JOE JUDGE: Well, guys, look, obviously, it wasn't good enough today. Okay? Our marks were simple. We talked to the team all week. Three things we wanted to do was run the ball, stop the run, and cover kicks.
I'd say for the most part, we ran the ball decently as a team today. We got some movement going. I liked the way the running backs ran hard. They made productive runs down the way. We got to be productive with the run game where we had to run the ball and when we ran the ball.
All right, stopping the run, this was a balanced team. It was a very good run attack. I'm pleased with the defense overall today. Overall, we was able to eliminate them in the run game and not let them going on track like we did in the past some games.
And, you know, for multiple reasons, in terms of covering kicks, we didn't let their explosive playmakers in the return game get going.
Now, all that being said, you can't have success in this league when you turned the ball over the way we did. When you create short fields for a team. Every team is going to take advantage of that with the types of position we gave the team.
You can't have mistakes in the kicking game like we had at the end of first half. That's a five-point mistake. We can't do that. It's not acceptable. It's not going to be tolerated.
So in terms of, you know, how the team played, look, the one thing I'm repeatedly proud of is the way they played and they finished. And they fight and play for each other. They showed up to to work, they practiced hard and prepared well.
All right, the reality is we got eliminate the things and mistakes, give us an opportunity and chance for success. And overall, we talk about the big marks we had to hit, but ultimately one of those big marks, the turnovers right there early in the game set us behind a good deal. And we didn't do enough to overcome it.
So that being said, give a lot of credit to the Bears. You know, Matt and his team came out today, did a better job than we did. And they deserve that success. So that being said, any questions you have.
Q. Coming into the game, was it your plan to run that much or did the plan start in the passing game cause you to run given more than you did?
JOE JUDGE: The plan was to run that much. That was the plan of the game. You know, there's, obviously, different adjustments we can make within the game. But we knew we were going to come in today, it was going to be run the ball, stop the run, cover kicks. That was it.
Q. (No microphone.)
JOE JUDGE: I'm not here to argue today about stats, Jordan. It is what it is. You know what I mean? It is what it is. It wasn't good enough.
Q. (Question concerning Mike Glennon's performance.)
JOE JUDGE: It looked like we were mapped up -- it looked like we were mapped up. It was a five-man protection. Mapped up five for five along the way. There's, obviously, ways to handle the free rushers coming off. I'm not going to go into everything schematically. What we did, obviously, wasn't good enough.
Q. Is Mike not recognizing that or is that -- (no microphone.)
JOE JUDGE: I'm just going to keep it as, obviously, from an offensive standpoint, it wasn't good enough right there. All right, I'm not going to go into your dissecting everything Mike did today. But we got to be more productive and do better things on offensive.
Q. Given the fact they obviously knew you were going to run, you know, a lot, how did you think Saquon handled that in terms of his production?
JOE JUDGE: He did a good job today with that. There was a lot of times with loaded boxes. And we said, Hey, look we're running you either way.
We knew going into the game at some point they were going to recognize the game plan was to run, run, run. You know, we were playing seven offensive linemen at a time.
You know, we got a lot of things into the box. It was seven alignment. They obviously loaded the box, put their bigger personnel in. We were still going to be productive in the run game. That was it. I thought Saquon did good things.
A couple times they had him in the backfield with some blitzes or pressures, he was able to slip out and make something out of nothing at certain times.
I thought he ran hard, I thought he ran with good ball security, I thought he went out there and really played as a good team player today and fought to the end.
Q. (No microphone.)
JOE JUDGE: I think about a lot of things. But the decision was made today where the decisions are the best for the team.
Q. On the third and 10 from the 24 when you scored -- (no microphone.)
JOE JUDGE: No, it definitely was not a give-up play. But the thought process was maybe a bust of a sub-run right there.
But also at the same time, as you alluded to, does it put us into a more of a, you know, aggressive fourth down mentality, that was a part of the game plan today. We got ourselves into those type of zones and those ranges on fourth down. There were things we were going to consider to be aggressive and go for it right there.
Q. (No microphone.)
JOE JUDGE: No, just the plan today was to run the ball. Keep it as simple as that.
Q. (No microphone.)
JOE JUDGE: That's not really a word I ever use, Dan. So, you know, obviously, we didn't enough well. We didn't get anything going in the passing game. But in terms of the run game, you know, we committed to it, we were having some production on it, put us in some positions that we had manageable third downs. Obviously, didn't do well enough in that zone either.
Q. Coach, why did you think you were weren't going to be able to catch the ball? What was it that concerned you in that regard?
