Joe Judge – © USA TODAY Sports
SEPTEMBER 13, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants did NOT practice on Monday. But because of the short week, they provided the following estimated injury report.
TE Evan Engram (calf), OG Shane Lemieux (knee), and LB Cam Brown (hamstring) did not practice.
RB Saquon Barkley (knee) was limited in practice.
SEPTEMBER 13, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 27-13 loss to the Denver Broncos and the upcoming game against the Washington Football Team:
Q: I know it’s a new season, but if you look at this offense since you’ve been here and since (Offensive Coordinator) Jason (Garrett) has been here, you guys haven’t really been able to score consistently. When you look at just the offensive system that you guys are running, what gives you confidence that you can get to a point where you will be putting points on the board like teams around the league do?
A: I think the big focus for us right now is really just focused on making sure we’re going to keep putting players in a position to be successful. I saw a lot of positive things yesterday from players like (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) and (Wide Receiver Sterling) Shep (Shepard). Those guys (were) making plays down the field. I think those guys definitely showed up and made an impact for us. To me, there’s a number of plays you can play with and you can draw up a lot of different patterns and routes. Obviously, we have to be creative and give the players a chance. I’m more focused right now on the fundamentals and the execution to go with, making sure we’re emphasizing ball security, running, blocking, making sure we can break tackles and extend plays right there, protecting leverage on the routes. But in terms of just the overall system, our focus right now is really more on putting the players in position and get them going. I saw a lot of improvement from a lot of guys. I was pleased with the way the offensive line played last night from a big picture standpoint. Obviously, there were some things we’ve got to clean up, but I was pleased with the step forward those guys have taken and improved consistently. It was good to have them out there for obviously the entire game length. Different than a preseason or a practice competitively, so it was good getting them out there and having a lot of execution together. That’s obviously moving in the right direction for us.
Q: (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) said after the game that he needed to see how his knee responded before meeting with the medical staff and you guys when it comes to Thursday and beyond that. Just curious how Saquon came out of yesterday and after you’ve watched the tape, what did you see from him?
A: It was good having him out there, obviously. The emphasis was really getting this guy out there, getting his feet wet. He hasn’t had the opportunity to play in the preseason. Obviously, he hasn’t played since last year when the injury happened, so the focus for us was really getting him out there, letting him get going, getting in sync of playing in the game. Obviously, it was the first time he was truly under a live fire with fully getting tackled and all that stuff from all different angles, so it was good and encouraging to see him come out of there. I thought he responded well. For all accounts right now, he came out of the game good for us. In terms of Thursday we’ll see what the game plan brings as we move on forward. I didn’t see any setbacks from anything last night and I didn’t get any reports on anything as far as medically with him. But in terms of him meeting with the medical staff, that’s kind of just part of the normal procedure for him and for all of our players that are dealing with anything.
Q: I saw that (Safety) Jabrill Peppers only played half of the snaps on defense yesterday. What was the thought process there and beyond that, how did you feel like the secondary helped up against (Broncos Quarterback) Teddy Bridgewater yesterday?
A: I think, obviously, Teddy played a really good game. They moved the ball consistently and stayed on the field, and our job is to get them off the field and disrupt his timing. I thought the guy played a good game. Obviously, give credit where credit is due and he’s a good player, he’s on a team for a reason. We’ve got to make sure we keep sharpening up how we’re calling plays and putting players in position and making sure that we execute when it’s called our way. In terms of Pep, I wouldn’t read anything into that at all. Pep’s a guy who’s going to play a lot of ball for us. Pep’s going to play a lot in a significant role, he’s a captain on this team, he’s a key member of our defense and our special teams units. A lot of it was kind of based around making sure we try to thin some of the loads out for this guy in different things he had to handle. It wasn’t anything reflected on how he’s played or performed. If anything, we came out of there with some of the things he did in the game, saying, ‘Hey, he’s a guy we want to have on the field as much as possible.’ So, we’ve just got to make sure that we consider some of the things that he’s doing and when he’s available having him out there on the field for us. The plan was really just with his best interest in mind, in terms of making sure he can stay fresh through all the different responsibilities he has on the team. But I would definitely not read too much into that. He’s a key part of our team for a reason.
Q: When (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) was asked about the fumble yesterday, he essentially said he has to be mindful of that and be better going forward, but this has been a recurring situation. How do you make him better in those spots to where he’s not turning over the ball, especially at critical times?
A: Like him, with any other player as well, you’ve got to show them on tape what’s happening, show them what the symptom is and why it’s been an issue, and then you’ve got to make sure you drill it on the field and improve the technique. We’ve got to keep doing a better job of coaching, putting our players in a position within practice where we’re getting the ball attacked and the exact fundamentals of what they’re getting issues with. We’ve just got to keep stressing on a daily basis with all of our players, which we make an emphasis of, but we’ve got to keep doing a better job of coaching that and making sure going forward it’s not an issue with any player on our team.
