Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement:Today we'll start our preparation for Philadelphia. Coming off a short week, the focus today will be our install in the early downs and third downs. We'll have two split walkthrough practices. We've done this customarily throughout the season. On a short week, it's important for a lot of our guys to get their bodies back. Tomorrow being Thanksgiving, we'll actually have an earlier start, we'll go through our normal intro and review of third downs, we'll get on the field and practice all the phases and then we'll have an earlier afternoon dismissal. We'll pick up on the afternoon hours we lose tomorrow afternoon when the players are with their families. Friday morning will probably be a little bit more extended than a normal Friday. We'll pick up on Saturday with a walkthrough and review and get ready for the game.
Talking specifically about the Eagles, this is a group of guys with a lot of talent. You look at their offense, it's an explosive offense, a lot of speed at the receiver positions. I think (Eagles Quarterback) Jalen Hurts is doing a really good job of running the ball, extending plays, giving opportunities down the field.
Talking about defensively, it really starts up front. They've got tremendous guys up front, a lot of power and speed to the middle push. They do a good job playing on the perimeter with a lot of opportunities. (Eagles Cornerback Darius) Slay has obviously scored in the last three games. That doesn't happen by accident. That's a player that looks for opportunities. He makes plays when they come his way. Talking about their linebackers playing over top of that front and being in a position to really add to their sound defensive philosophy.
In the kicking game, (Eagles Special Teams Coordinator) Mike (Clay) has done a really good job of assembling a team that really attacks your protections, punt protection, field goal protection and eyes an opportunity to make blocks or tips, really disrupting your specialists' timing.
(Eagles Head Coach) Nick (Sirianni) is doing a really good job evolving their offense in terms of what he's being presented with. I think you really see it the last few weeks. The run game is becoming a lot more prominent part of their offense, they've been a lot more productive in terms of scoring points and obviously having wins. They're playing their best ball at this point in the season. It's a big part of their game and the run is really setting the pass game for these guys. A key part of the run game is not just the backs, which are all very talented, but also the quarterback, as well.
Defensively, (Defensive Coordinator) Jon (Gannon) is doing a lot of things right now using their personnel and becoming more aggressive. You look at the third down pressures they had against New Orleans the other day, they were obviously impactful in the game in terms of getting the Saints off the field. It's going to take a lot to really make sure we match up against these guys up front and take advantage of our opportunities. With that being said, I'll open it up to any questions you may have.
Q: Do you know who's going to be calling the plays on Sunday?
A: We'll talk through it as the week goes. We'll work through it collectively as an offense and build into Sunday when it comes.
Q: So you don't know yet?
A: I have an idea, but we'll talk about it later.
Q: You just don't want to tell us?
A: That's exactly right.
Q: What's the rationale for keeping it secret?
A: We've got a lot of things that may be a little bit up our sleeve. Any competitive advantage you want to have you want to keep to yourselves.
Q: If you go with (Senior Offensive Assistant) Freddie (Kitchens) as the play caller, can you envision him maybe in the booth or do you want him on the sideline?
A: I would expect everyone being on the sideline involving calling plays. That being said, the guys in the booth are directly responsible for communicating the looks, the fronts, the coverages, some of the adjustments we have to have and being our eyes overtop. The communication from the booth to the field really stays constant.
Q: So you prefer your guy on the sideline?
A: I would. I think it's important for a play caller to be on the sideline to have direct communication with the quarterback, number one. Also, to be there to present anything new to the team, if he has to draw something up or present a concept or a scheme we're going to have to do.
Q: Surely you addressed this with your team this morning. What was your message to them in regards to the change you made there?
A: I'll keep everything between me and the team. I say between me and the team, but I addressed this yesterday publicly. I have a large amount of appreciation and respect for Jason (Garrett). Jason did a lot for this program. I think a lot of him as a person. I'm very grateful for what he's done individually to help me as a young head coach and really help my development. He's done a lot to help this team. He's built a lot of strong relationships in this building. I appreciate everything he's done. With that being said, my responsibility is to make the best decisions for this team at all times. I've made it clear that I expect more out of our offense, I expect more out of our players and production. It's the coach's job to put our players in a position to be successful. Coaches coach, players play. Players have to go out there and execute. At this time, I felt the best move for the team was to make a change.
