Head Coach Joe Judge
Q: What did (Tackle) Isaiah Wilson weigh in at yesterday and how was his first practice?
A: Like any new player when they get here, the first thing we want to do is really get like a base line on somebody to see where they're at. Obviously, you want to get guys in here and make sure that you have an understanding physically of what you can do with them. It was encouraging what he did. We put him through some individuals yesterday. We put him through some work with our strength coaches and he did some stuff with our basic group at the end of practice and did a good job. Obviously, there's a skillset there to work with. He's been very good so far in the building with us. Like any new player, we're going to go ahead and make sure we have all the information before we go on forward with him. In terms of his specific weight, I'm not going to get into that with any player right there.
Q: It looks like obviously (Wide Receiver Darius) Slayton and (Wide Receiver Sterling) Shepard won't be able to play, so I know you guys have limited (Wide Receiver Kadarius) Toney's role because of how much practice time he's missed. Maybe he's not ready to take on a big role and I get that, but do you think if you guys asked him to do more than he's done, is he to the point where he can kind of take that next step?
A: Like I've said from the beginning, too, his role has grown as he's been on the field more, (been) more available and built in more experience in the system and chemistry. His role has improved every week and increased every week, so we would expect that to be the same this week. He had a good day of practice yesterday for us, so it was encouraging. He'll be out here today and kind of go back to the game plan with him. In terms of who we have available, we'll have a number of guys up at the game. All the receivers will play, obviously. A number of guys will play on offense. Guys will have roles in the kicking game, as well. I would expect him – directly to answer your question – I would expect him to be doing more than what we've seen in previous weeks, just naturally, not based on anyone being injured. Just naturally based on his progression within the system.
Q: So Shep and Slayton are going to be out? We haven't seen them out here, is that fair to say at this point?
A: I'd say we'll have a final answer today. We'll have a final answer today. We'll try and do a couple things with them and see if there's any likelihood of them getting out there. They're going to meet with some doctors and trainers to see if we can move around a little bit. We'll see where it's at today. In terms of anything final, we won't do until a little bit – a couple of hours from now probably.
Q: Getting back to Isaiah Wilson, from any conversations you've had with him, do you get the sense that he understands this is a second chance and that he wants to make the most of it?
A: I would just say, just very directly with all the players who come in our program, everybody has a history personally and professionally. When you come here, I don't care about anything that happened before. If we bring you in here, we've already done the research, we've vetted you, we've put you to the point that we say we're willing to work with this guy. So for any player that comes in here, you've got a fresh start. All we care about is what you do here on a daily basis – your commitment to the team, how you work on the field, how you produce on the field and how you handle yourself outside to represent the organization. That's important to us. So, in terms of any baggage anybody may have, there's not a person here – reporter, coach, player in the locker room – we've all got a history. We've all got a story behind it, right? Not all of it's perfect. What I'm concerned about with our players is to make sure that when we have them here as a New York Giant, that we help them improve and that they're committed to doing the process of what it takes every day to improve.
Q: When you talk to the guys, not making excuses by any stretch, but when you're looking at two of these games you've lost basically on the last play. Do you bring that up in terms of – obviously, you lose the game and that's your record – but do you bring that kind of stuff up to the guys as an illustration of how close this is to being not 0-3 so to speak, if that makes any sense?
