Head Coach Joe Judge
November 13, 2020
Q: What happened with Golden (Tate) yesterday? Do you have any idea what his status is like for Sunday?
A: It was just the end of practice. He just kind of bumped bodies with someone. We’re going to take a look at him today, see how he’s doing. We’re optimistic. But at the same time, I need to be fair to the player to give him an opportunity to go out there and see where he’s at physically. Look, the guy has had a tremendous week of practice. We’re looking forward to getting him on the grass Sunday. We’ll take a look at him today and see how he’s feeling.
Q: You have that open roster spot, maybe Tae (Crowder) or you can bump a running back up? Do you know what you’re going to do with that yet?
A: We haven’t fully decided yet. It’s something we’re going to talk about after practice today, the several roster moves that we’ve made recently, as well as some moves we want to make for the game. We’ll have some conversations after practice. We need to see where some guys are physically today after letting them practice for a couple of days.
Q: I just wanted to ask you about one of those roster moves that you made, about adding Kyle Murphy to your active roster. What has he shown you that made you guys think he deserved this promotion?
A: I think like a lot of the young guys right now in our program, this guy, obviously missing spring and not having the opportunity through some preseason games to really demonstrate some things and really gain a lot of experience, he’s been able to really use the first half of the season of kind of getting on track, get used to the speed of the game, and really show some improvement for us on a daily basis in practice. I think Kyle is a good, young player that’s worth developing. We enjoy having him in the program. He’s a guy that’s worked very hard with Fitz (Craig Fitzgerald) and his crew and has changed his body a good bit. I see him moving, I see some athleticism, has some power, he has some nasty to him in how he plays. He’s a guy right there that we just think in terms of a young guy, worth developing, and giving us some depth on the roster moving forward. He was a good candidate.
Q: Do you see him as an inside guy?
A: Yeah, Kyle is definitely more of an inside guy. He’s played guard and center for us. He’s played some tackle in his history, too. It isn’t something we’d ever rule out putting him outside. But I’d say, primarily, he’s more of an inside guy.
Q: In rematches like this against a team that beat you very narrowly last time, players say a lot ‘we owe them one, we want revenge, we want payback.’ Where is that on the motivation scale for you?
A: We had our shot in the first game. This game is a completely different game. There are different players on the field, it’s going to be a different game plan from both teams. For us, this game is completely independent of the last one. The only thing that’s really relevant from the last game are the lessons we’ve learned as a team that help us improve as a team. Obviously, it’s a division game. It should be very competitive. There should be some nasty to it being as though it’s a division opponent, it’s Philadelphia, it’s our home field, all that good stuff mixed in there. But at the end of the day, look, we had our shot in the first game. This game is completely independent of that one right there. We have to do a good job for 60 minutes this Sunday.
Q: You were talking yesterday a little bit about what some of the sacrifices some of your players have to make. T-Mac (Thomas McGaughey) was telling us a story about him going home and getting to see his son for 24 hours, having to run to the hospital with him. I’m just curious what do you think about the sacrifices your coaches have had to make this year, some of them being that because of the whole year and everything that unfolded, they didn’t even get to move their families up here and stuff like that.
A: For all the coaches and players, obviously, it’s something that we opted in to join this year, so we all knew there were going to be sacrifices involved. That doesn’t make it any easier. We just have to be honest with ourselves when we look in the mirror and understand that it’s tough, but we chose the tough. But I have a lot of sympathy for the players and the coaches. There are a lot of guys that are separated from their families right now. I could talk specifically about the families. To be honest with you, it’s the wives that are really talking through text messages and the phone. The weird thing about it is we’ve already played nine games, and we haven’t even had any kind of family function yet for the coaches, families getting together, the coaches and the players’ families getting together. That’s something we definitely want to have in the future, it’s something we definitely want as part of this organization. But there are some abnormalities to it in that regard that people are getting to know each other, like we got to know each other through Zoom. The wives are getting to know each other through again text, phone, Zoom, things of that nature, doing Bible studies and some other things together collectively. It’s kind of weird. You have to have a lot of respect for guys like T-Mac who look, his son is a tremendous player. He’s at a big-time school down there in Texas. T-Mac, you catch him on Fridays, he’s watching his games over the internet. There are a lot of sacrifices you have to make to be part of this league and to be part of this organization. I have a large appreciation for what T-Mac does. I know he’s very involved in his kids’ lives. We all try to keep up with his son as well because we know what kind of player he is. He had the opportunity to go back a couple weeks ago. It was different than going down to see him play. Maybe it worked out for the better that he was there the game that his son got hurt and had to have a procedure. Maybe that was a little better in the long run for him, but I know he wanted to just go down there and see his son get on the field and play the way he can play. I guess it’s a big roundabout way of saying, hey look, I understand it’s tough for everyone. It’s tough for each individual. That’s the sacrifice we’re making. But at the same time, you still have to acknowledge and respect that people are going through things outside this building that they have to choose to put aside when they walk in and not deter from what we’re doing professionally.
