NYG Postgame (vs. Patriots) Transcripts: Head Coach Joe Judge
August 29, 2021
Opening Statement: Apologize for the delay, I just wanted to check on a couple of players, this being just a situation which game it is, you want to take the time to go around and see all your players and look at them in the eye and tell them, ‘Thank you.’ Look, I was proud of the way the guys fought tonight. To me, it comes down to a couple of things. There's a lot of positives to build off of. Then obviously, there’s a lot of things we have to clean up as a team. To me, it comes down to a lot of the older guys. Offensively, we moved the ball well, we were able to sustain some drives, we’ve got to finish drives. Ended the first half with a nice two-minute drive, that’s something we wanted to get in this game, if it came up, we wanted to take advantage of that. Saw some good execution on that across the board from the offense, that's exactly how I want to operate in that situation. Defensively, made some nice plays, we were able to have a turnover, set some good field position. To me, it's we got to eliminate the penalties, get off the field, not extend drives through mistakes, right there. Thought the kicking game covered well, had some opportunities in the return game, some opportunities that didn't come up due to some of the hits that they had as well. I was pleased overall with a lot of those guys with what we saw on tape, but in all unites, there are things to build off of, things to correct for. We got two weeks to get a lot of things accomplished, so we’ve got to get moving fast. That being said, I’ll open up any questions you have.
Q: Any updates on (Tight End) Evan Engram or (Wide Receiver) Darius Slayton?
A: Nothing different than which you guys have already heard already. We're going to have to obviously have those guys see doctors and kind of get looked at before anything further down the line goes. I'd say you talk to the players, they're all very optimistic, but we'll see kind of where they're at tomorrow and the next day.
Q: (Tackle) Andrew Thomas had a few rough series. How would you assess the starting offensive line?
A: Yeah, let me watch the tape before I go and make any final assessments. There's a lot of things sometimes you look at and it may look like one player and the entire scheme and concept of how things are being put together and it's not always on that one player’s shoulders. I'm going to watch the tape and make sure I make the correct assessment before I go ahead and say something publicly.
Q: What is your concern level about the group, as a whole, after the results that you saw today?
A: We’re going to work as a team, all units, we have to improve offense, defense and the kicking game. Nothing's perfect at this point, we're far from a finished product, we know that already. We're going to keep working hard day by day to make sure we improve.
Q: How did you think (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) played?
A: I thought he did some positive things, I thought he did a lot of positive things. I have some things that we want to go ahead and make sure we improve on. For his first time in game action, right now in preseason, it's important for him to get out there with a lot of guys and get some chemistry going. Saw a lot of improvement throughout the last couple of weeks, the competitive practices, it would’ve been nice to get him on the field last week. I made my decision for the reason I did, I think it was the right decision for what we had to do going forward. Today was a good opportunity for him to get out there, had a lot of situational work, did some good things to build on.
Q: The interception, you guys were deep in your territory, is that just a throwaway situation that he just didn't see or something?
A: Yeah, I'm not going to break down the entire play. Obviously, you want to come in with points down there and as a team, we've got to work to go ahead and work to eliminate turnovers and there’s always a lot of people. There's 11 guys on the field, it's never one person in every situation. We don't want to have turnovers, don’t want to have penalties, don’t want to have mental errors. We’ve got to do a good job of correcting that moving forward, but I saw a lot of bright spots tonight from Daniel and the offense and obviously there's things we have to keep pushing and moving forward with.
Q: What kind of camp do you think Andrew Thomas has had?
A: I've seen a lot of work from Andrew. There's been some things early in camp with all those linemen being limited, so it kind of slowed down some of our progress early in camp. There was a lot of catching up they had to do and some gaps they've all missed, but I think overall, he's done a solid job for us. He’s keep on improving. He's going to be a better player a month from now, two months from now and the end of the season, he's got to keep on improving as a young player in this league and making strides going forward. There's a lot of bright spots with those guys that I got to focus on. There's lot of things we’ve got to clean up as an entire team and we can help them in a lot of different aspects, it’s not just sitting on one player’s shoulders.
Q: (Tackle) Matt (Peart) has mostly been the first team right tackle, but (Tackle) Nate (Solder) started tonight. I’m curious what went into that decision?
A: No, we just wanted to make sure we gave Nate an opportunity to get out there and get playing. He’s been practicing very well for us, competing very hard. Matt’s done a solid job this camp as well, I wouldn't read too much into that at all. You guys know our history here, I'll play everyone at the game. We played three tackles last year, we played three guards last year. I have no problem mixing up and rotating on through. To me, it's important to get different guys involved with chemistry and see how they react with each other.
Q: (Running Back) Gary Brightwell got some reps with the first team and he got some practice. What has he shown you both today and at practice?
