Head Coach Joe Judge
October 30, 2020
Q: I was just wondering how much relief was there when you found out today that your guys all tested negative and are going to be able to come back into the building? Then what was yesterday like only having four offensive linemen out there and having to put Eric (Tomlinson) out there to kind of fill the gap?
A: I think it was a great opportunity for our team to see how everyone needs to step up and be ready at all times. I thought we had a really good practice yesterday as a team. There was a tremendous amount of energy. Guys got a chance to run around in the rain. There was a lot of energy. Guys were really enjoying being out there. Obviously, there were some adjustments to what we had to do a little bit schematically. Then also, practice organization. Having a limited menu for offensive linemen, that tied a little bit to our team prep periods for the defense as well. When we were working against each other, we had to adjust a few things. But it was productive in what we decided to work on going forward. Obviously, we were relieved that there were no more positive tests at this moment and that our guys are back in the building working. We just need to put the emphasis on we have to continue to be very cautious, and we have to be proactive in the steps we take, which tied into we did install meetings this morning virtually, we cleaned up our tape after practice yesterday virtually as well. Both of those have gone smoothly so far. We’ll see how productive this morning’s meetings are based on how practice goes today. We’ll start out with a little bit of a walkthrough beforehand to go ahead and get some of the install stuff ironed out. Then we’ll go out there and we’ll run through it in the stadium today.
Q: How did Eric hold up as an offensive lineman?
A: I think he was born to block, so pretty good. He’s probably happy he can get a few more cheeseburgers on the diet.
Q: Jason (Garrett) had mentioned that it was also a challenge you guys didn’t have a scout team offensive line for the defense. How did you guys do that?
A: Well, it was a combination. We used both the guys that work on our regular offensive line as well as use some defensive linemen over there as well. That ties into everything we’re preparing for. At some point in time, you may have to have a defensive lineman or a tight end playing on the offensive line, and we have to have a plan for it. We worked yesterday a combination of staying as close to our game plan as possible, as well as mixing in a couple curveballs in case we have to make some kind of adjustments.
Q: I have two questions. One is regarding Todd Bowles and the kind of job you think he’s done with that Tampa Bay defense.
A: Yeah, phenomenal. This guy is a great coach. We’ve gone against him in different places a number of times. The one thing when you go against Todd, you have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a person and as a coach. I think his players play very hard. They’re very talented. But they don’t make a lot of impact just because of talent. It’s about how they play schematically and fundamentally. I think this is a good tackling team. It’s a very good pass rush team. The DBs on the backend, although you would say this is the younger group of their defense compared to their front, they’re very productive, they cover very, very tightly, they’re opportunistic and get their hands on a lot of balls, and they break extremely fast when they’re in zone with good vision on the quarterback. They get a number of hats to the ball if there’s any kind of deflection. To me, what stands out about this team though is their ability to make adjustments throughout the game. Todd’s always done a great job of that. But if you go through the first half and think you’re just going to see a carbon copy in the second half of the game plan, you have to think ahead because he’s going to make adjustments.
Q: Another question is about another guy you’ve gone up against over the years, Jason Pierre-Paul. What are you seeing out of him down there?
A: I think JPP is playing at a high level right now, obviously. He has a lot of production and numbers that match up to that. But I see him playing with a high motor right now. They have a number of their front that are very disruptive. He’s done a good job of getting to the passer, both through sacks and pressures. But this guy right now to me is doing a good job. He has good length and good speed to get off on the line of scrimmage, and obviously, he’s a guy you have to deal with.
Q: The Markus Golden trade kind of got lost in the shuffle because of when it happened. Just curious what went into that and what that means maybe for a guy like Cam Brown?
A: We expect the guys on our roster to go ahead and step up and play any snap we ask them to. Cam has made a lot of progress for us. He’s obviously developed a lot through the kicking game, and for a young player, exposure on the field in coverage units really builds in directly to your development as a defensive player. Seeing the ball, getting to the ball, playing with leverage, getting off blocks, learning the speed of the game. That’s all been instrumental in Cam’s development, and he’s made a lot of progress in the package we’ve used him in. We’ll see where that leads us this week based on who we’re seeing up front. It’s a different team than we’ve seen in the past few weeks, different type of offense overall, different type of quarterback. So, we’ll see where that leads to Cam’s involvement this week. But we expect everyone on the roster to play their role and be productive.
Q: With a guy like Wayne Gallman, it seems like the more he plays, the more effective he’s been, not just more productive, obviously because of the number of touches, but just more effective. I’m just wondering how much you feel that’s the case and if that’s something that you have to take into account moving forward with the running back situation?
A: We expect all of our running backs at the game to play. Different game plans may have different roles for different guys, but Wayne’s done a good job overall when he’s gotten into the game. He’s taken advantage of some of the situations he’s been put into. We expect him to have a role in every game that we have, along with Devonta (Freeman), along with Dion (Lewis). We have other backs on our roster as well we work with on a daily basis, we work to develop within our system and have them ready as well when they’re needed. But Wayne’s done a good job when we’ve asked him to.
Q: Do you believe in running backs being able to get into a rhythm though?
A: Yeah, that can happen at some points. Based on different packages and what the defense is giving you, sometimes you have more of an opportunity to keep one running back in, then roll them all through. But to be honest with you, I’m a big believer in all positions of keeping your guys fresh, not just to rotate them but to make sure you mix it up a little bit and give the opponent a little bit of a different look throughout different times of the game, and keeping guys fresh to a degree to get on through late in that second half and have a push.