OCTOBER 4, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 27-21 win over the New Orleans Saints:
Q: Even though you’re on your fourth left guard and your second center, your offensive line seems to be communicating well. What are you seeing up front? Especially, what did you see from (Offensive Lineman) Matt (Skura) yesterday jumping in and basically being thrown into the fire at left guard yesterday?
A: I would say first off, the way those guys are working and the way the coaches are working with those guys to get them prepared, it was really just putting them in position to go out there and be successful. These guys work really (well) in the meetings in terms of going through the install, reviewing opponent tape, talking continuously throughout it making sure we’re on the same page from a communication standpoint. At practice, we get great work against our defensive front – whether it’s simulating the opponents’ rushes or just going competitive good versus good work. So, we go into every game very well prepared from that standpoint there. Specifically about Matt, I saw a guy jump in there and went out there, competed and made a lot of good plays for us. I think all positions on the team, all coaches, there’s a lot of things we’ve got to clean up and fix to keep moving forward, but I was very pleased with how Matt jumped in there. I was very pleased with the offensive line jumping in there. I thought they did a good job yesterday and they gave us room for some runs, and they gave (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) a lot of time to throw. That was a productive day against a very good defense.
Q: (Tight End) Kyle Rudolph said after the game yesterday that you had pumped music into some of the team meetings last week to prepare for the Superdome. Can you just walk us through how you decided to do that? What it was actually like for the guys and for the coaches? Do you go to that detail this week with Dallas, like recreating the glare of the sun in the stadium for example? Would you do something like that for every different game?
A: In terms of recreating the glare of the sun, that’s a little bit more difficult I’d say. In terms of anytime we have sun work at practice, we’ll always use that. I don’t care if we’re playing at night or we’re playing in a dome, it doesn’t matter. We’ll always use the sun. We try to make everything in practice more difficult than the game is going to be, whether that’s simulating having greased balls out there for turnover drills to make sure you’ve got to really concentrate on focusing and holding onto the ball. Last week, a large part of the emphasis was the noise and we just wanted to make sure our guys were mentally prepared going into that environment and understanding that you had to work to communicate. You couldn’t take it for granted. Whether it was through using your voice or signals or whatever it may be, we had to consciously work on all terms to make sure we’re on the same page. I thought the guys handled it really well. We went out there – that’s a place where a lot of teams jump offsides, a lot of teams have false starts. We were able to operate in the game last night with neither. That was something that was a big focus for us in preparation. In terms of using music in the meetings, I just wanted the guys every time they turned a corner to be reminded of (how) it’s going to be an environment where we have to focus to get the job done. I played for (Former Mississippi State Head Coach) Jackie Sherrill in college, so I kind of learned a lot about using every trick in the book to get your team prepared. Anything I think that can help the team I’m always going to use.
Q: Do you have any updates on (Wide Receiver) C.J. (Board) and (Safety) Jabrill (Peppers), and any other injuries?
A: I think it’s going to take probably a couple of days on Jabrill to kind of have full grasp of what this is looking like. I would say at the time yesterday, there was a chance to put him back in the game. I didn’t feel confident myself, to be honest with you, not knowing exactly what it was, putting someone out there and putting them at risk of really being hurt. We’re probably going to take a couple of days to see exactly what’s going on there. In terms of C.J., they’re going to look at him over the next day or so and see where he’s at. I’m optimistic about it, we’ll see where he’s at. I know C.J. is definitely a tough dude, so is Pep. Both those guys are going to try to do everything they can to get back for us. I would say coming out on Monday, there are just a lot knicks and bumps. A lot of times you don’t have answers this time because you’ve got to let them kind of settle down over the next couple days. You’ve got to let some of the swelling either go down or set in, see where guys are at with different things. Normally, Wednesday we’ll have a better picture.
Q: One of the things you said last night after the game was that results are the most deceiving thing in the history of mankind. What did you mean by that?
A: What I meant by that was in terms of going out and having a plan, if all you’re thinking about are results, you’re never going to get that accomplished. Sometimes, the worst thing that can happen to you is doing something the wrong way and having success. You’ve got to be willing to understand what the correct steps are you have to follow, what the true process is for you to be successful and stay committed to following that. Sometimes, you have success and it’s in spite of something you did wrong, and you can’t mistake that for the way to do it. Sometimes you fail, and you have to go back and reexamine the process of what you did in the steps along the way – and you can’t abandon that. You’ve got to make sure that you stick it and do it the right way. To me, I just don’t believe in being results oriented. Obviously, the focus is to have success, which are the results, but that comes from doing all the steps along the way to be successful.
Q: Last night, (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) mentioned on the passing touchdown that he caught that he and Daniel thought they saw something earlier in the game and they thought if they ran it later, they might be able to break free. How encouraging is it when you hear that they’re seeing things like that, they’re seeing things in the defense and they’re able to enact it later in the game like that?
