Head Coach Joe Judge
August 4, 2021
Q: Obviously, we all saw you didn’t seem too thrilled with the fight at the end of practice. Just curious about your reaction and if there is going to be any additional punishment doled out for everything that went down.
A: Well, we’ll keep all that stuff between the team. I’d say in terms of what happened in practice yesterday is it’s important that we learn from it, that we can’t do anything that’s going to cost our team in a game. We coach on all aspects of the game to eliminate penalties, whether that’s enforcing holdings on one-on-ones between receivers and DBs, offsides on offense or defense, false starts, whatever it may be. Listen, the result of having something like that happen is going to be 15-yard penalties, ejections from the game and, for players and coaches specifically, fines. We have to understand that for everything you do there’s a consequence and we have to understand that our job is to put ourselves in a position to win football games, that’s our job. And we don’t want to do anything that goes ahead and puts us in a position that takes away the opportunity to win games. What happened yesterday at practice would have taken away an opportunity to win a game based on the actions on the field, so there needs to be consequences, there needs to be a lesson learned and we need to move forward as a team and not repeat the mistake.
Q: Hey Joe, at one point we saw (Quarterback) Daniel Jones at the bottom of the pile, which I imagine is not something that you want to see. I’m just curious if you saw that while it was happening, your message to Daniel after the fact. I imagine you don’t really want him around when that kind of thing is going on, but what are your thoughts about that part of it?
A: Yeah, the message to the team was consistent for every player, so we don’t want any player at the bottom of a pile, we don’t want any player jumping in the way they did and that’s why we took action immediately the way we did.
Q: You’ve seen a lot of fighting happen in camp and things like that. Sometimes it’s a bunch of over-aggressive young guys who don’t really know the flow. The fact that this was triggered by a bunch of veterans – (Defensive Back) Logan Ryan, (Tight End) Evan Engram – does that make it more of a teaching point that you can’t have your leaders do stuff like that?
A: It’s a teaching point no matter how it happens. To be honest with you, my message to the team is the reason it happened is insignificant, the result of what happened is what the consequence is going to be and we can’t have that. We can’t coach that. Listen, they’re in pads for the first day, so there’s obviously an elevated intensity, urgency, chippy-ness, but that can’t carry over to having penalties and issues like that on the field. One thing I’ll say is that the offense and defense have been competing very hard now for over a week against each other. This time of training camp, guys do get a little bit chippy with each other, but I’d say that stays on the field. When all our players walked off the field yesterday, we had no issues carry over to the locker room, the cafeteria, the training room, anywhere else. Our guys are in here and I’m not saying we’re laughing off the situation, but they understand that we’re all one team and we can’t do that to each other. And the most important part of that lesson we have to learn is ultimately we have to eliminate bad football. Penalties are bad football. The lesson has to be we’re not doing anything that’s going to get our team in a position to be penalized.
Q: We saw, obviously, there was a lot of running and push-ups that went along with it. Can you explain why when they have to suffer consequences that’s the route you take? There’s a lot of people that say, ‘That’s college stuff, that’s high school stuff. That’s not going to fly here at the NFL level.’
A: Yeah, listen, there’s a lot of different ways to approach things. In terms of fights, to be honest with you, my policy has been to get guys out of practice, so that happened involving the entire team, I threw the entire team out of practice. We had more ball to go. We had two more periods left in practice, we had things we had to accomplish. Those were things yesterday that robbed us of an opportunity to keep preparing, that robbed other players of reps to go out there and compete, so generally we just basically ended practice at that point. We’re going to go ahead and got our conditioning in. We had things planned for conditioning anyway; however, when something happens there needs to be feedback. I’ve talked about this before, I know a lot of people out there are questioning why we’re doing this or that. Yeah, I get it. I explain to my players all the time, when you get a 15-yard penalty, you’ve got to run that much further on the field to score. When you have a consequence of that where you have to run right away, that reinforces that, ‘Hey, listen, I can’t afford to make that mistake.’ When there’s an issue with ball-handling, substitution, lack of focus, whatever it may be, there needs to be some kind of reinforcement right away. It’s not always running, sometimes it is, you know.
Q: Joe, I wanted to ask you about two receivers, (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) and his hamstring and how (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) looked to you in his first kind of football activity there?