Q: Would you say you guys as a coaching group have spent more time together?
A: I’d say definitely in the spring we did when our families are behind and before they shut everything down. I think at this point in the season, we’re here working long hours anyway. I don’t think that has really changed because of the nature of the families not being here with the COVID stuff. We’re here and we’re together. I think probably the biggest change is when we show up on Saturdays in the morning, you’re kind of in that bubble. Most of the coaches just stay here throughout the day and then go straight to the hotel, we don’t go home. As our wives pointed out early in the season, every game is an away game. You get 16 away games this year. Normally, you’re relying on having that Friday night with your family. Saturday morning, you get a brief window to go home 5-6 hours, see your kids, go see a sporting event, whatever it may be. Then you go to the hotel at night. Normally as coaches, on Saturday night after the meetings are done, you’re back home again. This is different in that regard of everyone has kids playing in different sports. You’re kind of doing a lot of parenting through Facetime. You’re catching up with your family on the back end of a lot of things on Saturdays. That’s just kind of the nature of what we’re dealing with this year. Everyone everywhere is dealing with things that are different. I don’t want to get used to it because I don’t want this to be anything that people refer to as normal, but it is what it is for right now. We’re just going to deal with it and do the best we can.
Q: Wit a quarterback like Carson Wentz, a good player who is struggling with turnovers, can you try and bait a playmaker like him into making risky decisions as a defense?
A: You’re always trying to disguise things anyway on these quarterbacks, especially these older guys like Wentz who has seen their share of different defenses, different disguises. You always want to try and have some wrinkle that maybe they’re not ready for. That being said, at the end of the day, the best thing you can do defensively is really just play sound, fundamental football. Make sure you’re in the right place at the right time. Eventually he’s going to find someone who’s open. Eventually he is going to make a throw and throw somebody open. To think we can just go out there and fool someone like Carson Wentz, that’s not realistic. We want to have a couple wrinkles, keep him a little bit reacting instead of making decisions pre-snap knowing what we’re doing. All that being said, these guys are good players. Throughout the course of the game, they are going to identify what your game plan is for them and what you’re doing. Eventually they’re going to make an adjustment on the other side where it’s going to be player versus player, and they have to make a play.
Q: How did Will (Hernandez) do in practice yesterday? What does it mean that you were sort of able to isolate that one positive and not have it become a bigger issue for the team?
A: We actually talked about that this morning with the captains. We’ve been very fortunate as a team that, knock on wood, we’ve had the one test right now. We’ve done a pretty good job as an organization of keeping that isolated. We’ve been able to get the player back healthy and performing on the field. We’ve got to make sure to stay proactive with things and not think that, okay, we’re beyond this, we’re past it. You see every day a different team has something pop up, different tests. The biggest warnings you get from different teams who have dealt with this over a long term is the duration of how tests pop up. It’s kind of like weeds. You think you pulled them all out and then there’s one growing right underneath the other one. To me, the focus has been trying to keep this out of our building as much as possible. That’s easier said than done. There’s a lot of sacrifices we have to make. I had to talk to the team about the bye week and then Thanksgiving coming up as well. There’s a lot of things that we all have to consider. Kind of going back to Jordan’s (Raanan) question in terms of not seeing everyone they want to see. You have Thanksgiving coming up. What does that look like? You have to be realistic. There are going to be people in some situations coming into town. Can we make sure we can get these people tested so that our players can make the right decisions on the front end? To make sure when they come in town either the player stays in the hotel for a couple nights, or the family stays in the hotel for a couple nights. You have to be realistic about life going on. We have to make sure as we do things, we make the right decisions. In reference to Will, he had a good practice yesterday. We’re looking forward to him playing this week. Like we have been doing, playing all three tackles, and we plan on playing all three guards the same way. Will had a good day yesterday. I was more concerned physically with how he’s dealing with coming back. He’s still coming off of missing two games. We’re going to see him again today in practice and planning to see him on the field.