Q: I'm sure yesterday was a busy day. Could you go over what you had to do just in terms of who you spoke to, whether anything had to be cleared?
A: I'm not going to go into all that. Obviously, there's a process of doing things. I'm not going to go into every step-by-step thing. I wish Jason well in the future. I'll certainly maintain our relationship. I have a lot of respect for him, I'm very grateful for him. We've made the move, we've moved on as a team. Right now, we're focused on Philadelphia.
Q: I was talking more about with ownership.
A: No, I understand what you're saying. The process has been taken care of and that's where we're at.
Q: When you have a change of play caller, you're obviously not throwing out the entire system. Is it just basically what a guy might do differently in a certain situation or is it the whole scheme? What exactly changes?
A: There are a number of things that could change. Changing a play caller is one aspect of it and maybe the approach we take as an offense is another aspect of it. In a short week, you're not going to go ahead and completely blow up an offense and redo things, but you are going to look to use things a little bit differently. Maybe that's personnel, maybe that's scheme, maybe that's situation calls, whatever it may be. As we build through the game plan this week, that's what we're focusing on. In terms of how the game gets called, we'll talk about it as we build on through the week, what we think is best in the game plan, what our adjustments will be and when we get into the game situationally, what ends up being best for us to call.
Q: You mentioned that it might be a collaborative effort. You only have so many seconds to get play call in, so how exactly would that work?
A: It's important to communicate throughout the week leading up to the game, what we see on tape, what we install, how it looks in practice, what the adjustment will be, what is our weakness in that scheme, and then also in between drives communicating what the adjustments have to be, what they're doing well, what we have to combat it, what we have to take advantage of. Also, within the drive itself, you've got to be very quick with the communication. You've got to make sure everyone's on the same page that when you're collaborating on things – that may be a run scheme and someone says, 'Hey, they're playing this front. Get to this run right now.' 'They're in this personnel group, we have them trapped in something, get to this right now.' So, it's got to happen fast, but you set up the communication in-game with how you communicate throughout the week leading up to it.
Q: You're only going to have one person sending the call into (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones), right?
A: I don't know. Maybe we just draw names, I'm not sure (laughs).
Q: I understand that throughout the week and I understand that between plays, but wouldn't you want to just have one person making the call into your quarterback?
A: You can only have one person because of the way the headsets are set up anyway throughout the communication.
Q: Last year, you brought in an offensive line coach from the outside when you had a coaching change. Are you considering bringing anybody in or is it just—
A: No, we're not going to have anyone new to the staff this time.
Q: It's one thing for a starting wide receiver to get two targets in a win a couple weeks ago, but to get two targets in a loss, how is (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) dealing with that? Do you see any frustration from him? And how do you get him more involved? I know you said you wanted to?
A: I think I addressed that the other night in terms of how I've thought about things. Our players have done a great job. Our players come in and do whatever we ask them, they practice hard, they play hard, they compete. We have a very strong locker room. We have a lot of guys who communicate very well, they communicate directly. I talk all the time to players about if you have an issue – here's what I say, 'If you have an issue outside of the building, your job is to leave that outside the building. We have resources inside. If you need someone to talk to, we always have people who will go ahead and try to help you.' But if you have an issue outside the building – everyone's got something, right? You've got to either leave that outside the building or get help to fix it. If you have an issue inside the building, you have to address that issue. We're not going to let something just fester at the source. If you have an issue, come and address it right away. We've got a group of guys who communicate very openly. We do it the right way, we talk very directly, we talk to the people who can fix the problems because if you're not talking to the people who can fix the problems, all you're doing is complaining. We're going to talk to get things fixed around here. Our guys have done a great job communicating. They show up, they get the game plan, they execute the best they can, and I'm very pleased with how our receivers have responded to everything.
Q: How is (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) doing? Will he be out there practicing today off of the game Monday night??
A: He'll actually be out here for part of the walkthrough. There are two walkthroughs. There are a number of guys because of bumps and bruises we'll kind of select one over the other based on different reasons for each guy and different parts of the game with them. He'll be with the trainers for part of it, he'll be out here for part of it.
