NYG Postgame (vs. Broncos) Transcripts: Head Coach Joe Judge
September 12, 2021
Opening Statement: First off, I've got to give credit to the Broncos. They're a good team. They came in tonight, they outplayed us. We didn't earn the right to walk out with a victory tonight. We've got to play better, we have to coach better and put our players in positions to make more plays. I’d like to go ahead and thank the fans for coming out and obviously this was an atmosphere that we've been waiting for for some time. They were great today. We have to earn their cheers, they were very supportive, they were great, it was great energy in the stadium. We got to do something more as a team to make them want to go ahead and stay into the game longer than they can and give us their support. Well, that's something we have to earn. So, very grateful for fans coming out, something we were waiting for a long time, it was great energy, great atmosphere. We got to play better for them, the people who buy tickets. In terms of our performance tonight, look, I’ll be honest with you, there are a lot of positive things I did see that we have to build on and there's obviously a lot of things we have to correct moving forward. I think the big, noticeable things were obviously we got to go ahead and sustain drives. We can’t have turnovers whether it's on down or actual turnovers turning the ball over or when we're approaching or getting into the red area. Defensively, we've got to get off the field more consistently. We can't let them extend drives on fourth-down conversions, obviously did a great job tonight. There were three for three on fourth down and that’s something we have to be situationally better right there as a team. I thought we had some opportunities in the kicking game, we didn't really put them in a position that we had the opportunity to make the plays, but there are some things that showed up in the return game with the way (Wide Receiver) C.J. (Board) ran and we had to give some field position to get going, some momentum. But we've got to play better, complementary football to take advantage of the opportunities we have in all three phases. So, that being said, I’ll open up to any questions you have.
Q: Back to the third and fourth down conversions. I know you have to go back and watch the film, but what do you see instantaneously where they were having more success?
A: Well, I think they were converting in terms of completing the passes, getting inside right there. There were some things we did schematically to adjust to help us down the stretch a little bit. I think they just did a good job in terms of executing in the situation. They found some matchups, they put themselves in position that it was with a one-on-one or a split in the scheme and they went ahead, and they converted. I'm going to watch the tape, as you said, to make sure I can see clearly exactly what happened. I saw enough from the field to understand the big picture with what we have to do better right there. But, in terms of the third down, we have to be better on both sides of the ball.
Q: How frustrating is it to see (Quarterback) Daniel Jones turning the ball over in the way that he did?
A: We’ve got to do a better job as a team eliminating the penalties and turnovers. That's a team focus right there, so this isn't about any one player. It's about a team improving and, look, good teams improve week to week. As I talked to the team, that's what our focus has to be, to be a better team in Week 2 and a better team in Week 3. It's a long season. We literally have an entire season ahead of us, okay. Any other year, it was 16 games, we have 16 games ahead of us that we have to improve week by week and keep climbing and make sure we're the best team we can be, all right. So, obviously the first week's an important game, every game is an important game. We got to make sure that we take the lessons we've learned from this game and move forward and make sure that we keep putting a better product out there.
Q: What do you make of that play? That was a big play tonight.
A: Yeah, there's a lot of big plays in it. Obviously, it was a play that stopped a drive right there. We got to do a better job as a team of having other plays that extend drives and staying on the field. We don't want to get down there that close and not come away with points. So, obviously finishing drives is a big focus for us as a team.
Q: What happened on the challenge?
A: Look, that's completely on me and (I own it). I know you can't challenge a scoring play. That was a little bit more of an emotional, I was looking for feedback from the officials. It looked to me on the jumbotron and some feedback I got from up top watching the replay, that he may have stepped in the white, I was screaming for the officials. They're supposed to get some feedback from what they're hearing in New York in terms of feedback on it. I had to do something to draw their attention. I couldn't get them to turn around, so I threw the flag. I knew it couldn't have been a challenge play. I fully take awareness of that and ownership of that. I told the team that was something that, obviously, I can't do again and waste a time out. But that was something in the moment guys, to be honest with you, I had to get somebody's attention at some point and see if we can make sure that they're looking at the same things we were looking at. I can't tell you whether it was good or not. Obviously, they ruled it was good. I'll go with and trust what their opinion was on that and they have good views of it as well. That was more something right there, I was just trying to get their attention and I was looking for feedback, which we're supposed to get the officials on the field, but that crew did a good job tonight. I'm not blaming that crew for anything right there, they did a good job. Those guys for the most part were great communicating. That was a point in the game I wanted to make sure I got some feedback, so we knew what we were doing right there going for it.
