Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement:Typical Friday for us, we'll progress on all phases. We're going through everything for the game, get some guys moving. Got a number of injured guys that will move around with the trainers today and kind of see where they're going to progress as far as going into practice. The number one question I'm sure you guys will have is about (Quarterback) Daniel's (Jones) status. Look, at this point, he has not been cleared for contact. So, we're going to go ahead and hold him out of this game. At this point, we don't feel 100 percent comfortable with him until the medical team clears him fully. As of right now, we'll rule him out. We'll evaluate him for the future, including as soon as next week, with the doctors. We don't have any answers on the immediate future yet. His status for this week will be he'll be out.
Q: Will he go to Miami with you since you're going to Arizona from there?
A: He'll go to Miami.
Q: Did Daniel, based on his personality, want to fight you or is it just that he needs to listen to the doctors?
A: Daniel always wants to play. He's going to try to find every which way possible to play and convince us to play. I've talked about that in the past and it's the thing you love about Daniel is how competitive he is and how much he wants to go ahead and fight to be on the field. All that being said, we had to make a decision.
Q: Is it just a strained neck?
A: I'm not going to go into any specifics about the injury. I'm going to keep it just as what the status is. I'm not going to talk about the injury specifically.
Q: It's more than pain tolerance for him?
A: I'm not going into anything on the injury right there.
Q: You've alluded a couple of times when we asked if it's season ending that it is not at this point.
A: I would say at this point that would remain true.
Q: But there's a concern that it could be longer term than just a week?
A: No, we just have ruled him out for this week, and we'll evaluate everything for the future as we get through it.
Q: You normally don't tell us ahead of time. Why did you tell us now?
A: Just being forthcoming with you today. I don't know, maybe I'm in a funny mood today (laughs). Look, in this case, it was just time to go ahead and say it. We made a determination. Daniel will still be out here today with the team. He'll still go through practice, do some things. He's actually looked well moving. That's been encouraging, the way he's thrown the ball, the operation of the team, that's all been very good. He's still Daniel. He's still leading on and off the field and still doing everything we ask him to do. I know this is frustrating for him, but a decision that we have to make that's best for him.
Q: (Quarterback) Mike (Glennon) taking over no problem?
A: We have a lot of confidence in Mike. He's played for us this year, he's played well in the times when he's gone in. Look, we expect Mike to go in and run the offense.
Q: Was there an appointment that Daniel had to go to try to receive final clearance before today?
A: There's been a series of check-ups and this morning we had a meeting with the medical team and based on the information that was given and the decision that's been best for Daniel, the ruling has been he's out for this game.
Q: What do the doctors tell you about why he wasn't tested for a concussion?
A: I haven't been given any information on that. I would say in terms of the flow of the game, there were a couple shots he took, I think there's one specifically, but typical Daniel, he just got up, bounced back and obviously they didn't call it out from the booth. They didn't put him in protocols as far as the league looking. The officials didn't throw a flag on there I think, so I don't think there was enough red flags right there based on how he reacted to something or anything they saw on the field to definitely go ahead and put him in that.
Q: I just mean during the week once he developed his injury.
A: Oh, as far as within the week? They've talked through symptoms of different things. I thought you were talking about specifically in the game. Yeah, they obviously go through all the checkups for all that stuff.
Q: That's a lot of change for your offense. A new play caller last week, a new quarterback this week. How do those two things mesh? If (Senior Offensive Assistant) Freddie (Kitchens) was working with Daniel, there would be steadiness at quarterback. If Mike was working with (Former Offensive Coordinator), Jason (Garrett) you would have steadiness to the offensive coordinator. How do those two mesh when you have so much change?
A: Mike worked with Freddie all last week as well. Everyone's job is to be prepared, it's our job to put them in position to go out there and make plays. In terms of Mike, Mike does a great job of being ready every week. He does a great job of that. He's a true professional, he's a good teammate, he's a good leader. In terms of him working with Freddie, yeah, no concern on that.
Q: Do you plan for (Quarterback) Jake (Fromm) to be number two?
A: The plan is for Jake to be number two, yes.
Q: How much progress have you been able to make with him this week that you are able to be so confident with him as the number two with two or three days work?
A: Yeah, I don't think it's anything that's truly unique about getting a player earlier in the week like a Tuesday and getting them ready for a Sunday game. Really, you look through kind of –
Q: It's not different for a quarterback?
A: Well, I think it's for anybody. If you pick up a safety or any other kind of signal caller, there's always a lot of things that go into it. What you try to do with quarterbacks or any of those players at signal caller positions is compartmentalize things for them and try and choose 'same as' teaching and get into the concepts and the families of what we're doing and bring him along. I think Jake's a smart guy. He's definitely put in a lot of hours of work this week with (Quarterbacks Coach) Jerry Schuplinski, (Offensive Quality Control Coach) Nick Williams, a bunch of other guys as far as getting caught up. He's been on the field, he's operated through practices, he's done some good things. Obviously, there's some schemes and system things that carry over from other offenses that a lot of the teams have. It's just knowing what the verbiage is, but he's done a good job so far coming along for us.