JOE JUDGE: Just because you choose to run the ball, doesn't mean because you have a -- you know, an absence of faith in other aspects of it.
Sometimes you go in and you say, How can we go ahead and play our best football today? You know, there's a number of things you look at throughout the week, whether that's health of players, availability of players, whether it's weather situations, it's something about their defense that you think matches up well, whether it's an aspect of your game that you have to be better in and set the tone for how you're going to play.
So there's a multitude of reasons right there. It's not one thing that triggers, Hey, we can only do one thing right there.
But we felt the best the chance for success today was to run the ball. And, again, that was our mark coming in. We had to run the ball better, you know, stop the run and cover quicks. That was the three bigs things we had to do. And then obviously it always falls on our ball security, our turnovers. All right, and then penalties in that zone, too.
Q. The kicking game you messed up that you were referring to, was that just lack of awareness of where they were on the field, or miscommunication or what?
JOE JUDGE: Yeah, I didn't talk directly to Coop. I talked to the coaches, obviously, on that one there, make sure that we were straightened out on that.
That definitely demonstrates that we didn't know where we were on the field, you know, at that moment in time. And letting that thing go, you know, that's not acceptable. That's not acceptable.
Q. There was a point earlier in the game where he did the same thing, the ball barely got into the end zone. (No microphone.)
JOE JUDGE: When they were kicking to the left of our bench? Yeah, with the trajectory of that kick right there, Cairo, you know, really hammered that thing on a line, that he knew it was going to go in the goal line there. He knew it was going to just barely clear.
But you got to be aware in those situations of what the wind is, what the kick looks like, the height of it comes off the tee with, all those things factor in playing.
Q. So a bigger picture is five straight losses. Are you concerned about your future and how ownership might react where you guys are at right now?
JOE JUDGE: My focus is on getting this team prepared for next week in Washington. That's it. I'm never worrying or addressing hypotheticals or anything of that nature, Dan.
My focus is on this team, getting them ready. They come in and work for me every week. The thing I owe them is having them prepared and ready, and getting them in position to have success that's it. That's the only thing I'm concerned with right now, Dan.
Q. Hey, Joe, can you hear me?
JOE JUDGE: I got you. What you got?
Q. Two things: Why was Booker the right choice there when you got the safety instead of Saquon? Why was Booker the guy to get the ball? And is the offensive line giving you guys a chance in the passing game? It's easy for us to look at the quarterback numbers. Is the offensive line giving you a chance?
JOE JUDGE: All right, I'm not going to go into kind of, like, full unit evaluations right now. I'm going to watch the tape and see what the corrections we have to make and do better.
In terms of Booker versus Saqauon, we got confidence in all our players. We have confidence in all our backs. So whether it's Saquon for this or Booker for that, you know, look we have confidence in those guys.
There's specific schemes at times for certain back in the game. But in terms of, you know, a guy for a base run, base play, you know, look, get the guy that's fresh in there, keep rotating him on third, keep him fresh throughout the game. We have confidence in both guys. Both guys are running well.
Q. Joe, two things: Did the run first game plan come about more towards the end of the week when you found out you weren't going to be with two of your key receivers because of the COVID and the Toney injury?
JOE JUDGE: Well, we knew some of the personnel issues we were going to have about midweek, Tom. So about the time we got to the game plan and practice on the field, we were worrying about some of the things we were going to have to deal with.
But in terms of just the game plan itself, there's a lot of
things factor in what today could have been. You know, at one point this week, they were calling for over 40 mile an hour winds. That's something you got to think about in how you manage pass game, run game, what you do.
You don't base everything on that. Because obviously weather reports change as you go. But it makes you put in certain things and aspects of the game plan that gives you flexibility within situations that may not be controllable. Okay, or outside of your realm.
In terms of, you know, what we do game plan-wise, we felt the best plan for the team to have success today was to run the gall. I liked the way the team ran the ball. I liked the way we were able to get the ball downhill in the types of runs we ran. I was pleased with that.
Obviously, you can't have the mistakes and the turnovers early in the game. You spot a team 14 plus points and then, you know, you do that, other -- you know, mistakes can compound on top of that.
Q. The second one, Joe, was about -- you kept saying about the kickoff return -- the lack of a kickoff return, Not acceptable, not acceptable. I mean, what are the consequences of that at this point?
JOE JUDGE: We're just going to make sure we get everything cleared out and ironed out and make sure we don't make the mistake again. And that's the biggest thing you have to understand there.