Q: You clearly knew the rule?
A: I did, 100 percent. I know the rules. Yeah, listen, I fully, trust me, I put a lot of work in that. So again, like I told the team, we had some bad penalties out there and that was a bad mistake by the head coach right there.
Q: Can you talk about the penalties? You didn’t have a lot, but the ones you did have were discouraging like roughing the passer, unsportsmanlike conduct. What was the message to your guys about those types of penalties?
A: Penalties come from two things. One, we've got to have better focus pre-snap to make sure we’re in a good position, key on the ball and then we have to have better discipline with our techniques post-snap. Everything comes down to the techniques you’re playing and making sure you make the right decisions at that moment of truth. We can't have those penalties. Point blank, we can't have them. Turnovers and penalties kill teams, obviously that’s something we had tonight as a team, we need to do a better job coaching that and correcting that to make sure we don't put ourselves in position to eliminate opportunities for success.
Q: It seemed like for most of the game, (Broncos Quarterback) Teddy Bridgewater had plenty of time back there. What’s the level of concern about your pass rush going into next week?
A: I think Teddy did a good job tonight facilitating, getting the ball out on time. We put some pressure on him at times. This guy made some good plays on loose plays, some of the scramble things, throwing back across his body. He’s a good quarterback. He's in this league with a job for a reason. We have to do a better job, defensively playing our assignments and just making sure that we're not having any busts back there communication wise.
Q: What did you see from (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley)?
A: I saw him go out at there tonight and obviously compete. Saw a lot of energy in the game, thought he was moving well. There's some opportunities that we thought we could create for him. They did a good job matching up and eliminating some things we have to execute better as an entire team. But in terms of the step forward for him for the first time on the field since last year, I was pleased with what I saw there.
Q: Do you think the inability to sustain drives on offense led to some of the problems on defense?
A: The defense doesn't determine when they go on the field or what the circumstance is. Defenses go out there and they execute. So, we're not looking in terms of anything offensively of how the defense performed. I understand the question fully, but we're not going to start writing excuses for any phase of the ball with execution. Defense goes out there and they operate in whatever situation they’re presented with. They don't decide when or where, they decide how.
Q: Was it disappointing to see fans leave the stadium with six and a half minutes to go. Was it a missed opportunity to give them some hope after a rough season?
A: We've got to earn the fans respect, point blank. These people come out here and spend their hard earned money. They sit in the seats, they cheer for us, they give us energy within the seats. We have to give them something to cheer about. It's not their job to show up and cheer just the cheer. That's not their job. Their job is to be entertained. They buy a ticket, that means they buy the right to cheer, boo, stay, leave, whatever they want to do. We got to give them something to stay for. We have to give them something to cheer for. That's on us as a team, we got to do a better job for that. I appreciate the fans, what they did, I look forward to seeing them in a few weeks. Look, our focus is to make sure the next time they come, they see a better product and they stay the full 60 minutes to watch it.
Q: On your first drive, you hit that deep pass to (Wide Receiver) Darius Slayton. The next call was to (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) in the backfield. I know it’s early in the game, but was that the right situation for that kind of call when you are in field position?
A: I don't know if the question is more geared towards Kadarius specifically. I'd say just in terms of our execution on that right there, now look, we knew what the play call was going into the game. We talked through the opening script and the things we wanted to run early. Things aren't necessarily run in a direct order, A-B-C, but we know the plays we want to factor in early to kind of go ahead and get certain guys involved. He was obviously a guy that we wanted to get the ball in early, get him kind of moving and get him going through the flow. He hasn't played a lot in preseason in terms of preseason games. We've got him back with us practice wise. He's had a couple of good weeks of practice and preparation with us. Obviously, he was a guy that we had to see where he was physically going through the week. We thought he moved well enough and was healthy enough to get him on the field. Obviously, that's why he was out there tonight. Wanted to get the ball in his hands and give him a chance. In terms of the play call, look, if we didn't like it, it wouldn't have been the game plan. There's some things we have to do better as far as execution. If you execute correctly, every play has a chance. So, we got to make sure we clean that up and do a better job coaching on the front end to make sure that the players can go out there and execute it and they got to do a good job executing when it's called.
Q: The turnover on downs and the tempo at that point, would you like to see a little bit more urgency coming off that situation?
