Head Coach Joe Judge
August 26, 2021
Q: What can you tell us about (Cornerback) Adoree’ Jackson?
A: We’re going to check to see how he is today. He’ll be with the trainers a little bit, we’ll see where we can ramp him up to. Looks like we dodged a bullet right there, but we’ll see day by day how it is and we’ll move him around a little bit today with the trainers.
Q: Who’s the next guy up there?
A: Everybody’s competing for it right now.
Q: I see (Wide Receiver) Kadarius Toney out here. Is he going to work a little bit today?
A: We’re going to keep him with the trainers for the first part of practice, see if it builds up a little more based on how that goes in the early part, then we’ll see how it goes in the later part. Today is going to be very situational, we’re almost going to jump right into team from the beginning. We’ll have some brief individual periods, we’ll have a quick seven-on-seven, get the guys juiced up and rolling, then what the rest of today is going to look like is we’re going to create a situation and just play it out – all fourth quarter situations. We’ll start with the ball in four-minute offense mode. We’re going to manufacture some things to make sure we get in the situational part of the game, so you may see a manufactured penalty or a manufactured first down or whatever it may be, or an ignored sack for both sides at some point to make sure we manage to get the emphasis of the drill, to build in more of the two-minute mode, the end of game situations, the substitutions and everything that comes with it.
Q: What did you think of yesterday’s practice?
A: I think, like every day, there are some good things to build off of, a lot of things to clean up and every day we have to improve, learn from our mistakes and get better. Good competition with a good opponent.
Q: On Kadarius for a second, he’s been out for a while. Is this still COVID-related or is this an injury?
A: I’m not going to get into anybody’s individual medical right there, but this guy is getting better every day. He’s working with our trainers and doing everything they ask him to do, so I’m pleased with the progress he’s making. He’s doing everything we ask him to.
Q: From an outsider’s perspective, the big story for you guys for camp was the day you guys had that fight and then had to punish the players afterwards. In retrospect, how do you feel about that day and how have you seen the team respond since then?
A: That’s completely behind us right now as a team. We’ve moved on. We’ve obviously emphasized the importance as a team of not having penalties in practice and moving forward making sure we come to play as a team between the lines, between the whistles. From the outsider’s perspective, I can’t speak on. From the insider’s perspective, I’m pleased with the progress the team has made since that day.
Q: Will (Guard) Shane Lemieux be out here today?
A: He will not. No, he will not.
Q: Is he dealing with something long-term?
A: No, we actually left him behind. Everyone was on an individual medical basis. There were some things that were more available in (New) Jersey than they are up here, so certain guys we left behind just to make sure they had the availability of rehab they needed, equipment they needed and what they’re doing specifically themselves.
Q: Were (Linebacker) Tae Crowder and (Defensive Tackle) Danny Shelton also left behind in that same group?
A: Yes, they were. Similar reason, just for parts of their rehab in terms of what we had available back there and what we thought would be better for those guys over the course of this week in terms of getting ready for next week.
Q: How much will you expect from (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) today? What will be your plan?
A: The biggest thing we’re going to do is manage his volume. He’ll be in a red jersey today. Just like guys in red jerseys yesterday, it’ll be non-contact on those players, whether it’s a quarterback, punter or a position player. We want to make sure we stay off of them. He’s going to do some stuff on the seven-on-seven. He’ll work mostly early in practice. We’re only looking to get this guy 10-12 or so reps, build his volume up little by little and when that’s done he’ll condition with the trainers.
Q: You mentioned yesterday the idea of needing to get hits before you play in an actual game. In your mind, do you still have enough time the next couple of weeks before you get rolling in the regular season for Saquon or anyone else to get that contact to be ready for the regular season?
A: I’d say it’s definitely individual based on the person. I’d say there’s enough time to get a lot of things accomplished. Again, the medical team will play a large part in where everybody is available for specific parts, but as we build in he’s consistently ramped up every week, increased his volume, increased his load. Today he’ll be in team drills for the first time, so we’ll how he handles today and we’ll build him in tomorrow.
Q: You mentioned earlier that with a guy like Saquon you want to make sure you can manage his situation as much as possible, even in a joint practice. If Saquon’s in the seven-on-seven, do you already know who will be the personnel for the Patriots?
A: Generally. We talk on the front end, express who’s going to be in in different situations. I can’t tell how they think themselves and I’m going to try to pretend to do that either, but it’s going to be more of a situation of they understand personnel groupings that are going to be on and when he’s in obviously it’s non-contact just like some of other guys in red jerseys.
Q: I imagine it’ll be some veteran Patriots out there to release (him).
A: Yeah, it should be. Again, I don’t know what they’re going to do with their depth charts, I don’t know what happened in their meetings this morning, so we’ll see how it works.
