (Quarterback Jake) Fromm been asking you? I mean, he comes in and now he's dressing right behind you.
A: (laughs) I didn't have to do a whole lot. I mean, I had other things to worry about this week, but they've spent a lot of time. He's been great for the room. He came from Buffalo having already played the Dolphins two times, so he's had a few things to say here and there. But he's been a great addition to the room already.
Q: Given your experience, for maybe a young guy getting his first start that kind of thing, you'd expect the emotions, the nerves. For you, having done it before, is there still that juice, those nerves as an opportunity?
A: Maybe not as much. But yeah, I haven't had a whole lot of opportunities to start in the NFL, so anytime you get one of those opportunities, it's something that there will be a little nerves, but I think there was nerves when I was a starter for longer. It's just kind of an excitement to get out there and play again and I'm looking forward to it.
Q: (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) has said that after last week the emphasis was on getting the ball to the playmakers. It seems like a basic thing, but obviously there was more emphasis than what it was previously. So I'm wondering what you think of that and what do you think of that approach? How much has actually changed with the new coordinators or whatever they are?
A: Maybe you say a little bit of philosophy of just calling a play and letting the defense or the read take you to a guy versus kind of designing plays where you're expecting one guy to get it. I think Joe said it and we put more of an emphasis on it. I don't know, I think there are pros and cons. I don't think there's a right way or a wrong way. I think it's fair to say that that was one of the points of emphasis.
Q: How do you walk the line of not forcing it to those guys? What's your thought process on that?
A: Right, I think you still have to trust your eyes, trust your read and if the ball takes you to that guy then you throw it to him. If not, you have to move on. Some changes, some similarities that you can't just be stupid about it and force it. But if that guys open and your first read is that guy, then take it.
Q: So if you're starting, do they add more RPOs and naked bootlegs?
A: Yeah, I think that I'm sure that Miami is really fearing all those zone reads and all that. I'm sure they've got a whole new game plan coming now that DJ's out and I'm in (laughs).
Q: Were you forceful this week about like what you like and don't like? Because I know they've been soliciting the locker room.
A: Yeah, I think I spoke up about things that I liked. I had communication with the receivers and with Freddie and all in all. Freddie did a good job with the game plan and there were a few things here or there that I spoke up on, but all in all, it stayed pretty similar.
Q: I'm curious, when you signed as a backup quarterback, do you look at the starting quarterback's history? Like Daniel's missed games the last two years, was that like a draw here? Like I might get on the field versus signing to be (Former Giants Quarterback) Eli Manning's backup or (Former Chargers Quarterback) Philip Rivers' backup or a guy who has 250 starts in a row?
A: No. I don't think you take that into consideration. I want Daniel to be out there as much as anyone and it's a shame that – you don't ever want to see him go down. But at the same time, it's my job to get ready to go and give our team a chance to win.
Q: Obviously, you guys want to win, on a personal level it's been a while since you've won a start – since 2017. So how much do you kind of what to end that skid just on a personal level?
A: I don't really take that much personally. I've only started five game since then and we were 1-15. It wasn't all on me. I want to win because I want to help the Giants win this week. That's really it.
Safety Xavier McKinney
Opening Statement: Before we start, I'm here to encourage the annual food drive with Stop & Shop to benefit Food Bank For New York City. From today through December 23rd, fans can make a donation when they order groceries online at StopandShop.com for pickup or delivery. I know we've got a lot of people in this area that are in need of food and different things, so for our Team of Teams that we have here, we've been assigned Staten Island as one of my groups. We're just trying to help everybody that we can here in the area as much as we can. Obviously, fortunately we're in a situation where we're able to do that. We're on a stage where we're able to do that, so whenever we have the chance to do stuff like this, it's obviously something that we love to do. Obviously, we take pride in it and just want to show people that we care, and that we want to help them in as many ways as possible as we can. Just wanted to say that today before we got started.
Q: What players you idolized growing up as a football player? Who did you model your game after?
A: I actually grew up watching (Former NFL Running Back) Shaun Alexander. I played running back a little bit when I was younger. I didn't really start playing safety until probably like high school, but once I got into it obviously started watching (Former NFL Safety) Troy Polamalu – that was my favorite safety – and then (Former NFL Safety) Ed Reed. Those were two of the guys that I looked up to.
Q: Was the move to safety hard to accept?