A: Yeah, he's shown a lot of improvement. Obviously as a young player, for him, any in-game experience he gets is very valuable. He's made a lot of strides for us in the kicking game. He's done some really nice things on offense. Obviously, the multiples build on as you keep progressing. Third downs, a lot faster and more complicated than early downs a lot of times. He's done a good job advancing in that pass protection and blitz pickup. He's done a nice job in running the ball for us, he catches the ball well out of the backfield. He's done a lot of things to build on right there, a lot of bright spots and there's a lot of things we saw with him, obviously that we drafted him for a reason. He had some things that held him back early in camp and maybe some in the spring, but he's done a good job as of late making strides going forward.
Q: What ultimately went into the thought process of playing or not playing (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney)? Also, are you concerned about him being able to have an impact early on considering he basically has done so little?
A: Yeah, I think the question about impact came up the other day and I have the same answer for all that. It really comes down to how you execute within that individual game. Obviously, these young players all need reps, they all need experience, some guys have been limited in what they could do and have had fewer reps than other guys have. We've got to make sure that when they're available, we obviously give them what they need in practice, get them ready for the game. As any rookie, you're not going to see anyone really go out there and shoulder the burden for the team. You don't really want to do that with rookies, you want to go ahead and build them up with their volume and the expectations early on and let them grow within their roles. I can tell you right now from coaching receivers in this league, you're going to see rookies play a lot better at the back end of the year anyway than the first end. That's a mixture of the defenses you’re going to see, the speed of the game, just the chemistry on the field and the reactions with the quarterback. They just need time to really work that and get over and over. Now, in terms of not playing him, it always comes down to the player's health and individual status. A lot of those guys worked out on the field beforehand, got a lot of positive reports. But to be honest with you, we got to see where we're at this week and that'll tell us more going into next week. I wouldn't expect any decisions on a lot of these players to be made fully until the week of Denver.
Q: Calf injuries can be notoriously tricky and now Evan has one of those and Slayton with the foot/ankle. Are you at all concerned about the skill players you're going to have available early in the season at this point?
A: No, we’ll coach whoever we have out there. It's our job to put them in position.
Q: But if Evan and Darius aren’t out there and the guys who haven't been out there aren’t out there…
A: It's our job to figure it out, that's just the reality of it. There's going to be times where certain guys aren't available, next man up, time to go.
Q: For Daniel, a point of emphasis for him this summer has been limiting the turnovers. What do you say to the idea that he only played a half here in the preseason and it kind of reared its head again, even in that one game?
A: Yeah, I saw a lot of bright spots from Daniel tonight. We're going to build on the things he did well and correct things that he's got to improve on and we keep on moving as an offense.
Q: Joe with the way the week is set up now with cuts, how are you going to handle the next couple of days?
A: So, we'll talk collectively as an organization. We've already had a lot of conversations leading up to this, we'll talk tomorrow extensively. Tuesday's obviously got to be a day we have to make some final decisions. Over the next two days, we'll obviously have to make the numbers to get us down within compliance to 53. As far as practice, we'll go Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, this week. Tuesday, we'll be on the field later in the day, that'll be more of a situations practice. We’ve done it last year, done it in years past as well, where it's really an emphasis on a lot of the kind of rare situations that come up in a season that you make sure you touch on those and you go in and build in there a kind of encyclopedia of knowledge for the things that are going to come up at end of a half, end of game and how to handle it correctly. You don't spend a ton of time on those, so you’ve got to make sure you get it installed early and then review them consistently throughout the season, making sure you keep them fresh in their mind. And then Wednesday and Thursday we'll go out there and the emphasis will be mostly on our fundamentals and execution, correct some things we did in preseason that we’ve got to get better at and then building on some things that are going to help us early in the season against opponents coming up.
Q: I noticed you and the players wearing the hats. Whose idea was that?
A: Look, obviously we lost 13 soldiers this past week in Afghanistan. I get pictures all the time of people wearing Giants hats, people wearing Giants T-shirts, letters from all over, soldiers overseas, letting us know, ‘Hey, we're overseas, but we're rooting for you.’ It's great that they’re rooting for our team, I think it's more important we all acknowledge we're on the same team and that we're supporting them as well. So we appreciate everything they do, we want to see them all come home safely and obviously we don’t want to see anyone lose their lives, you know, needlessly. So I'd say in terms of wearing the hats, I thought it was a good opportunity to just go ahead and draw some awareness that there were 11 Marines that lost their lives this week, one Naval, one Army as well. We had all three services represented at the coin toss with the captains going out there. Our team, we stay very in tune to the first responders, the military, the people that really make what we do, which is coach and play a game, possible. I think it's important to keep that in perspective that, look, the reality is, it's serious to us because it's serious business, right? That's what it is. It's a production business, we're paid very handsomely to go out there and do a job as a player or a coach, but at the end day it is a game, it's entertainment, right? That's what it is. Now, they're playing life or death. It's important that we keep in perspective what we do and that we stay very grateful and we acknowledge what they're doing on a daily basis so that we can go out there and do this professionally and be involved with the game.