NYG Postgame (vs. Washington) Transcripts: Head Coach Joe Judge
October 18, 2020
Appreciate your patience waiting. I’m always a little bit slow to the podium after games, I talk to a few players. But look, overall, I’m proud of how our team competed for 60 minutes today. We talked about it on the front end, there’s things we had to do and play our style of ball. Sometimes you’ve got to make it a little bit grimey, but that’s the way we‘ve got to play sometimes. But I’m proud of the way they played and I’m proud of the guys. They get to see some tangible results for their work, and they’ve been working hard.
Q: What did you find out about your team today?
A: Well, I think we all found out that when we put ourselves in position and don’t shoot ourselves in the foot that the results will come and happen. I already knew they were a resilient group, I knew they were a tough group, a mentally tough group. I’m just proud they were able to get the win today and that their work was rewarded. But there were a lot of things that were just confirmed that we already knew about these guys – they had good energy, they stayed together on the sideline, and every game you’re going to have some kind of a storm and you’ve got to fight through the storm. You see with our guys when that kicks up, they stay together, they have good communication on the sideline, there’s good energy, they support each other. I’m proud of the way they stick together.
Q: Until you get the first one, you don’t have the first one. I know you don’t like to internalize and take things personally, but this is your first win as a head coach. What did it mean to you? What was the locker room like? And now that you finally got it in the sixth week, is it a relief?
A: You know what, the locker room obviously had a lot of energy afterwards. The guys were very happy. There’s been a lot of pressure that they’ve put on themselves and that we put on them. They’ve been fighting hard for six weeks and working through training camp for us. You hit this point right here and you just want to get the results. And I’m happy the fans were able to have it and I’m happy the players were able to enjoy it today.
Q: Did the head coach enjoy it, Joe?
A: Yeah, I did. I’m sure I’ll turn the tape on and – look, I tell you guys all the time, I’m not just saying this – win or lose, there’s good things to highlight and there’s things you’ve got to improve on and highlight to your team that we’ve got to make sure the other teams are watching and aware of as well. Right now, I’m going to look at this tape tonight and kind of make any corrections we need to, and then we’ve got to turn the page quickly and get on to Philly.
Q: As Washington is driving, are you guys thinking that if they score a touchdown that they’re going to go for two? Were you surprised that [Washington Head Coach] Ron [Rivera] decided to do that? And what did you see on the play from your defense that stood out and stopped it?
A: You know what, I was actually expecting them to go for two. They’ve been aggressive in a lot of situations this year, Ron’s always been aggressive as a head coach. You’re on the road, a lot of times that’s the decision you’re going to make right there. We knew they were going to treat those last couple series like they were their last series and they were going to try to get this thing all the way down and clock. I thought [Defensive Coordinator] Pat [Graham] made a great call on the two-point conversion, that’s actually a call we put in this week. I thought the guys matched it and played it very well. We got some pressure from the line. I saw the DB’s did a good job getting the initial coverage. They were trying to work [Washington WR Terry] McLaurin on kind of a hesitation and work out to the flat right there. I think it was [DB] Logan [Ryan] on him at that point right there and did a good job covering him. But it was a call Pat put in this week. The guys did a really good job working that on Friday, really improving on some things that we put on tape in practice that were mistakes, cleaned it up through Saturday, and, hey, practice execution becomes game reality.
Q: With the call, [Defensive Lineman] Dexter [Lawrence] and [Linebacker] Blake [Martinez] both ended up finishing it. Did they both have flat responsibility or how did that play out?
A: Roughly, it’s a combo call right there where, in terms of that flat responsibility based on the way the play comes out, different guys can take it, so it’s kind of a different hybrid of a zone right there for us. But both guys did a good job breaking on it.
Q: What was your take on the [Linebacker Kyler] Fackrell fumble and then [Linebacker] Tae [Crowder] scooping it up and scoring?
A: Yeah, I wish Tae would’ve bent his knees a little better and taken it cleaner off, but I’m glad the second time through he got it and finished it on out. But it was a nice job of the guys putting pressure on it. We’ve been preaching for a while to keep the pressure on the quarterback and turnovers will come. They did today and Tae did a good job of finishing the play. We’ve just got to make sure we don’t kick that thing initially and give him an opportunity to get on that ball.
Q: I know that they brought [Wide Receiver] C.J. [Board] to the hospital. Have you heard anything back from there yet?
A: I’m going to wait on the official diagnosis. The one thing I can say good news-wise, even on the field he was moving, he was conscious, he was responding, he had feeling, he had movement in all of his extremities. They obviously had to have some precautions with what they were doing. I’ll let the doctors diagnose exactly what it is, but the feedback I was given just now was pretty positive overall, so that was a relief.
Q: What went into the decision to start Matt Peart at left tackle and then rotate him and Andrew Thomas? And then what did you think of the play of both?
A: I’ll address this right now and I want to make clear, this wasn’t performance based at all. I’m not going to go too far into detail, but what I will say is Andrew violated team policy. There was nothing disobedient, disrespectful or malicious in what he did, but he made a mistake and there’s consequences for mistakes. We’ve got to make sure that we go ahead and we handle that the right way. That being said, I thought that Andrew did a really good job of accepting it, staying ready, performing when he got in the game. Matt – you know, we always preach ‘be ready to play’ – his number was called, he was ready to go early and right away. Thought both guys fought and played well when they were in the game. I’ll look at the tape for the specifics on different things that came up, but that’s all that was right there. In terms of how we’re playing everybody going forward, I say it all the time and it’s not just something I say, but we plan on playing everybody we take to the game every week, so that’s the linemen, that’s the skill players, that’s everyone across the board right there. Everyone has some kind of role going into the game. I’m glad Matt was ready and I’m proud of how Andrew responded to it, he was very mature about it, came in early and competed well. Again, I’ll emphasize it’s important that everyone understands he didn’t do anything disrespectful, anything malicious or disobedient, but he made a mistake and mistakes have consequences.