Q: What are you looking to see from him in that kind of setting and in those specific drills?
A: Just want to get him out to move a bit today. There’s not some kind of checkmark he’s got to fill, some kind of box, it’s just acclimating him in at this point with team drills and more competition. The biggest thing coming off of an injury like this is it’s the reactionary speed. It’s not the running with the trainers in a straight line, it’s not having a predetermined cone drill you’re going to work off of. It’s the quick reaction on movement, on finding the space, on trying to avoid somebody. That’s really what you’ve got to go ahead and train your body in a game, so we’re going to start small and then we’ll go ahead and go from there.
Q: In talking to (Patriots Wide Receiver) Matt Slater the other day, he gave you a ton of credit for him becoming the player that he is. Did you foresee this for him and can you describe your relationship? He said you pushed him in places maybe he didn’t want to be pushed at times.
A: I think that’s our job as coaches is to make sure that we get the most out of every player. It’s what we owe those players. You guys asked me about practicing hard and it’s our job to push them to their limits so they know where they can get to. In terms of Matt specifically, he made me a better coach every day. When you have a player of that caliber, you’ve got to know that you’ve got to come into the building every day you’ve got to be ready to make them a better player. With someone so accomplished as Matt is and works as hard as he does that you’ve got to bring it every day. You can’t have an off day. You walk in slopping around and think you’re just going to give them some plate of whatever, they’re going to look at you and you’re done. That’s just the reality of what it is. You’ve got to come every day and be ready to coach these guys and get them better. In terms of my relationship with Matt, I have a lot of relationships with a lot of players on this team that I’ve coached. Obviously, my loyalty right now is with the Giants, but I would say if Matt needed a kidney tomorrow he’d have it tonight.
Q: How much would you like to get a hill of your own in New Jersey?
A: I think it’s a great tool. It’s a great way of conditioning your players, but it’s a great way of conditioning your players safely. One thing the hill does with the incline is it actually protects the lower extremities with the soft tissue injuries, so it’s an ability of really pushing your players when they’re tired and training them to build in that conditioning without really exposing them to something dangerous.
Q: Did you do work on (Patriots Quarterback) Mac Jones in the pre-draft process and if so, what did you learn about him and what impressed you about him?
A: I’d say the answer is kind of yes and no. The answer being yes of it’s your job to know everyone who’s out there. We weren’t really in the market at that position right then, however there were a lot of other guys on that team and guys that played against that team that every time you turn the tape on obviously you’re seeing the quarterback and obviously he stands out. He’s a very talented player. I’m not here to evaluate their players, but I think anyone getting ready to evaluate anybody from the draft, whether it’s one of their receivers, running backs, offensive linemen, whether it’s a DB from another team playing against him, it doesn’t really matter, this guy is all over the screen, so you see him every day.
Q: I know you’re tight with (Alabama Head Coach) Nick (Saban), was there anything he told you about Mac that you’re willing to share?
Q: What did you think of him yesterday? He had a good day against you guys.
A: I thought they executed well as a team. I think we had some things we can build on, some things we have to clean up. We have to come out today and compete.
Q: Do you find it hard to evaluate where your offense is just because so many of the key players are on the side?
A: It’s our job to make sure that we be productive with whoever’s on the field. When we play teams in the regular season, we’re not going to be able to go ahead and have an asterisk next to it saying, ‘But we didn’t have so-and-so.’ We’ve got to get ready to play and we have to be ready.
Q: (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) has made a couple throws rolling to his right in the red zone. Is that something he’s improved on, something that you think will be a bigger part of the offense?
A: We’ll wait and see game by game how that builds in. I think Daniel has done a good job improving all of his throws and making faster decisions. I think that just comes naturally with his years in the league and experience in the offense that’s going to keep on building. I thought he had a really good week last week for us. There are some things that we’re going to go ahead and put him in situations for today to help him execute and prepare for the season.
Q: A couple of guys left with heat issues yesterday, (Wide Receiver Darius) Slayton and (Safety Jabrill) Peppers.
A: They all finished practice with us. Some guys left for different reasons and came back on out soon as they could. Not all were heat, sometimes you just gotta go to the bathroom.
Q: (Running Back Corey) Clement was in that group, too.
A: He returned back to practice, as well.
Q: I don’t know if Peppers was dehydration or cramping or whatever, but we see him leaving practice regularly. It seems like it’s a multi-year thing now. Is there anything you look at that you could do to help that process to some degree?
A: It’s on an individual basis right there. We’ve got a great nutritionist, strength staff, medical staff who handle our players in terms of those deals. They communicate with me on a daily basis to put our players in a position every day to know what their load is going to be, how to manage them best. Again, with any player, if somebody is missing the next player’s got to just step in and execute.