Head Coach Joe Judge
August 28, 2020
Q: What do you make of your offense that was out there first? When they only come away with three points in the four drives, how do you make sense of that? How much weight do you put on that?
A: There was a way we managed the game in terms of the tempo of that first half. We weren’t tackling to the ground so there was a large part of our running game that we weren’t really trying to hammer. It kind of makes you play left-handed when you don’t establish the run early on, but that’s just what we decided to go with when we had Daniel and some of the other guys in the game. We thought that was best for the team and what we wanted to see. There were some missed opportunities early on, some dropped passes. We have to do a better job in that second quarter against the pass rush. Overall, I thought they moved the ball decent as the quarter went on. We were able to get a little bit of openings early on with some seams and runs between the tackles. We had an opportunity to move the ball with the passing game in the second quarter. As far as getting in sync together with these guys, it was decent overall. We have to improve and clean up a lot of stuff. Definitely don’t want to come away with any turnovers. We had one of those in the pocket tonight, we have to clean that up.
Q: How do you look at the pressure along the line of scrimmage? It looked like Lorenzo Carter came away with three or four sacks. I’m sure it’s a positive to you that he got pressure. On the flip side of that, you have to worry about your offensive line when you see that. How do you make sense of that?
A: I’ve been watching the progress on both sides the entire training camp. Obviously, I’m watching from a dual perspective. Zo has been very particular in training camp, he has made a lot of improvement. He plays with a high motor. He is developing a skill set to really expand on what his game has been in the past. Bret (Bielema) is doing a phenomenal job with him. The offensive line, to be honest with you, it’s live competition. We’re going out there, there’s some different tools we can use to help these guys in games. We chose to keep this a little bit vanilla tonight so it takes a little bit of tools you can use through game planning away from it. We have to see more improvement in the on one matchups and how they handle it across the board.
Q: One of the things I looked at early was I thought Colt McCoy and Dion Lewis looked pretty good. Your thoughts on them?
A: I think they’ve both had good camps. Dion’s a guy, you give him the ball in space, he has an ability to make plays and make guys miss. You get him between the tackles, sometimes he’s hard to find. He does a really good job of reading the blocks in front of him and finding the hole and getting vertical in it. Colt does a nice job of managing the game. He has a lot of savvy out there to really find the open receiver, he has a lot of poise in the pocket to sit back there when the pass rush is coming. He has that clock in his head from being so experienced in his career that he knows when to get the ball out. He’s been productive for us along the way and we’re happy with his progress.
Q: Do you have any update on Blake Martinez? Then Evan (Engram) didn’t play tonight, just curious is there anything up with him?
A: On Blake, no, there’s no update based on what we talked about last night. In terms of Evan, look honestly, we’ve just been pounding him so much in practice that we’ve really kind of backed off a little bit with load management. It wasn’t just him. We made decisions going in in terms of how we were going to use all of our players. These are things we look at in terms of total reps they’re taking at practice, some of the GPS numbers we get from our strength staff and training staff. It was a calculated decision tonight that we just said hey, you know what, tonight’s a night, even if it was a regular practice, we may have backed off Evan a little bit. We made the decision tonight. There were a lot of other guys we had to evaluate, so we wanted to make sure they got maximum reps and we pulled back a time limit for everyone.
Q: You said no update on Blake, but you left it yesterday as you weren’t overly concerned. Is that still where you’re at?
A: Yeah, I’ll check with the trainers and see where he’s at right there.
Q: What did you think of the night Wayne Gallman had? Also, it looked like Saquon Barkley ran with a couple of different units. What was the thinking there?
A: Just try to get him his plays when we knew he was going to be in the first half. We just bracketed how we were going to play the players tonight going in. There were over 50 offensive snaps in the first half. We wanted to make sure we got Saquon enough snaps early on. We weren’t planning on him playing the second half. That was really what we wanted to reserve for a lot of younger guys. We wanted to make sure we got a good, clean evaluation of them competing. That’s all it was for that right there. In terms of Wayne, he’s a guy who’s really flashed over the course of the entire training camp. He’s a guy that we’ve challenged and told him we want to see how he responds in competitive situations. Obviously tonight, he had a good night. But he’s a guy that’s shown a lot of potential throughout his career. He’s shown a lot of improvement for us, and we’re happy with the night he had tonight.