Q: A quick follow-up to that, as a teaching moment for the Daniel Jones fumble, would you and your staff tell him if he slid there that he could avoid that fumble?
A: That’s part of what we teach anyway. There are times where a guy’s going to be aggressive and he’s going to have to go ahead and lower his shoulder to get an extra yard in a got-to-have-it type of situation. There are other times as a quarterback where you go ahead, and you slide, and you avoid the contact. Look, Daniel’s a tough dude and I’m the one that’s got to tell him to slide sometimes. I know he hates hearing that. He doesn’t want to be treated like he’s got kid gloves on, but that’s part of what we teach him in terms of getting down and protecting. You can see obviously on the runs after that run right there, he worked to go ahead and get on the ground and protect it until he got in the endzone on the final play.
Q: That was a first-down play, so he’s not necessarily fighting for extra yards or anything. He already had a nice gain, so in that specific play is the coaching instruction – you have to slide there and that solves the problem with the fumble?
A: I’d say the coaching on any of these situations is if it’s not a got-to-have it, you want to protect the ball as best as we can, whether it’s getting out of bounds or sliding and getting down.
Q: How do you balance demanding better from your team with still finding the positives which you have detailed yesterday and today?
A: To be honest with you, that’s what our meeting was about today. Look, it’s real simple for me and again, a win or a loss, you’ve got to come out and you’ve got to show your team the truth of what happens on tape. You’ve got to show them examples of winning football, what we did well, things we can build on and things that are going to help us move forward and win as a team. Then, you’ve got to show them things that you have to eliminate as a team, things you have to improve on, and you have to do it fast to make sure you don’t eliminate opportunities. To me, it’s not about going in there and giving motivational speeches or trying to get in there and embarrass anybody. It’s just you put the tape on, you teach through it and you correct it. Our job is to be teachers. Guys come in everyday, they sit in meetings in a classroom, and they’ve got to learn, and that’s really what it is. We go out there on the practice field and we have to take what we’ve talked about in the film room and put it on the practice field and make sure they can execute it. But to me, our guys have always been very good. We preach about being mentally tough and it can’t be an emotional rollercoaster. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter. The emphasis every week is you come in and work to improve. That was the emphasis today, as well.
Q: Is Saquon going to play barring his knee having a problem here?
A: This week coming up?
Q: Yeah, I mean, is that the plan? It is three days of rest and it’s a very awkward situation for a guy coming off a big knee injury.
A: I would say unless the medical team tells us something else, our intention’s going to be to keep on progressing this guy throughout the season and playing with him, unless there’s some kind of setback. Look, he came out last night, from all accounts, in a good position. Our plan to this point is to go ahead and include him in the game plan as we work through this next day and a half.
Q: How unique is this spot though, to have that coming off of this major knee injury and only have three days after your first game?
A: I couldn’t speak specifically on the uniqueness of it. I don’t know what other players have done this in our league and turned around and had to play in this. But every injury is unique in itself, so we have to rely on the information from our medical team here in terms of what we can and can’t do safely with our players.
Q: I’m sure you’ll give a full rundown on Washington tomorrow, but just at first glance, what do you think of their quarterback situation and (Washington Quarterback Taylor) Heinicke?
A: First off, I’ve got a world of respect for Fitz (Washington Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick). Never having coached this guy but competing against him a lot for a long time in different spots, this guy’s a great competitor. He does a great job. I’d say with Heinicke, to me obviously, it’s not the same guy, but there’s a lot of the same characteristics. I think you can get a little of a gunslinger in both these guys and I don’t say that in an insulting way. I say that in a very complimentary way that he’s a guy that can go out there and can really function and operate and think outside the box, extend plays, be creative within the system and, obviously, he’s been very competitive in all the games he’s been in. I’ve got a lot of respect for this guy as a player. Obviously, I started watching this guy back in the playoffs and all last year as well as some other spots he’d been in. Seeing this guy out there on the field, he’s going to be a challenge for us. He’s going to be a challenge for us. He’s a competitor and he’s going to look for ways to extend plays and get the ball downfield to their receivers.
Q: You said that you liked how your offensive line played yesterday. Just wanted to know specifically what did you like about what they did?
A: I liked the way we gave ourselves an opportunity for Daniel to get back there and get the ball out on time. Really did a good job of operating upfront, the guards and centers playing with a good, flat, firm pocket. The tackles did a good job for the most part of staying inside-out, keeping the rush riding on by. There are always a couple extra ones that we’ve got to go ahead and correct and build off of. That’s all been addressed today in the meetings and that’ll be a focus going forward as it always is. But seeing consistent progress from that group and how they played together and progressed, that’s something that’s moving in the right direction for us.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will hold a light practice on Tuesday morning (10:50-11:50AM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.