Q: How do you get the run game going and do you feel like you have core runs in your playbook that you can go to that are staples of what you want to do as an offense?
A: Well, I talk all the time about versatility as a team, so in terms of the core runs, what we work to do is build in through training camp and the spring a variety of runs and families that you get. You want to be able to run different varieties of zones as well as gap, pin and pull type of runs. Different ones apply to different teams and you have to have a variety within each game as well. To just go into each game and simply say, this is what we are, this is who we are, you have to have an identity within that. But then also, I talk about all the time is you have to be flexible to be able to play certain teams. The team we're playing this week, they're going to have a lot of answers for a lot of things you do, and you have to be able to go ahead and change it up and keep moving on them and making sure you keep giving them different looks as well. In terms of what runs we go to, we have a core family of runs that we work off of. You can take a family of powers, counters, gaps, zones. You can take those and say 'now, how do we want to go ahead and run these this week? Is it formation? Is it motion? Is it running out of the base type of situation?' You've got to find how that works against that team and then get it incorporated into the game plan. Generally speaking, you can look at every team and say, 'OK, what are the main things this team runs?' You play certain teams, you say, 'this is a heavy outside stretch team to inside zone looking for the cutback and then they mix in like a game plan counter here or there.' You look at other teams and they've got their family of pin and pulls. There's other teams like Frisco and Baltimore do a great job of just game plan runs and it's different varieties of counters and powers and stretches and things of that nature with different schemed up blocks. There's other teams that may turn around and just say, 'this is who we are and what we're running.' To me, I think it's important for all three phases to have flexibility within the game plan and because I ultimately believe it's important to play every opponent differently, it's important to plan what you have to be successful against that opponent that week. Every game plan, it's not Xerox it and move on to next week. That's not what this league is.
Q: You've obviously been asked about familiarity with opponents throughout your stay here the last two years with guys on the staff and I know it happens across the league. You've also been asked about you and Flo (Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores) this week. Is there a difference between familiarity and then going up against an opponent that sees the game a lot of the same ways that you see it? Like you said, you grew up together, does that make it more challenging? Do you almost fight the temptation to kind of reinvent yourself on a given week, but knowing that they kind of believe the same thing that you do?
A: We've actually had a lot of those conversations this week even with the players asking us the same thing. I think ultimately, you've got to call it the best way you think when you call it for that game. That's about a large part of the matchups they have on their roster and on our roster. But in terms of the philosophies of it, me and Flo have sat next to each other in a lot of meetings for a lot of years, watching practice tape every day, watching two-minute drives, four-minute drives and talking through, 'I would do it this way or here's another way we could do it.' There's a lot of time that we spent, me, him, (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator) Pat (Graham), Jerry (Schuplinski), other coaches on that staff, where we were always talking ball. You'd end a squad meeting and go into the cafeteria and get a coffee before breaking, and all people talk about is, 'hey, did you see that game last night on Thursday night? Did you see how they handled that two-minute? Hey, they could have done this. They could have done that.' We've had a lot of these discussions and conversations. Now, I think with all of us, we've built in enough variety of a menu that you can approach things from the same philosophy, but different schematically, if that makes sense. You find different ways of attacking it. To answer your question in terms of just do you have to try to be something different than what you are and just go ahead and mask it? I don't think that's always the answer. I think you have to understand how Flo's going to approach it and how he's going to coach the game and then what we have to do to put our players in the best position. Look, a lot of times you're going to match it up where what you're trying to do is directly what he's trying to take away, schematically and situationally. Ultimately, you've got to make sure you put the right player in the right place, and they've got to make a play.
Q: I saw Daniel walk out on the field, I assume he's not taking any snaps today and Mike and Jake will?
A: Daniel will get some work. The majority of the teamwork as we prep for Miami will go to Mike and Jake. He'll take some work through drills and fundamentals and stuff. We'll still keep him going and moving. The one thing I don't want to do is de-condition him and pull him out for the entire week, which obviously, he's been going through with the first-team offense throughout the week. I don't want to do anything that would de-condition him and set him back for him being ready for future games.
Q: Just in general, what accounts for the gray area over whether this is season-ending or not? I know you're saying at this time it doesn't appear that way, but what accounts for the gray area there?
A: Because there's really gray area in what it is. There's really no final decision on that. Obviously at this point, we're pushing to get him on the field as soon as he's healthy and ready to go. He wants to be on the field as well. He just wasn't cleared for contact today. In terms of what it's going to look like in the immediate weeks coming up and future weeks down the stretch, there's no answers right now. Everything else would be hypothetical or guessing at this point.
Q: When does he get re-checked?
A: I've got to check with (Senior Vice President, Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) officially. The doctors will be in tomorrow. He's kind of gone through a series of checkups. Monday will be a day all of our players see the doctor and then there's guys that will be with us in Arizona throughout the course of the week.
Q: By gray area of what it is, meaning there's a gray area on the diagnosis?
A: No. There's a gray area of when it will be cleared.