A: I’d say like any of our players it has been the same with KT, you know we’re going to bring them along slowly to make sure that he’s moving at the right pace. We’ve had great communication with our trainers and strength staff along with him. He’s definitely out there. He’s doing everything we ask. Very pleased with the progress he’s making. You can definitely see the passion. I know he’s champing at the bit to do more and more and more and we’ll keep bringing him along each day doing a little more for him and see where his conditioning’s at. But I was very pleased with how he’s started off. I’m very pleased with how he worked with our trainers in the process to get ready for it. In terms of Kenny, he’s actually seeing a doctor this morning. We just broke meetings a second ago. I’ll find out a little bit more about it. I would say, in terms of a worse-case scenario, I think we’ve kind of avoided that in terms of dealing with it, but we’ll see what the timetable looks like. And again, injuries are different for every player based on what they are, so we’ll have to see how his body responds and make sure we do right by him.
Q: Joe, two quick ones if you don’t mind, one about the brawl. Did you have a problem with the Logan Ryan-specific hit? It just seemed like, obviously pushing and shoving happens, but hitting a guy in the back or in the back of the neck like that, is that a scary situation?
A: I would just say, every time we teach our team in terms of what is or is not acceptable, we always bring it back to football. We’ll always bring it back to the parameters of the game. If we have a specific tempo in practice, we’re going to make sure all the players are practicing that tempo. That was basically what a violation of it was yesterday at that point of practice that led to an issue that became a bigger issue. In terms of the specific hit, instead of going through and trying to say, ‘this one is this, this one not as bad,’ and trying to dissect it down, real simple, that would have been a penalty in a game. I have a problem with penalties. We go through it every day with the players. I just got done watching holdings from one-on-one. I got done watching offsides penalties, illegal formations. We’re going to go through it every day with the players to make sure they understand. So instead of trying to take each player on a different basis of his hit wasn’t that bad, this guy’s hit was maybe a little bit worse – real simple, if it was a penalty, we have an issue with it.
Q: And just a real quick follow, Daniel Jones and the offense really seemed to have a strong day yesterday, what’s your review of how they performed and how Daniel performed?
A: Look, I’m pleased with how the offense is working right now and they have made consistent improvement and obviously, there was a lot of plays they made yesterday. I told you the other day, there’s always going to be days where the offense gets the better of the defense and some days the defense gets the better of the offense. That naturally happens through training camp. There’s things that happen through adjustments and installs. Some guys just come to play certain days more than other guys, but we’ve got to make sure that on all three sides of the ball, we’ve consistently improved. In terms of how they performed yesterday as a unit, yeah, that’s what we expect of these guys, keep making improvements right there. One thing about these guys is you know, look, they do compete and they play as a unit and they play hard. I think that’s something that as long as we keep on doing that, we clean up the execution, we eliminate bad football, they’ll put themselves in a position that we can have success as a team.
Q: I noticed (Linebacker) Cam Brown playing inside more than, at least, I expected. Was that something you guys had planned or was it due to the numbers? How do you think he's done in there?
A: For one, I think he's making a lot of progress. I’m really pleased with the way he's playing right now in there. That’s not a completely foreign position for him. He's had some experience in the past, but in terms of our system, it is new for him. But, that came up as an offseason decision. This wasn't anything as a result of numbers. We made the decision in the offseason to really work Cam with some inside stack and have some flex go to the edge for some pass rush situations. He's a guy that's got a good skill set. He's got some length, he is athletic. He can really run in space, so we're going to try and find him a home based on the packages. We don't want to limit him that he can only do one thing and then we're stuck that we can't get him on the field as much as we want to. So, by cross-training right now on the edge and the stack, that'll free us up as the season goes, as the packages change, the game plans change, that we have more people that are available to help us.
Q: Two quick things: one, did everybody come out of the brawl okay yesterday? Did anybody get hurt during that?
A: All healthy.
Q: Obviously, there's a lot of outside handwringing when people see your language, they see you running guys like that. It's a little unusual in this modern day. Are you convinced that your players respond to you the right way? What does their response tell you about them?
A: Listen, we've had a great experience with our players. We have guys in this program now for about a year and a half. We constantly communicate with these guys, we’re very transparent, we explain why we do what we do. They understand that there's a goal at hand, what it's supposed to look like, and how we're supposed to get there. I think by doing that it kind of makes the path clear and easier to understand. You referenced modern day football. I've said before, I'm a little bit old school and how I believe. Coaches have really influenced me. The one thing I've really learned from some great coaches that I had the opportunity to play or coach under is they really reaffirmed everything I learned young in the game as a player. That's really about fundamentals and foundation. It's about discipline, it’s about culture. So, in terms of the modern day, I know a lot of people have different ways of doing things. I know there's a proven way that works, and we're going to stick to the base fundamentals that we believe in.