The New York Giants will have an entirely different setup this off-season compared to last. When head coach Joe Judge took over, he was facing far more than just rookie challenges and speed bumps, he was also taking on a worldwide pandemic that shut down sports and disallowed teams from hosting their own players.
With training camp nearly postponed and pre-season canceled, the Giants were forced to utilize zoom and virtual means to develop their players and get to know their draft selections. This was truly an unprecedented challenge that Judge took on with ease. Not only did the defense manage to put together a top 10 performance, but he installed a disciplinary set of rules that is now abided by.
Considering what Judge managed to accomplish in one season without in-person training for most of the off-season, this year should present for more benefits. For one, the entire team is vaccinated, and coaches and players will be able to train at the facilities. Secondly, there will be a pre-season, so the rookies and free-agent signings will have time to adjust to their new schemes.
Judge understands the value of experience, and he is excited to get to work face-to-face with his squad.
“These are valuable experiences that we have to really, really understand and value based on what we missed last year as a league,’’ Judge said, according to the NY Post. “I’m looking forward to getting the guys going and having a quote-unquote normal preseason this year. That’s something we’re definitely looking forward to.”
The New York Giants saw several units struggle due to COVID-related issues:
Part of the reason the offensive line struggled so much in 2020 was because of lack of experience. With new faces at both tackle spots and Nick Gates playing his first-ever season at center, the Giants were already at a disadvantage. They barely had any time to develop chemistry in person before the start of the regular campaign, so they had to use live-action games that meant something to refine their technique and learn the new system.
This year, they will go into 2021 with more knowledge of their assignments and fundamentals. However, the rookies will also have an advantage compared to last year’s crop, who were thrown into the fire without much adaptation.
Judge delivered a few inspiring words for the rookies but also indicated they must be prepared to iron out their flaws. No prospect is 100% ready for the NFL, and Joe wants to see his team work toward perfection.
“I tell the guys all the time, truest thing I can say, it doesn’t matter how you get here; it’s what you do when you are here,’’ Judge said. “We are excited to get these guys here and at the same time excited to work with everyone on our current roster. Look, our goal is to make every position as competitive as can be and that’s when you really get the best out of your team.’’