Devontae Booker – © USA TODAY Sports
JANUARY 3, 2022 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 29-3 loss to the Chicago Bears:
Q: Were yesterday’s comments intended for the fans, the Giants administration, the media, anyone in particular?
A: I was asked a specific question about what the fans are asking and I responded to it. People ask me a direct question, I give direct answers. Whoever’s listening is going to get a dose of the truth and I was honestly answering to the question to the fans – that’s what the question was asked for – but, obviously, the response can apply to a number of different areas.
Q: Do you have any regrets about any of yesterday’s comments?
Q: Obviously, you would want a better result Sunday, but what do you think is the best thing you can hope for and the best way you can demonstrate that the foundation exists on Sunday in your finale?
A: My expectations for the team are the same every week. I tell the guys come here to work every day, work hard, be attentive, pay attention to the details of what’s going on, put the team first, just always make sure you’re doing your job to the best of your ability. That’s what I expect to see throughout this week of practice. Our guys have responded and over two years every week the same way, come back to work. I expect to see these guys go out there and play for each other with a high motor and play with good energy, and we’re going to do everything we can to put a plan together to give these guys a chance for success on Sunday. What I want to see is the team go out there and play with the right demeanor and play with the right intensity, and go out there and execute the game plan. That’s what I’m looking for.
Q: When you guys were looking at backup quarterbacks this offseason, what was it about (Quarterback) Mike Glennon that appealed to you? Has he been what you thought when you signed him?
A: I’m really pleased with the way Mike has come to work every day this year. He’s played through a number of things, he got thrown into a different role. I like the way Mike prepares, the way he’s a team player. Obviously, there have been some times this year he’s been up and down. We started (Quarterback) Jake (Fromm) a week ago over him. I thought he handled that the right way as a professional, put the team first and then he stayed ready and when his number was called and went back in. I’m pleased with what Mike’s done for the team and how hard he works. It’s a shame, Mike got hurt in the game yesterday. He’s going to have surgery coming up soon and he won’t be available for the game this week. That’s really the one injury of note. There’s a lot of other bumps and bruises in there. I know Mike wanted to go out there yesterday and compete and do everything he could for the team, and that’s the way his season will end.
Q: Can you share what his injury was?
A: It was a wrist injury.
Q: I’m guessing Jake is going to start for you or do you have other options?
A: Right now, it would be Jake. We have (Quarterback) Brian Lewerke with us all year, including some of the preseason. He’s been with us and familiar with our schemes. We’ll work both those guys in practice this week. Right now, based on reps and games, Jake would have the nod. I would anticipate getting him prepared that way, but like any other week we’ll get both guys ready and make sure they’re both prepared and ready to play.
Q: How hard is it to prepare a game plan and just prepare a team mentally when you struggle to have an acceptable level of production from that position? You can hide other positions, but at quarterback you kind of need somebody to lead the team. How hard is that for the entire team?
A: Everyone’s focus is to come in and do their job. Our defensive players come in every week, they get prepared to stop the opponent’s offense, they know what the big targets are and the focuses are. The kicking game knows they have to produce field position through different ways. They come in and stay focused on the other team’s strengths and what they have to go ahead and neutralize and how they can make a play to give us some field position. Offensively, everyone’s got their individual jobs. The offensive line protects and opens holes for the run. The receivers block when they don’t have the ball. They get open and work to get the ball their way, and their focus is to catch it when it comes their way. Whoever prepares to play quarterback, their job is to facilitate the offense and move it around. It’s not everyone’s job to worry about other positions. It’s their job to come in and focus on what their assignment is, how they can execute and how they can help the team.
Q: Just to get back to Mike really quick, was it a fracture in his wrist or what happened?
A: I’m not going to go through the specific diagnosis, but it was an injury to his non-throwing hand. It’s something that has to be handled probably sooner than later, but he’ll be unavailable to play this week.
Q: Yesterday, obviously you were asked a question and answered it in great detail. You said things very honestly. If you look at the Giants or if you were scouting the Giants and watching all the tape, would you say that they’re a well-coached team and why?