A: I think that all comes from these guys just working together throughout the week and watching opponent tape, talking through schemes, they talk in meetings. The good thing is when you go ahead and you’re installing a scheme or diagramming a play or whatever it may be and you start seeing the players kind of talking to each other, and it’s not that they’re talking not paying attention. They’re talking in terms of they’re seeing something in terms of how it applies to them and sharing it with the player next to them – it may be the quarterback, receiver, whatever it is – of how they could really go ahead and see it through their perspective and make it work. So, those things tie into the game of when they see something, which obviously turned up later to be a big play for them, they communicate that with each other and then also with the coaches to let them know, ‘Hey, come back to that play. We’ve got a chance there. Let’s go out there and get something.’
Q: When it comes to the tackling on defense, I know you guys could not have been pleased with some of the lapses especially down near the goal line. When you go into practice this week, do you kind of build your practices around now – do you bring back more tackling drills? I know you’re kind of walking that line at this point of the season, but what are your feelings on that and how do you get these guys to get back to where you need them to be?
A: First, I think a large part of the focus on some of the missed tackles are, we always focus on making the tackle – the first man can make the tackle and next man can work the strip. We can’t make that mistake and get too adventurous on trying to rip that ball out and forget about making the tackle. That sprung both of those touchdowns, not securing him and getting him down, where it could’ve been minimal gain and it ended up being points for the other team. In terms of the tackling, there’s different phases of the tackle – the open-field entry, maintaining leverage, the close and the finish. There are different parts of it that we can work. In terms of designing practice this week, we’ll see where that goes in terms of pads and those days, how we handle those. But tackling is always a focus of ours. I’d say for the most part this season, I’ve been very pleased with the tackling. That obviously didn’t show up yesterday with the lapses in some areas. We’ve got to make sure we clean it up and correct it because obviously the teams that we keep playing are going to be very, very talented and very capable of running through arm tackles or bad tackling form. To answer your question very directly, we’ll definitely work on tackling this week in practice and there’s a lot of different ways of working on it to make sure we get all aspects correct.
Q: Do you have any kind of sense of (Wide Receiver) Sterling Shepard and (Wide Receiver) Darius Slayton? I know it’s early in the week. With that, when those guys are ready to return and with (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) being a big factor, (Wide Receiver) Kenny Golladay being healthier now, (Wide Receiver) John Ross (III) added into the equation, could there be such a thing as having a good problem to have, to have almost too many guys to throw the ball to?
A: I don’t know if I have the case of having ‘too many guys’ to throw the ball to. I’d say that Slayton and Shep are both working hard. We were encouraged last week with the progress they made. I think we’ll know a little bit in a couple of days in terms of what they look like going into this weekend. I know they’re pushing hard to go ahead and get back out there, and we’ll see the rest of the week what that looks like. In terms of having all those guys available at the game when they’re all up and healthy, to me it’s you want to have as many good players at the game as possible. I think all those guys are very capable of making plays. Whoever the open player is, we want to get the ball to and have them make a play. Very pleased with the way those guys are coming along as a unit and the improvements they’re making and the production they’re having.
Q: Offensive line-wise, the last two games you’ve played just the same five guys (and) you haven’t subbed in. We know your philosophy is always play everybody, bring everybody, everybody who goes plays, but offensive line-wise have you found the last two games that if the five starters are playing really well then you’re just not going to make a change?
A: I think we had a mix the last two games that we were good with going into the game. With the flow of the game, we just stuck with who we had. That doesn’t limit what anyone’s doing progression-wise or limit anybody’s opportunity or availability to be in a game. I would still expect to see all of our guys play. I don’t see that (going) any different. However the last two games you’re correct, we’ve gone with the same five guys and I’ve been pleased with how they’ve played overall.
Q: Offense overall, it seemed like there were more aggressive shots or more downfield shots, or however you would quantify it, in the second half and especially in the fourth quarter. Is that the score? Were there adjustments made? Is that the scheme? Just quantifiably, there were more downfield deep throws that game than there had been the first three-and-a-half games. Why?
A: That all ties more into the opponent, who you’re playing them, how you match up against them with different matchups, some of the things they’re doing defensively and how you’re playing up front with some other elements. This isn’t anything that we go and calculate saying, ‘We have to hit this many of this kind of pass.’ There were things we saw within the game plan that were going to give us opportunities. We weren’t going to go down there and not try to be aggressive and make any play that we thought was there. There have been other games where we’ve had very controlled passing games, which have been productive moving the ball up and down the field. There have been times we’ve taken calculated shots, pushing down the field, but it’s really based on the opponent and what they’re giving you at the time.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.