A: No, I thought we were okay at that point right there. We had some timeouts, we had the two-minute, we had opportunities we were going to do. There was going to be some urgency after that in terms of making sure we got off the field defensively or to do something in the kicking game to go and create an extra drive. That obviously would have been something we would have to look at based on how the flow of the game changed right there. In terms of that right there, we're looking to go ahead and just have good plays called, making sure we were in the right position. Look, there's times we can go up tempo. We can go up tempo early in the game, middle of the game, doesn't really matter. That was a point right there, we had a good flow going down there, we were making some plays, we're putting it together right there. We didn't feel a need that we actually had to out of necessity just go into jet mode, just flying on through right there. We wanted to make sure we were sound upfront protection wise, give ourselves a chance to get open and complete some passes.
Q: For Kadarius Toney, I know early on it was probably one of the scripted plays you had, but because of his lack of practice time or involvement, is that why he was not involved in the second half at all?
A: Well, there was more of a focus with him. Look, again because of limited volume he’d had on the front end, we weren't going to put a cap or a pitch count on at any phase, but we did want to keep in mind that this was his first game back. We had a number of guys tonight that we wanted to make sure that as we watched them for the game, they wasn’t necessarily a cap or a pitch count, but wanted to just make sure as we watched their bodies throughout the game, keeping in mind that this is the most action these guys have seen for some point in time. Look, we're obviously looking to get (Kadarius Toney) K.T. involved as we go forward. He’s a key part of the offense. This guy's done a good job in preparation. He’ll have more opportunities to make plays for us down the line. Pleased with the way he's worked this week, put himself in position to help us and as the plays unfold, we'll keep looking for him at times.
Q: Your pass blocking held up pretty well today. What was your initial read on your run blocking?
A: Obviously, we have to do a better job on that and I'm not going to point the finger at any position or player specifically. Obviously, we’re going to look at the tape and make sure we're doing all the right things from a schematic standpoint coaching-wise and putting the players in the right position. Then, we'll coach the players and make sure that we clean that up. I'd say from the pass protection standpoint, I thought those guys did hold up for the most part today. Put a large emphasis obviously on a very talented defensive front, very talented defense, very well-coached defense. We knew it was going to be a great challenge. I thought those guys did a good job stepping up tonight giving us time. I thought Daniel did a good job getting the ball out on time, facilitating the receivers, putting some balls out there. I thought some receivers made some really tough catches tonight and (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep and some other guys made some good catch-and-runs down the stretch for us right there to produce some plays. Look, there was a lot of positive things. I told the team, ‘There was a lot of things we can build on, guys.’ We can't ride this emotional roller coaster of highs and lows week by week. We've got to look at what the truth is. What did we do well enough that we have to build on? What did we do that we have to correct and clean up? And what's going to make the difference in us being a better team? It doesn't matter if you win by 30 or lose by 30 in terms of how you have to improve. You've got to have a level of improvement every week. Our focus has to be we wake up tomorrow morning and we improve. We wake up tomorrow, it's already Thursday of the game week for us because we have a short week. So, our guys have to understand this is not a normal game week in terms of that longer transition. We've got to wake up, be mentally engaged, physically get our bodies right and then we’ve got a tight turnaround to get down there and play a tough opponent at their home stadium.
Q: Is (Guard) Shane Lemieux alright? He didn’t play a ton of snaps today. Is he okay?
A: We always rotate our line a good bit. (Guard) Ben (Bredeson) got in there and got some work today. Thought Shane, when he was in there, played well. We just rotated our guys as we had kind of decided before the game. We're going to make sure we move all of our guys around. Again, I’ve talked a number of times in terms of this time of year, you’ve got a lot of new guys on your roster, making sure you move guys on through. This is an important time of the year of really making sure you kind of find who you are through September and that's part of playing all of our guys. Now, on top of that, you guys have seen the history with me through last year of if you're at the game, I expect you to play. Maybe one guy, the backup quarterback, is the only guy that kind of (doesn’t) get in there, but in terms of everybody else, if you're being brought into a game – look, I intend on everybody at the game playing. Now, everyone's going to have some kind of role where that role is significant, so we've got to make sure we give them opportunities to be successful within it. But in terms of just counting reps, I wouldn't read too much into that. Thought Shane went out there and fought tonight, did a good job. Obviously, he's missed a lot of time through practices. He's done a good job when he's come back to practice. He's been involved in some competitive practices along the way, so pleased with how he's worked, pleased with how he's played. We’ve got to keep on moving with him, but then also bring along a lot of other guys on the offensive line with him.