A: I would. There are obviously some things we have to do better and I’m not going to sit here and hide behind anything, I’m not going to sit here and say that we’re perfect in anything. There are a lot of things that I – now am I going to go through a diagnosis or an analysis of our team and every unit and every situation? No, I’m not going to do that and I say that very openly in a lot of ways. I’m not going to go ahead and throw players under the bus or try to isolate coaches and look for a scapegoat. That’s not my style, that’s not what I’m going to do. But I’ve seen a lot of improvement from our players in a lot of different ways. Sometimes not all that is magnified, but I look at different things that show up with our team, I know the direction that we’re going. I know other teams as well in this league of how they scout us and what we do when we share information-wise sometimes with common opponents and things that happen. I’m very confident in the way that we’re pushing forward right now. There are things we have to improve on. Obviously, the most important thing in this league is winning, so we’ve got to do a better job putting ourselves in position to finalize and finish out some games with a win.
Q: You say I think we’re a well-coached team. You talked yesterday at length about the culture and the foundation you think you’re building. You don’t call out players and things, but is it fair to say that you believe the roster needs an injection of different and better talent? Because if the culture is there and the coaching is there, then the only thing left is to get better players. Is that something you would agree with?
A: I’m not going to make any statements right now that’s going to put any one of my players under the bus. I think you understand how I’m answering that question based on how it was phrased. I appreciate the job you have to do and the things you have to look for, but I’m going to tell you right now, if you’re looking for someone to go ahead and find a scapegoat and point a finger at someone, I’m not the guy who’s going to be the one to give you that answer you’re looking for, but I appreciate the question.
Q: Yesterday you did indicate that a couple of players from last year who were no longer with your team are still reaching out to you. By just the process you go through, there are only a couple of guys that could be – (Ravens Guard) Kevin Zeitler was cut, (Vikings Defensive Tackle) Dalvin Tomlinson obviously did leave in free agency. I know you say you don’t call out players, but do you feel like in any way by using such a specific example yesterday you perhaps left the two of them to hang out there in terms of speculation?
A: I wouldn’t want to try to identify names and I think that would be pure speculation. It’s a small league, I keep in touch with a lot of players I’ve coached elsewhere because, obviously, there are things that we’re very careful with tampering and we never try to get anything in that mix. But, everyone supports each other. You have guys who have good games from across the way, you may shoot them a text and say, ‘Hey man, I liked the way you played. A certain technique or a certain play, keep it going.’ Guys will reach back out to you. There are a number of players who have been here through the years. I’m not going to go into individuals right now, I’m not going to try to open up that kind of chapter of guessing of what it may be, but I just know that we have a strong culture, as players from other teams that I know reach out to our players currently and have reached out to me as well through different avenues. Nothing that needs to be looked into or anything of that nature, but I know this is a place that players want to play. I know this is a place that players want to play. It’s a place that a lot of players are going to want to play for a long time. I’m going to leave it at that.
Q: On a positive note out of yesterday, (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) had his first 100-yard game in a while. What did you see from him in his running style that maybe he wasn’t doing earlier in the year?
A: I don’t want to say this in comparison to what he was or wasn’t doing earlier in the year. That’s not what this answer is in response to, so let’s make that clear. I’d say in terms of what I saw from him, he really ran tough and aggressive yesterday. He ran with good ball security, he ran downhill. He was very productive for us in a game that a team knew that we were going to just run the ball and run the ball. We were able to run the ball when they knew we had to run the ball and a large part of that – obviously, it takes everybody – but a large part of that was his ability to find a seam, push vertical, run tough, create extra yards. Some of his best runs were only two-, three-yard runs where he was able to go ahead and make someone miss in the backfield and certainly make something productive out of it. When something was blocked up in front of him, he didn’t miss on that. He got vertical with it and he did a good job getting downhill. Again, yesterday, the marks we really wanted to hit in this game were run the ball, stop the run, cover kicks. In terms of running the ball, I thought him and Book (running back Devontae Booker) both did a good job of getting the thing downhill aggressively. Our offensive line was able to generate enough lanes to get these guys going and get us an opportunity to be productive in that phase.
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.