Head Coach Joe Judge
August 14, 2021
Opening Statement: Alright, guys. Well, look, obviously we didn't do enough tonight to win the game. The objective tonight mainly was to evaluate our players. There were a lot of things we saw out there tonight that were positive on an individual basis. Collectively, we have to be more consistent and better to have success. Told the players there were some good things out there, but we have to make sure that we improve our level of play, our football fundamentals and our execution on the field to have success. That being said, any questions you have, I’ll open it up.
Q: (Wide Receiver Kadarius) Toney, we didn't see him out there at all for warmups or on the sideline. Any update on what’s going on?
A: Any injured player who was not going to be able to play in the game tonight, we didn't put on the sideline. Everyone who was on the sideline would have been healthy enough to participate in the game. The only exception would be (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) and if it's a captain, there's a different deal. Sometimes, we'll let them on the field.
Q: You played your starting offensive line for most of the first quarter. What did you think of the way they played?
A: Well, I think as a team, we started slow on both sides of the ball. I saw some improvement as we went on, we were able to move the ball a little bit, get down there in scoring position. We can't have turnovers in the low red area, we have to capitalize on it. Obviously, we can't shoot ourselves in the foot and expect to have success, so there's some things that we can highlight in terms of the offensive line, in terms of the direction we have to go and there’s obviously a lot of things we can clean up, as well.
Q: You didn’t play your starting quarterback though? What was behind the thought process of playing your starting offensive line?
A: I want to get those guys some more chemistry on the field against a different opponent and I want to see as much of (QB) Mike (Glennon) and get as much experience in preseason as we can get with those guys. He's not always going to get a lot of reps with those guys in the regular season as of right now, so we want to make sure we took advantage of the time we had.
Q: What were your thoughts on the reserve offensive linemen and how they played in the second half?
A: Well, I’ve got to look at the tape before I can assess these guys publicly. I saw some positive things and some things that we’ve got to clean up. Obviously, some of the sacks and pressures on third-and-long situations -- you don't want to end any game with a safety, I mean that's something you don't want to do. However, there were some bright spots out there on an individual basis. I thought as a unit, the communication improved as we went on there. I thought some of the adjustments they were able to make on the sideline with (Offensive Line Coach) Rob (Sale) and those guys, in terms of handling what they were given, was positive. But ultimately we have to be fundamentally sound and play more consistent
Q: What’s Kadarius’s injury?
A: Yeah, I'm not gonna disclose any person's individual injury at this moment, but we hope to get him out there this week.
Q: Is that something new though? When did that happen?
A: You know, he's been dealing with it for a little bit. Something was aggravated in practice towards the tail end of this week, so he was unable to play tonight.
Q: But Joe, you said you're optimistic he’ll practice this week.
A: We're hopeful he is.
Q: How did you feel like the quarterbacks played, Mike and (Quarterback) Clayton (Thorson)?
A: Well, I thought as a whole unit, we started slow. I saw some bright spots. I thought Clayton did some good things as far as extending plays. I’ll take a look. He made completions with open guys, did a nice job extending the one play, throwing the touchdown. There's some other opportunities to take advantage of. In terms of Mike, I thought the function of the offense was smooth with him overall, but we have to play better as a group.
Q: Did you get any update on (Guard) Kyle Murphy?
A: I have not. I’ve not gotten any injury updates right now. Hopefully Kyle and some of the other guys that left the game, hopefully it's not too serious and we can get these guys back out there. They're all working really hard for us and doing a good job. You hate to see a guy like Kyle or a guy like (LB) TJ (Brunson) or (TE) Cole (Hikutini) have to leave the game with some kind of an injury. It's unfortunate. Sometimes that's the nature of the game. You don't wanna see any player on either team get hurt. You always want every team to come out completely healthy, so we'll find out what that is. And, again, we're hoping for the best and we'll get these guys as well as we can as fast we can.
Q: What did you see (Guard Kenny) Wiggins do? You guys aren't really in shape for 60 minutes of football. You kind of had to put him back in there.