Q: You had a lot of guys today who played through a lot it seemed, like Blake Martinez, [Safety] Jabrill [Peppers], [Wide Receiver] Darius Slayton, Dexter Lawrence. What kind of example does that set? Does that have a significant positive effect on a team in-game?
A: I just think that’s the expectation really for our team. It’s not always going to be easy, you’re going to be banged up, you’re going to be bruised. We have a lot of tough dudes on our team, physically and mentally tough, and I think what you saw today was a combination of both that from our team. There are a lot of guys that are playing through physical ailments. The reality is there’s not a single player in the league right now that’s 100 percent. Everybody’s banged up, everybody’s fatigued, everybody’s tired, that’s just the nature of what we’re doing right now. You know, football is a collision game, it just is what it is. We’re going to try and see if we can’t get those guys’ bodies back as fast as we can and flip it over and lead into Philly on Thursday night. But, yeah, we definitely had a lot of tough guys out there gritting it though and doing everything they could for the team – spatting up ankles, shaking things off and coming back as fast as they can.
Q: Just kind of curious what was going through your mind toward the end of the game when you’re on the sideline, the victory is assured, you’re hugging guys, clearly emotional based on the first win. Did you think about your dad at all afterwards since he’s had such a big influence on your life?
A: On the sideline, no. With a couple text messages I received when I went to my locker, yes. The short answer to your question is yes, I did. That’s obviously a big part of a lot of things that I do, but really the emotion on the sideline was just joy for the players. To see them smiling, to see them rewarded for their hard work, that’s really what you play for. You really want to teach someone and when you see somebody carry out what you teached them and have success with it, that’s really the reward in our profession.
Q: How big is it when you can get a guy like Darius Slayton involved early like you did on that touchdown pass?
A: I think anytime you can go ahead and make plays early in a game to go ahead and give yourselves a little bit of a lead and an edge, that’s always big. We always try to get Darius involved as much as we can, along with all of our other skill players. I just think [Offensive Coordinator] Jason [Garrett] made a great call right there, [QB] Daniel [Jones] made a great throw and Darius made a great catch. All three of them strung it together, they couldn’t do it without the offensive line blocking, the other guys running their routes and occupying the other defenders. They strung it together, but I thought Jason made a great call at a great time and the players went out there and they executed.
Q: You keep talking about the players’ feelings, what everyone else was thinking and how they might have responded to the victory. How would you describe what you were feeling after your first win? Is it relief, is it joy? How do you view it when the game ends there?
A: I don’t know the exact word to describe it right there. To be honest with you, not just trying to deflect things, but I try not to make things internal. When the players lose, I feel bad for the players. When they win, I’m happy for the players. When something goes wrong, our first reaction is, ‘What did I screw up? What could I have done better to help put this guy in a position to have success?’ You’re kind of happy when you get the results that you want, that maybe you didn’t too many things to hurt the players and you gave them an opportunity to go out there, play and win the game, which they did today. Look, I’ll kind of sit back someday far in the future and think about internal things. I don’t think it’s even close to time right now for that, it was one game and we’ve got another one shortly.
Q: You mentioned ‘tangible results, it’s good for players to see tangible results.’ Obviously when you say that, how important do you think that it was for them to see those results? If you keep losing, it’s hard if you keep preaching certain things and not actually see the results there in regard to wins.
A: The one thing I’ll say about our players in that regard is they haven’t blinked. They’ve gone through six weeks before today and they show up every Monday to get the corrections, they come in every Wednesday to start on the next opponent and they’ve done a tremendous job. They don't blink, they stay focused on the next opponent at hand, they work tirelessly. The appreciation we as coaches have for our players’ work is tough to put into words. You understand when it’s tough, when they’re going through a streak, when there’s a lot of noise on the outside that we ask them to stay focused on what’s ahead of them. We know they’re getting it from all directions, but they come to work, they don’t complain, they do whatever we ask them to, that’s just the way it is. We’ve got a good group of guys, they’re tough, they’re fun to coach and I’m glad they had success today.
Q: How much of a weapon has Daniel’s ability to run become for this offense? Obviously, he had that long run and I’m just curious what you saw in that. In general, how valuable has it been to add that element to this offense?
A: I think it’s something he definitely does as a strength and Jason has done a good job incorporating that into our offense. It’s something that we always carry, we always have available. Our offensive coaching staff does a good job communicating on the sidelines and through the headsets of seeing what’s available and what we can come back and kind of make a change or an adjustment in the game plan on. Daniel had his number called and he made the most of it right there.
Q: You obviously can’t really celebrate this one for too long, you have a quick turnaround. What was kind of the message to the team even though you just won turning your attention to Philly obviously?
A: Kind of just typical locker room joy after the game and then just remind them, ‘Hey, it’s Wednesday night, guys.’ In Philly week, it’s Wednesday night right now. We’ve got to turn around, get our bodies right, we’ve got to get focused, we’ve got to come back in ready to work and then we’ll get a little bit of a break on the back end, but we’ve got to get ready to grind on through these next few days.