A: I'm not going in there trying to paint any picture of anything that we're not. With that being said, as I've said a number of times, every week we go in, we put the tape up on the screen. The tape is the evidence, OK? The tape is the evidence. We go through things we have to improve on, things that limit our opportunities to have success and we go through things that we're doing well that we have to build on. We want to look at the tape not only from our own perspective, but we want to make sure that we look at it from how the opponent's looking at us as well. When you show them the tape on Monday and you tie it back in throughout the rest of the week with some of the installs, you have to be willing to look at it and say, 'Hey listen, here's something we put on tape. Guess what? The Saints are watching that, too. Who do you think they're coming after this week? Who do you think they're looking to expose this week? What scheme do you think's coming off of this right here?' We want to make sure the players are looking at it from that perspective as well, understanding that how the opponents look at them. I'm not an excuse-making guy. The players aren't excuse makers. We don't sit in here and say, 'if this, then that.' What we look into is just very simply, what do we have to do on the field to correct and how's that going to give us a greater chance to have success? I'm very pleased with the way the guys have responded. I've talked about this continuously throughout last year, continuously throughout this year as well, our guys have a lot of mental toughness. Our guys come in every week, they respond. It doesn't matter what the result is the week before. They come in every week. It's a new week. It's a new opponent. It's a tough opponent. We've got to move forward, and you've got to go ahead and push and put everything into that opponent. This week we've got a great opponent with the Saints. It's going to be in one of the best atmospheres we'll ever have an opportunity to be in as a coach or a player. It's something we have to prepare for and embrace, and we have to go down there with everything we have.
Q: Just to follow up, you brought up the atmosphere, how difficult of an environment is this? You're used to do doing this around the league, but this is going to be a pretty high energy, charged situation down there. Do you speak to your guys about that? How do you go about preparing for that?
A: I think you just speak to them about the facts of what it's going to be. You don't go down there and try to make it what is. This isn't like 'Hoosiers', where you've got to go down there and measure the court and all that type of stuff. The reality is, though, you're going to deal with elements outside of the 11 on the field that affect your communication on the field and things you're going to do. You have to prepare for that. Obviously, we jammed the music as loud as we can the entire practice. We try to make communication as stressful and difficult as we can. In a game, if it was a situation where it was an outside game and there was a chance of rain, we'd practice with wet balls, greased balls, whatever we have to do to make it tougher in practice than it will be in the game. We do everything we can to simulate the game and give our players a chance to prepare for it. We can't just talk about noise and say, 'Hey, it's going to loud.' We have to make them operate in the noise. In terms of the atmosphere down there, look if you've played in that dome, coached in that dome, it's a great atmosphere. These fans are some of the best in the world. They're very passionate about their team. You've got love the city and their resiliency and just the in-your-face mentality they have. It's down south, but it's very much like a northeast city. They're very in your face about it. This team takes a lot of pride in representing their hometown. They take a lot of pride in making sure they represent the city with that kind of mental toughness and how they play chippy on the field. That's a big part of their program. We're going to go in there – the best look you can really have for that we're about to see on Sunday is you got to go back in time to that (Hurricane) Katrina game.
Q: You're already short on the inside linebacker with (Linebacker) Blake (Martinez) going down and I saw (Linebacker) Tae (Crowder) was added to the injury list yesterday. Is that a major concern?
A: Tae was out there practicing yesterday. He's out here again today. We've got to put everyone on the injury list that's got something. This time of year, you're going to have a number of guys with nicks and bumps. We'll see where Tae's at today, move him around. But he had a good practice for us yesterday.
Q: We saw (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) in and out last week. How much better is he doing this week physically?
A: Yeah, I think Kenny came out of the game last week in a good place. He had a good practice for us yesterday, he's progressing health-wise. He was productive for us on the field last week, we would expect to see him this week.
Q: Do you need him more because you're missing two guys? Can he handle, physically, a bigger workload? Can he play 100 percent of the snaps if you need him?
A: I mean, he played 50 snaps last week. I'd say for a receiver, in the number of snaps we had in the game, that's a pretty big load. We've taken a number of guys for a reason. We expect everybody who's at the game to contribute.
Q: Do you see a much healthier (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) in Week 4 than you did in Week 1? Is he somebody that trusts his leg more? Somebody who believes that he's ready for that full workload more?
A: Yeah, I've seen confidence from Saquon the entire time we've had him. So I can't speak for him in terms of internally and how his thought process goes. We obviously communicate on a daily basis. I know the trainers do a great job talking with him and preparing a plan for him, making sure we do the right thing by him. I see a guy who continues to impress on the field and continues to put himself in a position to be an impact player for us.
Q: Who is the left guard if (Guard Ben) Bredeson can't go?
A: We've got a couple of guys who we're rolling on through. We'll kind of make that decision later today.