A: Kenny’s a tough dude and he's a football player and having to kind of answer the bell right there and play 60 minutes. And as you said, you’re absolutely right, I don't think there's anyone out here right now in shape for 60 minutes of football. And Kenny is the kind of guy that's not going to turn anything down. We signed (OL) Ted (Larsen Sr.) on short notice yesterday. Really the goal was getting him ready for Cleveland next week. I didn't want to do anything to Ted. This guy's obviously an older player, he’s been in the league, had a lot of success. I didn't want to put him in a bad situation where he wasn't fully prepared to play. This guy hasn't taken a snap in a training camp yet. I didn't think it would be the right thing to do to put him in live game action. What we explained to him yesterday was it was basically a ‘break glass’ situation. If it was absolutely an emergency, we'd put him in. We were able to go ahead and navigate around that because Kenny was a guy that was ready to play at the time.
Q: You guys have been tinkering with (Linebacker) Carter Coughlin at inside linebacker. I know you’re going to watch the tape, but it seemed like he had a couple of plays there where it's exactly what you're looking for at that spot.
A: I thought Carter did a good job for us overall tonight. He had a couple of things that we have to clean up and nothing was perfect with him, but in terms of a motor, Carter plays with a motor. He's got good athleticism, he has good play strength, he shows some instincts and obviously with us moving him back and forth inside and outside -- the inside is new to him. So there's a lot of things that for him he's experiencing for the first time, but I'd say he's flashed positively throughout camp. He did a lot of things tonight that flashed positively. We have to watch the tape from a breakdown to see exactly how he did, but he's one of the guys that we wanted to really see come into this game and see how he responded to some different situations, both on defense and the kicking game, and he was a positive for us tonight. So, he's definitely a guy that showed up tonight to play and made an impression.
Q: Is there anything to read into (Wide Receiver) Darius Slayton playing tonight? I know (Tight End) Evan (Engram) didn’t play and (Wide Receiver) Sterling Shepard didn’t play. Anything to read into Darius being out there?
A: No, not at all. I think Darius has had a really good camp for us. I wanted to give him some reps on the field, that's all that was about right there. Wanted to make sure that he was out there with Mike (Glennon) and had the opportunity. Again, when you have the time to work these combinations, you want to go ahead and do it. Playing in a preseason game for a veteran is not a punishment. It's not a punishment at all. In fact, it's the best opportunity we have to prepare our guys physically and mentally for the season. So, every chance we get to get them out there, that's something we go ahead and we look to use as best we can. Look, I saw enough of him early on. I didn't need to see a ton of him. It wasn't really that he was out there to be truly evaluated altogether today. Everyone's always competing for roster spots, but I wanted to get Darius some reps on the field tonight. Thought it would be good for him and Mike to have some chemistry out there, they found each other a couple of times, so that was good.
Q: You played with a lot of young guys and that was the plan. You obviously need to watch the tape to get a thorough evaluation. Any guys in particular stick out to you in terms of young guys who did some things that impressed you just watching the game?
A: I'm going to hold off blanket statements until I really have a chance to watch the tape. I noticed obviously Carter (Coughlin), I’ve commented on him already making some plays. I thought Cam Brown did a good job for us at the gunner position. I thought Matt Cole showed up. He was a guy we were looking for in some of the kick covering stuff right there. C.J. Board did a nice job back there handling the punts. Did a good job on the offensive plays, returning the kick offs. So, there's a number of other guys. Before I really get a chance to go ahead evaluate truly more of the inside. There's other guys, you can really see them play more in space. It's more evident how they play in a game. You really want to dig into the tape to really evaluate your front, what’s happeing tackle the tackle. We'll take a look at it to see and have the best assessment I can for you.
Q: What did you think of (Linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) shedding (Tackle) Mekhi (Becton) on that play? A pretty impressive play by a kid in his first game.
A: For any of those rookies, it's their first time in game action in the NFL. So, to get out there against any other player in the NFL and make some kind of a play, that's something that you’ve gotta build on. There are things we have to clean up with him, but there's some things that he flashed tonight that were very encouraging to build on. I liked his attitude going into the game, I thought he had good intensity. You could see it in his eyes, he was focused going in. But there's things all around the board that we’re going to have to go ahead and break down fundamentally and schematically tomorrow, to make sure that we're on the same page. But look, our focus as a football team going forward really isn't going to change. It's going to be fundamentals, getting in football condition, getting our team ready, building our communication, building our chemistry in our units and taking a step forward every week. We're going to go to Cleveland this week and see a lot of good talent. Right now, we're going to focus on cleaning up this game before we take a step forward. But when we go there, it's not really going to change the focus either. We're not going out there to try to out scheme the Browns, we’re going out there to match up against a very talented team, and just see how our guys stack up in individual matchups as well as collectively within the units.