All the players and coaches, we're just not going to allow that mistake to happen again. So let's not look for any kind of overreaction or read in between the lines right there. It's just we got to make sure we get corrected and fixed.
Q. Hey, Joe. You kept saying that, you know, your job is to get you guys prepared to play and ready to go out there. Do you feel like you guys were prepared to play today and it was kind of a result of maybe being up against from an injury standpoint and all those things? What do you think was the big picture/issue? I mean, especially falling behind on the first play of the game.
JOE JUDGE: Look, everything comes under my umbrella, right? So I'm not going to deflect something or say I'm not responsibility for anything. I'm responsible for everything. So let's make that clear from the jump. Okay?
I'm not going to push blame somewhere else or look for someone else to go ahead and step up, all right, and take something off my shoulders. All right? That's what I signed up for, that's what the deal is.
You know, in terms of preparation, they're a good team, they're well coached. Like I said, there's really not much that we saw today we weren't directly prepared for and things that we anticipated to have and coming our way.
I thought we were able to hand off a lot of things in the run game positively. Obviously, we didn't do a good enough job in the pass game, you know, overall as a team.
You know, defensively, you know, we had a feel on how this game was going to go a little bit when they announced Dalton as the quarterback. I'd say for the most part that held true. All right?
And our focus on stopping exchange the run still remained the primary focus. There was a couple drives they got in there, made some, you know, plays moving down the field, hit some soft zones at certain times.
We were in position to make some PBUs and interceptions, at times. We got to capitalize on those. We did on a couple. All right, and then the kicking game, we knew this was going to be an aggressive type of game plan from them in terms of trying to get the return game going.
We had a couple things we put in throughout the week to make sure we could neutralize that phase right there. Grant's an explosive returner. He really is.
That return game is a large aspect of what their offense did. So we had to make sure we went ahead and took away that strength as a team to play for the field position there.
So in terms of being prepared, obviously, if you don't come out and have success, there's a lot of things you got to correct and adjust and move forward with. That's our focus right now.
Q. Hey, Joe. Obviously, you said that the goal was to come out and run the ball. And, you know, when you fall behind 14-nothing right away, that's a hard road to go right there when you're down so much. So, I mean, the way that game started, I don't know if you'd use the word "embarrassing." What word would you use? Maybe you would use that word for it, how this game started, and then how it evolved?
JOE JUDGE: Just simply put: We went down 14 points. We weren't going to abandon the game plan. So the focus was stick with the game plan, keep running the ball, be productive.
You know, at that point in the game, guys, it's a two-possession game. Right? We saw we got the defense
out there, they were able to make a stop. We got to keep playing to that and we got to play to our defense and trust they're going to keep making stops.
So, offense we got to stick to the game plan and grind it out and put ourselves in position that throughout the course of the game, if we keep playing good defense, we can have success offensively and put ourselves down, you know, look to go ahead and be aggressive on fourth downs, hit field goals when we got to hit them, push to go ahead to get first downs and right there, if we have to, get the ball in the end zone.
Q. (No microphone.) Why did you have faith that you're going to get this turned out? I mean, people are just seeing -- under it now. So I guess what was your answer to that bit?
JOE JUDGE: You know, we talk inside a lot. Okay? And I don't ever ask for patience from anybody. Let's get that clear right now. All right?
And the fans have every right to have an opinion. That's why they're fans. They have every right. You buy a ticket, come to the stadium, you have every right to boo me going out of the stadium. That's the way it is. That's what we sign up for, right?
And it's New York. It's supposed to be a tough place to be.
Certain cities in this country, they don't even know if their teams playing today. All right? So you sign up for a job in a city like New York, you expect to have this. I never shied away from that. I ain't worried about that at all.
When we talk internally, you look at a lot of things moving in the right direction and you know the targets of what you have to improve going forward.
The important things is we know the direct targets of what you have to prove. And, no, I'm not going to go individually into these today. But we know the direct targets of what you got to hit. All right, and you look at what you got to make in a short turn to go ahead and make a quick turnaround to build the things you've done well. Right? And I say that all the time. There's things we've done well, we got to build on them, right?
So we look at overall what we're doing, there's a number of things going in the right direction that we know that are foundational things, things you got to put in place for the team to have success, on and off the field. On and off the field. Okay?
The important thing is when you have those direct targets, you got to find a way to minimize the things, okay, that you struggle with and you work your hardest to go ahead and make you give yourself and your team a chance for success by trying to take certain aspects away from the game so it can't expose you as a weakness.
Okay, and you got to play to the strengths as much as possible. All right? There's certain aspects and things that, you know, see on tape from around the league. And I talk to the guys all the time.
