Head Coach Joe Judge
May 14, 2021
Q. What are you hoping to see out of guys like Benjamin at tight end, why do you think he can convert there and Corey and Smith, the tryout running backs, as well?
JOE JUDGE: Yeah, so everyone is here for a purpose. All of the guys were brought in on a trial basis. They were the guys available for us to work check within our system a little bit and see if there's a potential to add them for a role for our team.
In terms of Benjamin working different position today, we're going to work different guys at a variety of things right now. He's a big guy. He's always been a big receiver. He'll work receiver. He's working a little bit flex tight end as well. I wouldn't really kind of, you know, pin him down to any one position at this point. We're going to use the weekend to move him around to different spots and see how it works out.
Q. You know what was going on with Tony's cleats today?
JOE JUDGE: You know what, first day on the field I think there's a little bit of equipment issue. We have to get that straightened out and make sure our guys hit the field with equipment they are comfortable with. We'll handle that; make sure it's not an issue going forward.
Q. And what are you hoping to see out of the rookies this weekend? What's the key takeaway you are looking for them to come away with?
JOE JUDGE: I think the biggest thing with these rookies, with any class of rookie, it's all brand new to them. It's their first day in the National Football League, first time on the grass and first time in our systems and schemes.
So really this is an orientation weekend. This isn't a competition weekend. This isn't a situation where we are cutting down the team this weekend. This is just get the guys out there moving on the grass, take a look at them and get a better idea where they are physically. These are guys that have not been with a team now for at least five months.
So being out there for the first time in team activities, drills and the pace and practice, as opposed to individual workouts with a trainer are much, much different.
So you know, all these guys got to get in football shape which is just part of the process of being out here in spring and working them forward.
Q. Was wondering your first impression of Kadarius, getting him in your system with your guys compared to what you would have seen on tape or pre draft workouts?
JOE JUDGE: I think with all these rookies, it's about the same. Our first impression of these guys really was on tape and what we saw leading up to the draft.
Right now, we're just trying to get them out there and get them moving. This is all very new for these guys in terms of walking around the building. These guys have as much on their plate in terms of finding out where their locker is, where to eat in the cafeteria, where they shower as much as getting out there, where they stretch where an individual is and when we blow the horn for group and special teams, where they run to.
So it's a learning experience for these guys. They try to get on the field and just move as fast as they can. Like I said we've got to get these guys in football shape and it's just part of the process.
Q. Just wondering, this is an unusual type of setup, you only had I think about 22 players here. I know this was more of a coaching clinic for lack of a better term. Having said that were you able to get any more of a sense of where these guys are in terms of their fundamentals, especially those who haven't played since two years ago.
JOE JUDGE: Yeah, I think with the exception of maybe a couple of the vets that are out here who are a little further ahead because they have experience in the league, as a whole, every rookie you get every year is far way away from where they are going to be. None of their fundamentals will be good enough and none of their conditioning will be good enough. That's our job to get them going. That's why we have to be out there and we have to train them and practice and catch up where the vets are at, so when they get to training camp they can compete on equal ground.
Q. How much stock do you put into the tape that they put on the field this weekend at all? I know you weren't here at the time but Darius Slayton, he had a horrible first couple days couldn't catch the ball but then it sort of clicked for him. Do you put stock into what you see on the field this weekend or do you just look at it as, hey, we are just getting them totally orientated in a way?
JOE JUDGE: Yeah, it truly is just orientation. At this point obviously we can identify things they have to work on. We can identify where they are currently. However I'd say every rookie you get right now, just from the nature of not being on a team for the duration that they have been training for the Draft and all that kind of stuff, they are all far behind. You know, they really are. Most of these guys are all further behind now than they were when they finished their college seasons.
So we have to get them back going, get them caught up, get them in our systems and in our schemes, and they have got a long way to go, and that's true of any rookie class.
In terms of how much we put on the tape, again we are not cutting down the weekend. That's not really what the goal of what we are doing is. We are just trying to get these guys out there, get them moving around.
I've been part of rookie mini-camps before where you put them out there and it's full competition, you are doing hard one-on-ones and seven-on-seven and team as much as you can. To be honest with you, if we had 70 guys out there, we wouldn't have done anything different today. The focus was on fundamentals and getting acclimated to our system and how they practice so when we get out there through the duration of spring and training camp, they have to jump and get going and compete against the vets.
Q. Wanted to ask you about a local kid, Frankie Feaster coming in here as a tryout. Just curious what you saw in him to decide to bring him in to tryout this weekend and for a small school guy who didn't play last season, I would imagine you guys used some connections and found someone to take a chance on him to come in here and transition to a new position as well.
JOE JUDGE: Our scouting partner did a good job digging him up. We are going to work him at fullback and see what his special teams value is going to be. Put him through some different space drills. Like any player we are going to look and see how much value they really have.
One of the messages with the rookies is the more you can do. These guys have to come in and have value beyond just whatever their initial position is. So like all the rookies, there's a lot of learning today for them but you know, pleased with his effort on the field today.
Q. As much as it's a competition, and not a competition and an orientation, for a guy like that to come in here, do you almost want to see a little competitive juice to see how much this opportunity might mean to him?
JOE JUDGE: I think when you're on the tryout basis like a lot of these guys are, there's a little bit more that some of the guys sometimes have to show.
But to be honest with you, when they come in, we kind of already know what we are looking for and there's some already on our radar and some we are already looking at. When the time comes, sooner or later, if they show enough this weekend, they will get an opportunity.
Q. What did you like about the two offensive linemen you signed, Hagey and Burton?
JOE JUDGE: Well, I think these guys had good tape in college. They are both intelligent players. They have been working very hard.
In terms of where they are right now compared to where we plan on them being through the duration of the season, they are a far way away but they are both working very regard right now giving themselves a chance to catch up. I like the way they worked on the field. Rod, Ben and Flats had those guys going pretty good. It's tough being in a camp where you are only two linemen for the entire duration of a day, but those guys handled it well today.
Q. They were outnumbered by the coaches?
JOE JUDGE: Well, we had to complete the offensive line with a couple guys like Ben who had some experience.
Q. Just to follow up on Tony, looked like he and Williams did not do the conditioning. Were they dealing with injuries or did you back them off?
JOE JUDGE: You know what I have to check with Ronnie. I looked over at the end and they were at the trainers, so it's something Ronnie was talking to them about, so I'll get the injury report when we're done here and see where we go from there.
Q. Did you have any guys that were eligible for this that decided not to come to it?
JOE JUDGE: No. All of our guys who are eligible and available are here.