Q: You alluded a little to the pressure in the one on ones and the offensive line. But all things considered, how do you think Daniel Jones played? A second, unrelated one. Dexter Lawrence really seems to have been doing a really good job batting down passes. What do you make of how he’s improved and in particular, that skill set that he has?
A: Yes, so I’ll start with Dexter. I think Dex had a really nice camp. He’s a guy that came in really good shape, really ready to go. He’s done a really good job working with (Sean) Spence(r) and working on some of the pass rushing stuff. But really where he’s improved this year a lot is his ability to build that wall and anchor in the run game, and really help us get them to a third down situation. He has a good knack for getting his hand up at the right time and batting the ball down. A lot of that comes into just his instincts. But he’s also got that good length where he can really keep extension off the offensive line and see through them to when the quarterback is in a rhythm of throwing the ball, he gets his hand up at the right time. I’ve been happy with the way Daniel’s been progressing. He played a good night overall tonight. We need to make sure that we give him some help as far as getting this out. Receivers need to do their job as far as taking advantage of opportunities right there. But I thought Daniel was productive when he was in there. Obviously, there are things to clean up. This is like any other preseason game. We have to look at this very critically as a team, be very honest with our players, let them know where we’re at and where we have to go going forward.
Q: I know you said that things were a little bit vanilla in this scrimmage, obviously. It looked like though with the pass rush, there were guys lining up in different spots. Lorenzo Carter came from each side and some other spots as well. Is he a guy when you look at him that can be used in many, many different ways for this defense?
A: Yeah, I think we talk all the time about versatility, and Zo’s definitely a guy that has a lot of position flex with his skillset. He has that outside linebacker, that kind of defensive end range for coming off the edge. He’s also a guy that if we want to can play in a stack. He has a history of doing that as well. He’s made improvement in the pass game in terms of coverage wise, and he’s shown improvement on a daily basis in the pass rush. The night he had tonight was no surprise to us. He’s a guy that we’re expecting a lot out of and we’re putting a lot of responsibility on him.
Q: Did you specifically try to do some things tonight just to make sure you did them? A challenge, halftime interview coming off the field. Were there any details that you did to say ‘Look, this is my shot at this, I need to do it’?
A: Absolutely. Everything we did tonight was very intentional in making sure we checked every box for what myself, every other coach and every player would experience as close as we can to when we play our opening night game. Everything from the interviews coming off at halftime, everything to the setup of this press conference right here with how we’re doing it, Coaches Club, the way we conducted our pregame and halftime adjustments, the challenge which obviously wasn’t a critical play. I wanted to make sure we took an opportunity to get used to the challenge operation to the entire team. Then we made sure that we gave the opportunity to manufacture some two-minute drives at the end of the half and the end of the game. These are things we wanted to make sure that we experienced as much as players, as coaches for the communication aspect.
Q: Any technical glitches of any kind or anything like that?
A: We’re going to go through it with a fine-tooth comb tomorrow and make sure that we talk about everything we did operationally and what we have to clean up. Obviously, it’s never perfect. Obviously, it’s never as sharp as you want it to be. But overall, I thought it was a good start to where we’re going.
Q: What were your thoughts on, we saw Daniel kind of lead the breakdown as you guys were ending your warmups. We’re not used to seeing quarterbacks do that around here. Eli (Manning) was usually sort of on the fringes of those events. What does that mean to this team and to Daniel that he was able to grab the reins there?
A: Look, we’ve had a number of guys break the team down. We have different guys break them down every day. But if you’re asking about Daniel’s leadership, he’s definitely a guy who’s taken a leadership role on this team. That’s been evident with the way he comes to work every day, the way he holds himself and the way he practices and prepares, and then the way he performs when he gets into competitive situations. In terms of him calling up, I don’t know if it’s new to somebody else to see. For us, it’s no surprise. He’s in a position where he’s in front of the team on a daily basis. For us, it’s just business as usual.
Q: Real quick, can I ask you about Javon Leake? He had the one big run and a nice return.
A: Yeah, he did a good job in the return game right there. There was some space to hit it. He didn’t waste the opportunity. He did a good job tonight in the run game. Took advantage of some opportunities. We’ll watch the tape and we’ll evaluate all of our players as we go.