Look, this is about being a team and making sure you don't waste any opportunities. We're not sitting here being preachy. But I'm not going to tell you pointblank what I tell them. You guys always want to know what the hell we talk about all the time, I'll tell you pointblank what it is.
All right, when the guys come to work on Wednesday, okay, and they bust their butt for you, and turn around on Thursday, and they're all committed doing extras in position units, doing extras individually to get their body right, they're doing everything going forward, okay, and they go out there and practice with good energy, good enthusiasm, and you know you're in the right position right there, okay, you know you got that aspect going right there.
I talk to the players all the time, guys. I talk to them very openly and transparently. We don't even know have captains because a majority of our captains are no longer playing for the remainder of the season, so we do a leadership meeting now.
I look at the guys at the end of the day and say, Guys, hey, listen, this is your time to talk to me, you speak for the team. You tell me what's going on. You tell me, How's the team? How's the beat of the team? What do I got to be aware of? What's something I don't know?
Because everyone always tells me what I want to hear, right? So I ask someone just individually, I ask a player, they're going to tell me whatever I want to hear. I ask a coach the same type of thing.
All right, I got to have a group of players who are going to look me in the eye, and they know I can tell Joe what exactly the hell is going on. So I got that core group of guys, right?
You know, you look them in the eye and you ask one guy, he's the first one to speak up, I'm not going to individuals, they can talk amongst theirselves later on.
But, you know, we had one guy say, I've never been in playoff contention, I never knew what it was like to be in a position where you're actually playing games not to be in the playoffs or improve seeding or whatever it may be or get into playoffs. You know, didn't what to expect and when we were officially eliminated it was almost an expectation of that player of how is everyone going to react? Kind of getting ready to come in to himself and get everyone rally the team a little bit. Okay?
And that other player spoke up and said that they've never been in playoff contention period. They weren't present with us last year throughout the remainder of the season for a certain reason, to even be in it last year as a player on the stretch.
But both guys had the same response, though. Everybody on the team is locked in. Everyone on the team comes in to work. Everybody comes in every week and is committed to doing it the right way and playing together as a team. Okay?
There's a lot of teams right now that are out of playoff contention. Okay, whether it's golf clubs in the locker room, or people planning vacations outside of it. All right, there's a lot of finger pointing and blaming and shouting. All that type of stuff, right, all that stuff.
You know what we have in our building, any of that. We don't got any of that. Any of that. Our guys know we have one more week this year to be this team.
They know we have one more week this year to be this team. And they expect me to show up and give every ounce of football that I got in me this next week. You got that? They're getting everything out of me. But I expect the same in return.
And I just told them that a second ago. That's what I expect. The expectation here is I expect every ounce of football you got inside of you. Okay?
And there's things we have in line right now, there's thing we have in place where certain units are playing and certain players are playing and we got some foundational, core guys. We know the culture is strong.
I'm going to tell you's right now. You guys always ask me about off the field stuff and why the hell is it so important to have culture, so I'm going to tell you right now, all right?
A few years ago before I came here, when I came here and I sat down with all the players, I wanted to know what it was like in here, what we had to change from their mouths, all right, to a man every player looked me in the eye and said, Joe, it's not a team, they don't play hard, we're out of playoffs, everybody quit, everybody tapped, they stopped showing up to captains meetings, all that stuff. Right? They tapped out. Okay?
I've been a part of teams in other places. And I'm not trying to make this place anywhere else I've been. But lessons I've learned: Let me tell you something right now, all right, in 2018, I was a part of a team who halfway through the season, all right, we were all pretty convinced we were getting fired.
We didn't think we were going to make the playoffs, had no concept of anything was coming, we just showed up and kept improving to work week after week.
And on the outside, we were we all terrible. But we didn't care about that any of that noise on the outside. We didn't care about it at all.
What do you care about on the inside, what are you doing? They showed up, they fought, they worked. We were
improving as a team and put things together, and make a run and, you know, ended up winning the championship.
But the thing I really learned that year was, the importance of the culture inside, how important and valuable that is. Because I was part of more talented teams that came up short and lost games down the stretch. Much more talented, all right?
But the one thing that really was solidified, in my mind, in my DNA that year in '18, was the fact that it's so much more important and how strong you are inside.
Because no team goes through a smooth season. No team goes through a smooth season. So if you can go the junk we're going through right now, okay, as a team team, if you can go through the tough times we're going through right now as a team, all right, and have the defense take the field every single time ready to play, every time, all right, there's a lot of people that want to say, Hey, guys, you picked off the ball, they ran down the end zone, you guys are down big, right?
