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Q & A Joe Judge (Regarding Team And Matchup w/ Carolina)


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Regarding Giants Team

 

Q: A couple of situations to ask about. The red zone offense has a lower touchdown percentage (41.2) than you'd like in 17 trips inside the 20. Is the issue the opportunities you have, or not having as many red zone opportunities as you'd like?

Judge: "The most important thing is to complete the ones you do have. We want to finish with touchdowns more than field goals. We've been able to move the ball down there in certain games, and we have to finish better. Then, there's been some games where we haven't had that kind movement offensively to get the ball into the position to actually consider having many red area opportunities. But you want to finish down there with touchdowns instead of field goals. You take field goals when you have to, but we have to do a better job of getting in the end zone."

Q: Each of your first six opponents has scored a touchdown in the last 93 seconds of the first half, five in the last 36 seconds. Is there a common thread there? You had this issue early last season. Is it maddening or annoying to keep seeing this?

Judge: "We definitely have to be better at the end of the half. There's no secret about that. That's something we focused on a lot as a team. It's not one repeat issue. There are different things in different games. To me, it all comes down to execution, making sure we're in the right call at the right time, and putting it together with the coaches, and players executing on the field the right way. We've done a lot of things that are positive, and we have to eliminate those shots they get where they move ball down the field. Obviously, last week, you have the drive start in a certain way (Matthew Stafford dropping a shotgun snap before picking up the ball and throwing quickly to his left to Cooper Kupp, who turned it into a 25-yard gain). That's something that we should have handled better. We've got to make sure that we don't make any mistakes again like that."

Q: Before last week, Daniel Jones' only interception was on a Hail Mary. He had three last week, including one when the receiver slipped. Two, he said, resulted from poor decisions. You're not a coach who says, "Well, it's out of character, and he won't do that again." So, how did you handle it?

Judge: "We definitely review the tape. That happens through individual meetings, unit meetings and squad meetings, so he obviously gets corrected on multiple levels like every player does. But, it's not one thing to sit down and say you're doing this, and that gets corrected. You look at the play, what's leading into that factor, what happened on that play, what are we doing, what do we have to correct, and how do we not do that going forward. But everything gets addressed here. Nothing gets swept under the rug. Nothing gets brushed off, like it just won't happen again."

Q: You're seventh in the league in pass attempts and you've run the ball on about 32% of your offensive plays. In a perfect world, would you prefer a more balanced offense?

Judge: "A lot that has to do with some of the circumstances we've been in. To me, it's about doing whatever is productive in the game to get going. Running the football is a key part of the game. That's something we push to do. It's something we want to do better. It's something we've made some strides at. In different circumstances, we found throughout game plans and opponents that throwing the ball has been more effective for us at different times. So, the offense has made strides in a lot of ways. We have to be more consistent as an offense and do a better job finishing drives. But there are times when throwing is the best option. Other times, you have to run the ball, and you've got to be effective doing it. I'm a big believer in the run game. That's something that we're going to go ahead and use. You want to be balanced. To me, balance doesn't mean 50/50. Balance means being able to run or pass when you need to. Different game plans may dictate different flows of the game, but the run game is obviously something that we have to improve on and keep pushing forward with."

 

On Matchup w/ Carolina

 

 

Q: It isn't every week that the opposing head coach announces his intentions, but (Panthers head coach) Matt Rhule said, 'We're going to redefine who we are. We are going to run the football.' Do you expect them to come out and really try to run the football?

Judge: "We'll see on Sunday. You can read the headlines, and you can overcommit yourself to something somebody says. We'll see how the game develops. Obviously, they've got a very good passing game and very talented receiving group. Whether or not the focus is to run the ball, I'm sure they're going to throw the ball, too, so we have to be able to play balanced on defense."

Q: Their leading rusher is a fourth-round rookie, Chuba Hubbard. What kind of runner is he?

Judge: "He's a good runner. He's got good vision. He's a downhill runner. He's more of a vertical one-cut guy than a dancer in space. He's got good speed that can build and really separate. He hits the hole hard. If you give him a lane and he gets going, that's when you're in trouble. You want to try to make him gather up early in the down and stop his feet and restart. That's where teams have had a little bit of success against him, but this guy is a tough runner. He'll lower his pads and go right through it. You talked about him being a rookie. Obviously, he carried the ball a lot in his life. I think running back probably is one of the easier positions that translate in this league. Not that anything is easy, but the instincts and the carryover of what you're seeing makes it probably the fastest transition in the league, and this guy has definitely made a fast transition."

Q: (Wide receiver) D.J. Moore has more than twice as many catches as anybody else on their team. As you prepare, do you say he is the guy you have to stop in the passing game?

Judge: "Look, one out of every four plays they have is targeted for him, so he's obviously a main focus of their offense. As we explained to our players, there's 100 snaps this game. He's getting 25 of them, so we better know where he is on the field and how they're using him."

Q: Statistically, this is the best defense you've faced. They're third in the league in yards allowed, second in passing defense, sixth in scoring. We all remember what (outside linebacker Haason) Reddick did last year (5.0 sacks for Arizona vs. the Giants). What else jumps out to you when you studied their defense?

Judge: "I think the speed with their linebackers, both on the edge with Reddick and (defensive end Brian) Burns, and you can talk about (linebacker) Shaq (Thompson) when he's back and those guys in the stack right there. They really play fast. They roll all their players. That's one thing about this team is they roll a lot of defensive players. They keep them fresh, and they keep them active. They keep them moving. You talk about the defensive backs, we'll see if (cornerback Stephon) Gilmore is out there, but they're a very talented group with (cornerback A.J.) Bouye and those guys out there. They're very aggressive and jump the ball. They really challenge you. On third down, there's a lot of man coverage, so they want to get up in your face and really pressure you at the front and get the backers going after you. They have very, very good team speed. They play very disruptive. They really run to the ball well as a unit, and that's really helped them be productive."

Q: Lastly, the specials. They changed their punter last week (to Ryan Winslow after they were last in both gross and net yardage). Alex Erickson has had some good punt returns.

Judge: "Erickson is one of the top guys in the league for a long time. He's very instinctive. He's very natural. He has great running vision and makes the right decisions. He's a good ballhandler, so that guy really does a good job of setting these guys up. In the return game, he's very dangerous with the ball in his hand. In terms of specialists, they have talented specialists. I think they're an improving kicking unit right now with how they're going. Obviously, they had a lot of confidence in the punter that they made the change to last week. He's continued to be the guy as everything we know right now. I think with the track they're on, it's obviously working for them right here, and they're playing the defense off of the field position they get."

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