Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: Today we'll start our prep on the Rams. Obviously, this is an explosive opponent. They're good on all three sides of the ball. (Rams Head Coach) Sean (McVay) does an outstanding job with the offense in terms of using his weapons. They've got a lot of them. They do a great job of utilizing this offensive line to open up run opportunities as well as the play-action pass and shots down the field. They do a great job playing with tempo, they do a great job of adjusting play by play as well as within the game schematically.
Defensively, they've carried a lot of similarities from last year. I think (Rams Defensive Coordinator) Raheem (Morris) is doing a great job. Obviously, there's a lot of continuity with the assistants on that side of the ball. Raheem's done a great job really getting out there, keeping that front really playing aggressive, making plays on the back end. Obviously, they've had a lot of personnel adjustments throughout this season with the back end and they've done a good job with that.
In the kicking game, known (Rams Special Teams Coordinator) Joe D (DeCamillis) for a long time. Lot of respect for him. Joe is a very unconventional coach and I say that with high compliments. He's very aggressive, creates a lot of multiples, makes you think and plan and communicate, and he's got good players on his team to make a lot of big plays. With that being said, I'll open up to any questions you may have.
Q: How's (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) progressing so far?
A: I'd say he's kind of on track with everything right now. He's with the trainers. He can't walkthrough or practice or anything with us today. He's in the meetings, he's participating in that part. We'll go through the rest of the week and kind of see where that all leads.
Q: If everything does go (accordingly) and he progresses everyday as planned, is being ready for Sunday an option?
A: I would say from all the information we have, yes. If he's cleared medically, it would be an option.
Q: How are your other guys doing – (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley), (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay)?
A: We're not going to see Saquon or Kenny today. They'll be with the trainers today. We'll see if that improves as far as going into tomorrow. The other guys will all be active with us in practice as far as moving around. We're going to practice some today. We'll have a better idea probably coming out tomorrow in terms of seeing these guys in some extended movement of what we're going to do, but they'll all be out here with us in practice.
Q: Does it complicate things for you – if I understand the protocol right, Daniel can't get on the practice field for at least a few more days, so you have to at least start prep with (Quarterback) Mike Glennon. If you have to make a late change, does that complicate things at quarterback?
A: We're fully preparing for both quarterbacks. Mike does a great job every week of coming in, staying ready, preparing. I have a lot of confidence in Mike. He got in the game last week, did a lot of good things for us, so we're just plowing forward.
Q: Is (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) one of those guys that you mentioned that will be out here today?
A: Yes, he will be out here.
Q: One of the issues with Daniel – you said he could possibly play on Sunday if everything stays on track, but when can he practice? There are certain protocols, so he could potentially be going into a game with very little practice, is that correct?
A: I'm going to wait on all the deadlines on when he'd be on the field or not based on when he gets cleared for step-by-step, but right now he's moving along with the trainers and medical process. There's a lot of things that go into this in terms of the independent doctors have to also weigh in on decisions, so we're preparing fully for both quarterbacks.
Q: Does the protocol mean he literally has to wait a certain amount of hours and that would mean he would not be able to get on the field?
A: I believe there's an opportunity, but I'm going to wait for the trainers for more direction on that.
Q: If he can't practice at all this week, do you play him against the Rams?
A: It'd be a decision I'd have to look into in terms of where I think he is physically and mentally for the game. That'd be something we have in consideration.
Q: So you're not ruling that out?
A: I would not rule that out, no.
Q: What's your reaction to what happened with Jon Gruden?
A: Obviously, I know that some things happened. To be completely transparent with you, I haven't read any of that stuff, I haven't kept up on the details of that stuff. I know there's a lot of things in there that are obviously inappropriate. Before I make any specific statements, I haven't done any research on it. We've been kind of buried in between Dallas and the Rams and things of that nature. I've heard what's going on. You're obviously very conscious of moves that happen within the league. In terms of any specifics with it, I don't know the details.
Q: When you think of the Rams, you think of (Rams Defensive Lineman) Aaron Donald. Obviously, here's a guy that all offenses game plan against, so how do you neutralize this guy?
A: I think first off, this guy goes into every game and someone's got a plan for him, right? This guy is always getting doubled, he's always getting a slide towards him, he's always getting chipped. They've always got a plan for him. What they do a great job of with him is they move him around so much and they find the matchups they want, and they make you really find him and adjust your game plan on him. You've got to play him with good fundamentals, you have to have multiple plans for him. You can't go in there and just say we're just going to do this to him. This guy is a different type of player. I mean, he's a different type of player. He's extremely strong, he's extremely fast, he's very, very active, he has a high motor, he's got great instincts. You watch him and (Rams Outside Linebacker Leonard) Floyd and the others really play off each other in the pass rush through the middle and off the edge – look, this guy is an issue. Point blank, this guy is an issue. He's one of the best players to have played in the National Football League and you name the amount of years, he's in that category. In terms of how to deal with him, obviously there are some things in the game plan that we're going to go ahead through the week and see how they fit us, what we do with him. I think the biggest thing with him is when you get into the game, being flexible enough to change your plan based on what they're doing with him, so you have to have some multiples within your game plan and also you can't lock your knees on what you're looking to do.