So we can turn around and say, Yeah, get your butts back on the bench, we're down, we're not celebrating. You know what, though, they play every play with enthusiasm, every play with energy. Every play with each other.
I want them to celebrate that. I want to see that energy and passion. That's how they practice every day. Okay? I want to see them play that way as well.
That last fourth down they stopped them on, that's two games in a row where the game was over, we're out, it's done. Vegas is already paying out people. Like, that's done. All right?
But that's two fourth downs in a row, two weeks in a row, that I'm sitting there and watching our defense finish the way they got to finish. Fourth down, stop them, shooting the gap and stopping them, a good wall going on the opposite side to stop the run.
Hate dropping back into coverage and making that play right there on that little kind of Tebow walk, cat pass, or whatever the hell you want to call it right there. All right?
So this ain't a team that's having fistfights on the sidelines. This ain't some clown show organization or something else. You talk about the foundation built, you talk about the things that -- the toughest thing to change in a team, the toughest thing to change in a club is the way people think.
You understand that? That's the toughest thing. You can get new players, you can't get out of your damn locker room all you want, you got to change how people thinking. You got to change how they fucking -- pardon my -- how they believe in what you're doing.
And then you got to trust the process. And that's a lot easier said than done, when they're looking up right now and you got one game left and the most games you're going to win is five this season.
But I guarantee you this, those men are going to walk in on Wednesday and be ready to roll. We're going to practice hard on Wednesday, we're going to practice hard on Thursday, and we're going to practice hard on Friday. Okay? And we're going to play for each other on the field next week.
If we don't play well, every fan has the right to boo my ass out of the stadium. You got that? That don't bother me. I don't think anyone wants to get booed. Okay?
But the reality is that's all right. That's all right. They have that right. So the fans are -- and we go back to the first fart part, the fans are every bit right to ask what you're asking. 100 percent. Okay? 100 percent.
And I get about a dozen e-mails a day, all right, six of which ask me exactly what you're asking, the other six offer full support the other way. Okay?
To me, both are great. Both are great. Okay? Both are great. If you think I sit on back and and say what we're doing is good enough? No. It's not.
But I know this, I know the first time I ever talked to you guys in front of the mic, what the hell did I talk about? Foundation, right? Talking about building from the ground up, building the right thing.
Okay. Now, you guys ain't been in the building for two years now with this coach, right, but I'll tell you right now, all right, if you're in the damn building, you walk on through our locker room, you ain't seeing that crap you saw before. All right?
You ain't seeing guys planning vacations, you ain't seeing golf clubs in front of players' locker. You ain't seeing that stuff. Okay? You ain't seeing it.
All right, and that's not because of some high school program because we're cracking the whip. It's because our guys understand how to play together as a team and understand the process how we're going through. So I can go through a whole Xs and Os evaluation, I can go through a roster evaluation, I do it every day myself. I go through all that stuff.
But in terms of the next step to take, I can tell you right now, okay, I know we're a whole lot closer where we're going than further away.
I can tell you that right now. I can tell you we got more players here who are going to be free agents next year, all right, who are in my office every day begging to come back. Okay? I know that.
Where player who we coached last year that still calling me twice a week talking about how much they wish they were still here and they're getting paid more somewhere else. Okay?
So I know we've got the right foundational pieces there. I know we have some players in key positions who are guys that you can build with and keep carrying on. All right?
I know we got the right temperament. I know we got the right
culture in terms of teaching the players. Okay, which is why I don't come up here and try to assassinate some player because I think it's going to save my ass. Okay?
Because behind closed doors, we shut those doors, I can tell every player, to a man, look them in the eye and tell him exactly what the hell he screwed up, exactly how it's got to get fixed, I got to tell him to hold him as accountable as can be.
Because I ain't going to sit up here like some other cowards sitting behind the mic and put his players on blast. Okay? That's it.
I signed up to be the head coach here. Whatever bull gets fired, they got fired for me. You got that? It's got to go through me to get to them. And that's the way it is.
But, look, I'm not asking you to be patient. Trust me, guys. I'm not the most patient guy myself. I'm committed. I'm committed. All right? But I'm not the most patient guy myself. All right?
But I am proud of the way these guys continue to fight and the effort they play with, all right, and the way they grind it out. Okay?
But, again, the toughest thing to turn over in a program, the toughest to change is how people think, okay, how they think. And we got guys that are wired the right way. Okay, they're wired the right way.