NYG Postgame (vs. 49ers) Transcripts: DL Leonard Williams
September 27, 2020
Q: Does the fact that you guys were on the field so much in the first half and for the game, especially with the early offensive turnovers, set you back when you’re able to start well early, but then you’re constantly on the field?
A: I think if we’re constantly on the field, we have to look at ourselves to be able to get off the field a little bit faster, get more work on getting three-and-outs and getting takeaways to get off the field. I don’t think we can point fingers at any direction and blame anyone for why we’re on the field longer.
Q: [Head Coach] Joe [Judge] talked a lot last week after the Chicago loss about how tough you guys are and the toughness. So how do you explain the fact that you guys were in this game at halftime and then come out and get outscored 20-3 in the second half? How do you reconcile that?
A: We did come out fast. We started fast and we fought hard. I do think we do have a really good team and a tough team, and I never see any quit in this team. I believe that we’re right there and we just need to fix a few pieces and a few little gaps here and there and stop beating ourselves. It’s already hard to beat a team and it’s going to be harder when we’re making mistakes on ourselves as well, so I just think that we need to overcome a few of those mistakes that we’ve been making and just keep playing hard.
Q: If there’s one thing you would point to for the third down deficiencies, what would it be?
A: I guess myself. Like I said, I don’t want to point fingers at anybody on this team, so one way we can get off the field on third downs is if I can get to the quarterback faster, if I can get my hands up when the ball’s coming out fast and bat some balls. At the end of the day, we’ve been good on first and second down and we’ve been putting ourselves in a good position on third down. We just need to do a better job of executing when third down comes and getting off the field.
Q: In a normal year, we’d be in the locker room. We’re obviously not. What is the mood in the locker room – is there anger, are guys yelling, is it tough love, is it silence? What is the locker room like after a loss like this?
A: I think right now, everyone was just listening to what the head guy had to say. [Head] Coach [Joe] Judge talked to us for a while, so everyone else was just pretty silent and listening to what’s going on. At the same time, I don’t think guys are hanging their heads down. I was looking around while Coach Judge was talking and I made a lot of eye contact with people and people still seemed to have a lot of fight in them, as we should. The last two games before this one, we were in it and the first of half of this game we were right there in it. I just think we need to close that gap and execute when we need to, and I think that’s going to take us there.
Q: To follow up on that, what was Coach’s message to the locker room?
A: He just said now is not the time to reinvent the wheel. He believes in this team, he believes that we work hard and fight for it. That’s basically what we’re going to do when Wednesday comes. We’re going to watch film tomorrow, put this game behind us and go on to the Rams next week. Just nonstop working hard and one day it’s going to come through.
Q: This is a team that lost the first two games, but there were a lot of positives to take from those efforts. Does today feel like a step backwards for this program?
A: I think, like you said, even with those two losses, I think we had a lot of positives going for us and I still believe in that today. We obviously got beat worse in the second half than the first, but that first half we started really fast and I think that’s something that’s good to look at as well. I think we just need to work on finishing and executing when we need to on important downs and knowing the situations.
Q: Last week, it seemed like the run defense fell off late in the game and at the end of the second half today it seemed like things started going in the wrong direction. How do you guys put it together for 60 minutes and what do you think is going wrong in that regard?
A: I’m really not sure, that’s something that I’m going to have to watch on film tomorrow. I think in the first half, we were playing really good against the run. We knew that this was a running team that wanted to come out and start fast in the run game, and I think we had a good answer towards it. I think we’re put in good positions to play the run and I think we just need to finish when it matters.
Q: You guys gave up 36 points and [QB Nick] Mullens had a 108.0 passer rating today. How does the defense respond to this? What do you guys have to do and how do you bounce back from this one?
A: Like I said, I think we just need to not go outside of our realm right now. I think it’s time to just go back on Wednesday and keep working hard. Just clean up the small details, I think that’s mainly what’s holding us back right now, just a few small errors and a few small details that we need to clean up and get clicking.