A: Yeah, it was a little bit. I think very few people know this, but going into my sophomore year of high school, I got moved up to varsity and I just realized that I didn't really want to get hit anymore (laughs). So, I wasn't mad at being switched to DB.
Q: You're a good tackler though.
A: Yeah. I'm a good tackler, but as far as getting hit I don't know how they do it offensively.
Q: You just want to see it coming.
A: Yeah, so I'd rather do the hitting than be hit.
Q: What's it been like lately for you? You've seen a lot of praise from people coming at you, saying, 'Look at him, he's doing great. He's a budding superstar,' which is a word that a bunch of your teammates have used. How do you take that all in?
A: Obviously, it's great to hear from my peers, my teammates, my coaches, but for me like I said from day one, I've just been trying to get out here and get better for them, be able to help us win games, put us in better situations defensively and as a team. I keep the same mindset every day. I don't really pay much attention to it. I know I've got to come out here and I can't do one thing one day and then the next day be terrible at it, so I know I've got to keep working, stay level-headed and make sure I just have my head down and just keep going and getting better.
Q: I think I've heard you talk big though. You want to be great.
A: Of course. That's no question. Obviously, I mentioned before, I know what I'm chasing. Obviously, I want to be great. That's why I come out here and play the game that I play today, that's why I do what I do. Obviously, yeah, I want to be great. There's no question about that.
Q: The first handful of games or so, you were almost getting there, you were close to making those big plays, but they just weren't happening. How much is the difference now you just playing faster and knowing what you're doing, or have you made other adjustments that have allowed you to?
A: Sticking to the script. I think the first time that I pretty much came out here this year when you all were asking about just losing games or whatever, I always pretty much said the same thing. We're going to come out here and we trust the plan and we're going to stick to the script. That's what I do as a player. Obviously, I wish I could have had the ones that I dropped. There's more that – even like last game, there's one that I dropped at the end. I wish I could have that, but it happened. I dropped it and I keep working. It is what it is. For me, I just keep working, coming out here, getting better. I know there are areas where I can improve, so come out here and just work on that. When the opportunity comes up the next time, then I make it.
Q: When you guys are in the defensive room and you hear that (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) is not going to play, do you guys go out there and say, 'It's on us this week,' or do you simply say we've just got to follow the game plan?
A: Every week we say it's on us. For us defensively, all of us pretty much have the same mindset. We came in this season with a lot of goals. There are some that we didn't hit, but we always go into the week saying it's on us. We want to play great defense, we don't want the offense to get into the end zone, we don't want them to score, so that's how we go into it and that's what we focus on.
Q: (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator) Pat Graham was saying that you're a ball hawk. Obviously, as a safety it's clearly one of your strengths and he was saying some guys just kind of have that. It was interesting you were talking about being a running back. You'd think your background would be as a wide receiver, so why are you so good at being a 'ball hawk'?
A: I've just always been able to get to the ball. My instincts have always been really good, just trusting myself. That's always been really good and a strength of mine that I've had for a long time. Even when I was little or in high school, I always found the ball no matter what. It's been something that's obviously been a huge strength for me and played in my favor a lot. It's showing now, but I've always been that way.
Q: They caught you on Mic'd Up last week playing around with (Eagles Wide Receiver DeVonta Smith) Smitty and telling (Eagles Quarterback) Jalen (Hurts) to, 'Throw me one.' How much are you enjoying the idea of – and obviously you're crossing paths with (Dolphins Quarterback) Tua (Tagovailoa) – seeing guys who you played with and now you're on the other side of the ball kind of almost reminding people that, 'Hey, I'm right over here'?
A: Oh yeah, for sure. I think it's fun, obviously, playing against my old teammates, but they're not teammates anymore. Those guys are my opponents, I treat them as such. I don't play fair. I'm trying to win the game just how they are, so I don't expect them to make it easy for me and I'm not going to make it easy for them. That's how I see it and I attack it like that.
Q: With Tua, as well?
A: Yeah, of course.
Q: Did you used to pick Tua off a lot in practice?
A: Actually, it's a big one for me, this game, because I actually only picked him off one time over the course of the three years that we were there together, so he's tough. He's tough to get, but when you get one, you work really hard for that one that you got.
Q: Is he good with his eyes?
A: Yeah, he's good with his eyes. He's really good at being able to look you off. I think in that stage, the college stage, I was still obviously growing as a safety, especially in the backend part of it. But he's really good at being able to look you off and he sees different things. That's always been a challenge.