Q: You know how hard Saquon worked to get back. Have you talked to him just as a human as much as a player about now having another setback that may or may not cost him a couple of weeks, a few weeks?
A: I think the thing with all of our players, specifically talking about Saquon and how hard he has worked to get back, the progress he was making – obviously, I'm not going to speak for him. I think for all of us, you can just tell that it's tough on a guy when he's worked so hard to get back and put himself into a certain position. He was really helping the team then you have a setback like this, it's obviously frustrating. The biggest thing for him right now is just work on getting healthy. We'll see what that timetable looks like as we get going. We're going to keep him as involved with our team as possible, whether that means this week or next week or whatever it means. We'll have to see as that gets going, but he's done a great job of coming in, staying positive, being prepared, doing all the things for the team he needs to do. That's really the focus right now is just staying mentally engaged and physically get healthy. That's the same focus for any player with an injury.
Q: When you don't have him, what do you lose?
A: I think it's important we understand that every player on the roster is responsible to be ready to play and be productive. Now, specifically about Saquon, I'm not going to go ahead and brush him off that he's not an impact player on the team. You lose a lot of leadership, but that comes from everyone on the team, so we've got to step up in that regard. You can talk about the multiples that he gives you on offense in terms of as a receiver and a runner, obviously the way different defenses have to plan and prepare for him, but, again, that's our job as coaches and players to step up and make sure that we make the plays that are presented to us right there in the situation. I have confidence in everyone on our roster. It's our job to be prepared. We always talk about the next man up philosophy, that's what we are here. We don't want to lose any player to injury. You especially hate seeing anybody who's worked hard coming back off a previous injury to have a setback, but that's sometimes the nature of it. It doesn't make it easy for anybody.
Q: When you have a bunch of players on the team that have lost a lot – the records – for you as a coach, do you look at certain things, certain signs to see if they're accepting it? Are they not accepting it? Are they fighting it? Because it can become a habit.
A: I always look at how they prepare. That, to me, is what I look for. How do you come in the meetings? How focused are you? What kind of mental intensity are you having in the meetings? What kind of communication do we have? And then when we practice, how are you practicing? To me, it's all about actions. Guys can come in and they can sing a good song and they can whistle by the graveyard and all that kind of stuff, but when you come to work, how intent are you in getting better and how intent are you going to practice on the field? That, to me, is all the same. You can tell me anything you want in a meeting. It doesn't really matter what you tell me. I just want to know, what am I seeing in your actions? Have I seen any signs? No, I've seen our guys come in and prepare hard and work hard on the field, and that's what we're looking forward to doing today again.
Q: We just saw Daniel walking outside, what can he do?
A: He can walk (laughs).
Q: Does he work on the side?
A: He can just observe today. Right now, he can just observe. He's in meetings. He can participate in meetings. He can be out here at practice, watch, stand behind, things of that nature. That's all he can do right now.
Q: There have been reports that the league is not going to suspend Toney for his actions this past weekend. If that is true, have you heard it and are you making a decision on–
A: I've heard nothing official from the league on anything. I addressed it earlier. Obviously, there's discipline inside and I'll handle discipline in-house.
Q: If they were making a decision to suspend a player, would you hear of that decision by now?
A: I can't exactly give you that timetable, to be honest with you. We haven't had to deal with that, so I don't always know exactly how fast things are going to come out on a player.
Q: How do your reconcile the punishment in training camp, on the field, a physical thing, but not suspending or not disciplining a guy who throws a punch?
A: I don't know where I would say there's no discipline. That has nothing to do with the equation right here. Just because something's not out in public for me to go ahead and say, 'Look at me, look what I'm doing', that has nothing to do with what we're doing in-house. I don't do anything with the players for external approval. Everything we do has a purpose and I'm very intent on explaining that purpose to everybody on the team. I just keep it in-house. There's a lot of business that has to stay between us and I understand there's an external factor. It's an entertainment business and obviously the media engagement, there's a lot of things, but I don't do things for external approval.
Q: Is sitting him on Sunday for the first quarter, the first half a –
A: I'm not going to go into hypotheticals right now. I'm going to handle everything in-house, and we'll deal with that internally.
Q: When you say that you're preparing both quarterbacks for Sunday, how much of the game plan changes if it's Mike? Do you have to simplify things?
A: Are you saying he's not intelligent? (laughs)
Q: I'm saying it's not going be as simple as just throwing him out there.
A: No, Mike's a smart quarterback. Mike did a good job last week. We didn't change any of the game plan. He went in and we just went ahead and played, and that's what he's here for. His job is to be prepared. He does a good job of being prepared. I'm very pleased in how this guy works. He uses every rep he gets to maximize and be prepared. In terms of is it game plan A or game plan B? No, it's the game plan, then let's go ahead and play.