Q: I know it's speculation at this point, but do you think that by the time you guys are out there full-go on Friday that he can be one of the guys that's with you or will he still be with the trainers?
A: I hope so, but I don't have really an answer to give you there. It's more speculation on my part too to give you anything right there outside of it.
Q: Any update on (Safety) Logan (Ryan) and the testing?
A: As of right now, there's really nothing that has changed on his status, COVID/(Reserve). Hasn't really moved any closer on the testing as far as getting back in. Still has a window of time, so we'll see where that goes.
Q: When it comes to your playmakers, do you believe in general that your best player should have the ball in their hands a certain amount of time regardless of the flow of the game and situations? Even if they are covered, do you try to get them the ball and see what happens?
A: I think just in general in terms of how I see the game – just how I see the game, period – our job is to facilitate and help the players make plays. The players have to go out there and play the game. It's a players' game. The way I see the game, whether it's offense, defense or special teams, you want to create scenarios for your best players to go ahead and make impact plays. However you see that – forcing the ball, controlling the flow of the game or however you want to phrase it, however you want to say it, I've always seen the game through a lens of people, more so than just scheme. You can use scheme if it helps people. Sometimes, you can go ahead and play too much on the flow of things – and this isn't directly related to anything we've done, I'm just saying in general that you can play sometimes too much in the flow of the X's and O's on paper. I'd much rather deal with the people. We start out every week talking about the opponent, it's pictures and names, it's not jersey numbers. This is (Eagles Defensive Tackle) Fletcher Cox, this is who he is as a player, this is how he plays. He's played in different schemes, different systems, right? But this is who he is as a player, this is how he plays. It's important to understand who the people are. I've learned very early in this league that as you evaluate players, the jerseys may change, but the player doesn't. I'm not saying they can't evolve throughout their career and improve, but the player is the player. You have to understand what are their strengths, what are their weaknesses, what do they do, what are their instincts, how do they make impacts in the game. It's about understanding the people. We talk all the time, this is a people league. You have to understand who the head coach is, what his philosophy in the game is, who the coordinators are, how they call and approach the game, who the players are and how they attack and impact the game. You have to make sure you account for the people more so than just all the other junk around.
Q: On Monday, Daniel was pressured on something like 50 percent of his drop backs. How much does that hamstring the offense when the offensive line is performing that way?
A: I like the way our offensive line is moving right now. They're working together, playing as a unit. I've seen a lot of progress throughout the year. I love the job (Offensive Line Coach) Rob (Sale) and the offensive line guys are doing together. I like the way these guys have battled throughout a lot of different moving parts. They play for each other, they have a good attitude. Being able to block out the noise and play for one another, I'm very proud of that group as a unit.
Q: Will Saquon(?) be out there today?
A: He'll be with the trainers today. We'll find out a little bit more later today. I hope he is.
Q: And (Tight End) Kyle Rudolph?
A: He'll be with the trainers a little bit today, but we'll see how he progresses throughout the week.
Q: Is there anyone new that we didn't know about?
A: Not really. We're going to split (Tackle) Andrew's (Thomas) walkthroughs today. That's just kind of customary to some things because he's still kind of coming off that mend right there. Kenny, same thing. Kenny's been on kind of the backburner being hurt, so we're going to bring him back and we're going to kind of structure some of his day a little bit split, as well. Some of these things are just precautionary. A lot of things are getting done internally with the install, getting some walkthroughs inside, as well. Kind of some of the pace of what we're doing outside that some guys will come out and observe in both walkthroughs. Some guys will be active in one of the two, some guys will be active in both. This isn't anything different than we've done all year. There's a number of guys you may look at and say, 'Well, why wasn't he out there for the AM walkthrough,' or whatever it may be. That doesn't really necessarily reflect on what their status for the game is going to be in a lot of these guys. Remember, we're only two days removed from the game. This will be Tuesday in any other game week. The day off for the players and only the guys that are in the training room, getting lengthy treatment, recovery, all the stuff getting ready for Wednesday. Being a day earlier, when we get out here, we'll get the players' bodies back and the emphasis for us today is really working on the 'what'. It'll be 'who' is the big emphasis. We'll get the 'what' installed as we come back tomorrow and focus a lot more on the 'how' and the 'when'.