Q: How much were you there for (Cornerback) Aaron Robinson? You went through a very similar thing last year. When he was sitting out, were you kind of talking through it at all?
A: Yeah, of course. I was just kind of letting him know how he's just got to stick to the process. Obviously, it sucks to be out and having to rehab everyday kind of gets repetitive. But I always told him when he gets back, obviously, the opportunities are going to come, just got to take full advantage of them and make sure he's ready. During that time when he was hurt, just making sure that he was always paying attention to everything, all the details, making sure that he got everything. Even now with him going to corner, just making sure that he's straight on everything and making sure that there's no other confusion. If he does, then I always let him know, 'Just let me know. We'll talk about it.' Even after the Eagles game last week, we actually texted about some stuff the other day just kind of clearing some stuff up. Just staying on him and holding each other accountable for that.
Quarterback Jake Fromm
Q: How crazy of a week has this been?
A: It's been a little crazy, but it's been fun. Honestly, just super excited to be here. I'm out here at practice, but it's just football, just trying to help out any way I can.
Q: Where were you when you found out you got signed?
A: We had just got done with walk thru. Heard about it on the sideline and a lot changed right after that.
Q: How much different is this system than what was run in Buffalo?
A: I mean, it's a little different. At the end of the day, a lot of football is still football. A lot of guys getting into the same spots, just different terminology, learning a slightly different language and just trying to pick up on it and trying to learn as fast as I can and be able to help out any way I can.
Q: I guess the wrist band helps in eliminating some of the terminology.
A: Yes and no. Maybe some signals here and there, but read it off, get everybody, all 11 guys doing one thing and try to accomplish one goal. That's winning a football game.
Q: I didn't realize the Bills have played the Dolphins twice already. Have they been picking your brain about those guys?
A: Yeah, I've been trying to help them out in the QB room. Just trying to share what I do know just from being on the sideline and playing them twice. Yeah, trying to help out.
Q: The biggest game of your life I assume, (Dolphins Quarterback) Tua (Tagovailoa) was on the other side in that Georgia vs. Alabama 2018 Championship game. I'm curious, how often do you still think about that game? Does it haunt you in any way the way you came off the bench there?
A: No, it doesn't haunt me in any way. Obviously, wish it would have turned out a little differently. It was a great play by them. It was a great game. Would have meant a lot to me and the state of Georgia, but you know, can't change the past and just excited to be here now and look forward to the game.
Q: In Georgia North?
A: That's right, yeah. It feels like home here. Got a lot of guys in the locker room. It does feel like home.
Q: What were you working on in Buffalo to try to get on the field or get in uniform? What did they have you working on?
A: For me, it was just learn as much as you can about the game of football. Learning about defenses, just learning about the scheme we were running and practicing and making all the throws too. Doing stuff extra before and after practice. Just trying to be ready whenever that opportunity or moment would happen.
Q: You've obviously played a lot of football, but as a backup you're a play away. Is this something where you sit there and go, 'yikes?'
A: No, no I don't go that. I look at it as more of an opportunity to get really excited about. Obviously hope nothing does happen, but I just want to be ready if that ever does happen and try to help this team win a football game.
Q: When you signed here, did they tell you that there's a pretty good chance you're going to be dressed and ready to roll on Sunday?
A: Yeah, they did tell me that and from then on, just hey, let's go be ready and try to learn as much as I can and help out. Let's go.
Q: How many coaches did you know here prior to coming?
A: There are a bunch of them that I do know, and it's been honestly just great to see familiar faces and it really does feel like home in a way.
Q: I know you have your head down and focused to do the job, but a week ago you were essentially the fourth quarterback on practice squad, never knowing when they'd call you in, versus now you're going into a game with a new team, and you might be one play away from being the quarterback and making your NFL debut. Do you think about that at all or is it just focused straight ahead?
A: Yeah, I mean, you think about what can happen, but honestly, the focus for me these last two days has just been learning as much as I can about this offense, this system and how we do things here. It's just been an awesome opportunity. I'm blessed to be here and I'm super excited about it.
Q: This is your first regular season that you're dressing for in the NFL. What is that like? You haven't been dressed for a football game outside of preseason games during the season since college, so what is that going to be like to actually be in it?
A: We'll find out. Honestly, it's going to be a dream come true. I'm super excited about it. I'll be ready to go, and it'll be fun.
View rare photos of the all-time series between the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins