New York Giants: Joe Judge at Miami Pro Day where Gregory Rousseau worked out

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants brought back Leonard Williams this offseason, but that doesn’t rule out their interest in Gregory Rousseau completely. Rousseau has been one of the first players linked to the Giants with the 11th pick because of his status as one of the top pass rushers in this draft, and head coach Joe Judge was one of the NFL personnel in attendance at Rousseau’s pro day in Miami.

While there were multiple University of Miami football players on display during that pro day, we can probably assume that Rousseau is the one the Giants were interested in. He was, after all, one of the top pass rushers in the college game before opting out of last season.

His draft valuation has fallen, but that might be a good thing for the Giants if they do go with the option of trading back from the number eleven pick rather than spending it outright.

Rousseau’s 15.5 sacks in 2019 which put him behind Chase Young, who the Giants infamously missed out on, is his big draw. But his projections in mock drafts have fallen since the offseason started, in part because he’s not the kind of player that’s expected to become a hit right off the bat.

The Giants might have room for a project player on the line, however, as they already got their top pass rusher back with the big deal that Leonard Williams signed. At the end of the day, it looks like the Giants will have more interest in other players, but Rousseau presents an interesting option if they decide to trade back.

New York Giants: Kyle Rudolph reveals what Joe Judge told him

One of the signings flying under the radar for the New York Giants this offseason is Kyle Rudolph. The tight end won’t join the team with the kind of acclaim as some of their other additions such as Kenny Golladay or cornerback Adoree Jackson, but he has his own use nonetheless. While some believed the Giants would add to the tight end spot by highly drafting Kyle Pitts, it appears the Giants are going to continue to rely on Engram while adding Rudolph to play the role of secondary threat.

Rudolph has been a receiving tight end throughout his career and a red zone threat – he’s only a couple years removed from having 6 touchdowns in a season, after all. While he might not be the big addition that Pitts is, it looks like the Giants will have plenty of receiving potential at the position between him and Evan Engram.

As for why Rudolph chose to join the team, he spoke about that on SiriusXM.

And head coach Joe Judge seems to have played a direct role in getting Rudolph to the Meadowlands.

What Joe Judge said to Kyle Rudolph

“One of the lines he said that really resonated with me was: ‘Overachievers aren’t OK with mediocrity. I want to surround myself with a bunch of overachievers.’ I’ve always looked at myself as someone that tries to work harder than the next guy and be an overachiever and that really resonated with me and that’s something I want to be a part of,” Rudolph said.

It seems like Judge is helping turn New York into an attractive destination for free agents so far. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay has also expressed an appreciation for the culture of the team, which he’s joining despite having other offers.

The Giants have big expectations in Judge’s second season but they’ll have more tools to deal with those expectations than they have over the last couple of seasons. And some of that we can trace directly back to the noticeable change in the atmosphere that’s come about directly because of a new coaching staff.

New York Giants: 3 major takeaways from Joe Judge, Dave Gettleman press-conference

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman, Joe Judge

The New York Giants have a ton of moves to make in the near future, especially with the franchise tag deadline on March 9 at 4 PM and free agency starting on March 17.

With plenty of action to come over the next two weeks, head coach Joe Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman hosted a press conference to answer questions. The Giants have already made several moves, including the release of Golden Tate and David Mayo. The Giants have also restructured the contract of Levine Toilolo and are preparing to tag Leonard Williams.

Three major takeaways for the New York Giants:

1.) Gettleman tips cap on tackle situation

With veteran RT Cam Fleming hitting free agency, the only serviceable player on the roster they can start at the position is Matt Peart, former 3rd round pick from the 2020 NFL draft. Gettleman affirmed that he would feel comfortable with Andrew Thomas and Peart starting at both tackle spots in 2021. He mentioned that the former UConn product showed enough and that he had some good reps last season before being diagnosed with COVID-19.

This could be a tip of the cap from Gettleman, but I am under the impression the Giants will roll with an extremely young offensive line 2021.

2.) Evan Engram isn’t going anywhere

The Giants seem to be enamored with TE Evan Engram, who was a direct result of multiple turnovers in 2020 and dropped a multitude of passes. Head coach Joe Judge remained positive and confident arhat EE can bounce back in a big way moving forward. He detailed his work ethic and discipline to improvement, which is something that Judge loves to see in his players. If EE can alleviate those drops, there’s no question he can be one of the best receiving TEs in the NFL.

3.) Building through the draft

Successful teams don’t build through free agency, they need to consistently draft well. That is something that Judge understands greatly and is focused on putting together a strong scouting department and phenomenal coaching staff to maximize their selections. With only a minimal amount of money this season, the Giants will undoubtedly have to rely on the 2021 NFL draft to solve some of their problems.

 

New York Giants: Kyle Van Noy an interesting new free agent to keep an eye on

New York Giants, Kyle Van noy

The New York Giants are preparing for a crucial free agency period this offseason. New York has made it known that they are in the market for new offensive playmakers. The defense was the strength of the team in 2020 while the offense fell behind, averaging only 17.5 points per game.

But that is not to say that the Giants’ defense was perfect by any means. The Giants did a good job generating interior pressure and had an impressive trio of safeties combined with some 2020 free agency standouts in Blake Martinez and James Bradberry. There was one position, though, that the Giants were lacking consistent production out of.

The New York Giants did not have a consistent presence pass-rushing off the edge in 2020. They ran with a rotational pass-rush that saw numerous players start as edge rushers. Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines were solid edge players when healthy, but when they went down, New York had a revolving door at edge rusher.

Today, a new edge rusher entered the free agency market. The Miami Dolphins cut Kyle Van Noy after one season with the team to save themselves over $9 million in salary-cap space. Van Noy is an intriguing player that the Giants should keep an eye on as they approach free agency.

Kyle Van Noy stats and highlights

After one season in Miami, Kyle Van Noy is once again a free agent. Van Noy spent the first four years of his career with the New England Patriots before playing in Detroit with the Lions for three years. In 2020, Van Noy was a free agent searching for his third team. He ultimately landed in Miami but did praise the New York Giants and their new head coach Joe Judge earlier in the process.

Kyle Van Noy has familiarity with Joe Judge from their days with the New England Patriots. Last offseason, Van Noy was a guest on the Pat McAfee Show. He praised Joe Judge, referring to him as a “ball of energy,” and even said, “Go, Giants!” towards the end of his interview. Now that he is once again a free agent, Van Noy could be a potential fit with the New York Giants.

Kyle Van Noy is an eight-year NFL veteran that has played a versatile role throughout his career. He might not fill up the stat sheet, having a career-high of only 6.5 sacks in a season (2019). But Van Noy is one of those guys that generates a lot of hidden production.

According to Pro Football Focus, Van Noy tied third among non-defensive linemen in pressures with 28 in 2020. Kyle Van Noy is an edge rusher, but he is also an off-ball linebacker. He plays a variety of defensive alignments and performs well at every one of them. If the Giants sign Kyle Van Noy, he could potentially fill two needs for them. Van Noy would contribute to the Giants’ pass-rush and he would also be able to plug in as a solid off-ball linebacker next to Blake Martinez.

The Giants utilize a complex, versatile defense under Patrick Graham. In 2020, New York sent plenty of creative blitzes. Kyle Van Noy might fit perfectly in this scheme as a player who can rush from anywhere on the field. Additionally, his familiarity with the coaching staff could connect him to New York.

New York Giants: Joe Judge has found promising hire for O-line coach

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants begun the offseason with a need to find an offensive line coach, but that need won’t stay around for long. According to a report from Ian Rapoport, the team has found their candidate and is expected to hire Rob Sale for the position. Sale is currently the offensive coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette, but has career experience at more relevant schools at the college level.

Many Giants fans are already asking the important question – is Sale good for the job? While it’s hard to judge the specifics of a position coach with just publicly available info, since position coaching involves many behind the scenes things such as teaching technique to players, we can look back at Sale’s career history and figure out some things about why the Giants might have hired him.

He was at the University of Alabama from 2007 as a strength and conditioning assistant and offensive analyst, before moving on to take up better roles elsewhere. In 2015, he served as the offensive line coach of the Georgia Bulldogs, one of the strongest teams in the SEC.

Joe Judge, of course, has his own ties to Alabama. He received a good word of recommendation from Nick Saban when he joined the Giants. And players who have played under both head coaches have said there’s some similarities between them.

Judge appears to have carried over some Alabama DNA to the Giants organization, and this hire is bringing in someone else that spent time there and can already work in a similar system. Considering the way things ended with last season’s first O-line coach, Marc Colombo, that better fit should be a big plus for this hiring and gives reason to be optimistic.

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley shares early Joe Judge experience

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

Joe Judge has gotten a chance to work with New York Giants back Saquon Barkley for one season, and has made a good impression so far. Of course, the bulk of that season was spent with Barkley sitting out because of an ACL tear. The injury came quickly into the year and forced the Giants to change their strategy on offense all around. It was also a big blow to the overall hopes of the Giants for winning in Judge’s first season.

But despite spending most of the year recovering, Barkley was able to get a good impression of his new head coach. He said as much when speaking to the AP Pro Football Podcast, where he spoke about his injury and recovery recently.

Barkley tells an early story about Joe Judge

The conversation led to the subject of Joe Judge and Barkley’s initial impressions.

“When he came in and gave his speech, he let everyone know he was about business. When I first met him, I couldn’t stop looking at his eyes. It was like I was talking to a sergeant. And through time, when you got to see him, he got to show his personality, even through Zoom,” Barkley said.

“When I got hurt, I was trying to be this tough guy and stay strong in the locker room. And then I kind of started breaking down in front of him. He looked me in the eye and told me, ‘It’s going to be one hell of a story.’ And that’s the type of guy he is. He’s got your back and he’s a guy that’s for his players, and he’s a guy who is going to push you and get the best out of you no matter what.”

The difference between the Giants under Judge and the previous administration has been night and day. That seems clear with both player reactions and fan sentiment. There’s more reason to be optimistic going into next season than there was after Pat Shurmur’s first year as head coach. And for many of the young players on the Giants, last season was the closest they came to being on a winning team.

We haven’t gotten to see what Barkley can do under a new head coach and offensive coordinator yet – but that’s the hope for 2021. So far, it looks like Barkley will definitely be back on the field in week 1 barring a surprise setback.

New York Giants: Joe Judge thankful for Patrick Graham staying

New York Giants, Patrick Graham

The New York Giants won’t be changing defensive coordinators this season. Despite interest from other teams such as the Jets, it didn’t take long this offseason for Patrick Graham to agree to a new contract with the Giants. The extension came after the Jets asked to interview Graham, and confirmed that he’ll remain with the Giants instead of looking into the head coaching options.

One person that’s happy about the immediate move to keep Graham is Joe Judge, who was largely involved in the hiring of Graham in the first place this offseason.

“Keeping Pat here was definitely a priority for us. We know Pat’s gonna have a lot of opportunities going forward. He’s a very, very smart coach, he’s very good communicator, he has a lot of really good ideas and he’s very good getting the players to buy in and understand the concept he’s trying to do,” Judge said while speaking to WFAN on Tuesday.

The Giants defense improved quickly under Graham, with the Giants finishing in the top half of the league in terms of stopping the opponent from gaining yards. They also allowed the 9th least opponent points, and several players such as Leonard Williams and James Bradberry stepped up to have improved performances while playing under Graham.

Defense kept the Giants in several games, and they could have had more wins if it wasn’t for having one of the worst offenses in the league. So, it’s understandable that keeping Graham was a priority.

“I tell you what, that to me was huge. That was huge. Pat’s a great coach, he’s a good friend. Being able to keep him in this organization for as long as we can, that definitely was a priority. He’s a tremendous help to me, he carries that title of assistant head coach and that’s not just fluff on a sheet. He does a lot of things helping me internally,” Judge said about the coach.

Both of the Giants’ coordinators have received interest from other teams. Graham obviously turned down the chance to interview for the Jets job, but offensive coordinator Jason Garrett accepted an interview from the Chargers. It remains to be seen what the staff will look like come the 2021 season, but we do know for sure that the Giants will keep their best performing coordinator from 2020.

Should the New York Giants look to add Anthony Lynn to their coaching staff?

The New York Giants are entering a crucial offseason. The Giants made serious progress this season, winning two more games than they did last season despite transitioning to a new, rookie head coach in a pandemic-filled season. New York saw numerous key, young players develop into building blocks. But there was one serious flaw with the New York Giants in 2020: their inept offense.

The Giants’ offense, more often than not, was terrible in 2020. They finished the season averaging just 17.5 points per game, the second-worst in the NFL. New York’s defense kept them in games and even won the team some games. But the offense often held the team back and consistently failed to propel the team to victory.

Many critics have placed the blame on the Giants’ offensive coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has received a plethora of criticism. However, it seems like his job is safe unless he leaves for a head coaching job elsewhere. Interestingly enough, the Los Angeles Chargers did interview Jason Garrett for their vacant head coach position.

The Chargers parted ways with head coach Anthony Lynn this offseason after four seasons in the position. Lynn has now generated excitement from fans who are suggesting him for the Giants’ offensive coordinator position if Jason Garrett were to leave and fill Lynn’s former position. However, I suggest another role for Anthony Lynn on the Giants’ coaching staff. One that could elevate the Giants’ offense to new heights.

Proposing Anthony Lynn as passing game coordinator

It seems unlikely that Jason Garrett will leave the New York Giants’ coaching staff this offseason. There are numerous head coaching candidates out there that will be more appealing to teams that have vacancies. Additionally, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said that the idea of Garrett leaving makes him “antsy,” so it seems like the team has no plans to fire Jason Garrett.

Many fans suggested Anthony Lynn would be a nice fit with the Giants as the team’s offensive coordinator if the position were to free up with Garrett’s eventual departure. But, with Garrett seemingly here to stay, Anthony Lynn cannot fulfill that offensive coordinator position. However, I think he could fill another role on Joe Judge’s coaching staff.

The New York Giants do not have a passing game or running game coordinator. These are somewhat new coaching positions that are not implemented in every coaching staff in the league, but they are present on many of the NFL’s top offenses. The Giants could add a passing game coordinator to aid Jason Garrett with that facet of the offense. New York seemed to run the ball just fine but struggled mightily in the passing game. A passing game coordinator could help fix that.

Anthony Lynn would make a lot of sense as the Giants’ passing game coordinator. He might not have been the best decision-maker as head coach of the Chargers, but his passing concepts were undeniably impressive and helped Los Angeles achieve plenty of success through the air under Lynn’s tutelage.

Could Anthony Lynn take this offense to the next level?

The Giants need more playmakers on offense. It is an obvious weakness right now and the fans, coaches, and front office alike are all aware of this. Getting an elite wide receiver for Daniel Jones will help this offense tremendously. But, furthermore, having an offensive coach that specializes in creating and implementing a creative passing attack would help Daniel Jones even more.

The Los Angeles Chargers saw their offense reach new heights in 2020. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert stepped onto the scene and instantly looked like a star, shattering rookie passing records. Anthony Lynn’s poor special teams, defense, and game-management led to his demise in Los Angeles. But his offensive scheme was not even close to problematic.

Justin Herbert and the Chargers’ offense averaged 270.6 passing yards per game in 2020. Herbert racked up a rookie-record 31 passing touchdowns to go along with 4336 and only 10 interceptions. Herbert often found himself throwing to open receivers downfield, schemed open by Lynn’s offensive scheme.

Anthony Lynn’s vertical passing concepts create an aggressive, downfield approach in his offensive attack. Mixing that in with Jason Garrett’s downhill rushing scheme and short passing concepts could give the Giants the best of both worlds.

Granted, a job as a passing game coordinator might be a bit beneath Anthony Lynn. Lynn is a highly-respected NFL coach that led the Los Angeles Chargers to a 12-4 record in 2018. But, if he is willing to take a less significant role on the Giants’ coaching staff, he could create significant improvements within the Giants’ offense.

New York Giants sign defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to contract extension

New York Giants, Patrick Graham

The New York Giants have signed standout defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to a contract extension, per multiple sources. Patrick Graham will not pursue any head coaching opportunities in 2021. The New York Jets requested to interview Graham for their vacant head coaching position yesterday.

Patrick Graham earned this contract extension after a phenomenal first season with the Giants. Graham was signed to be New York’s defensive coordinator last offseason after spending the 2019 season as the defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins.

The Giants defense allowed only 22.3 points per game this season (ninth-best in NFL). This is a huge improvement from the 28.2 points per game that New York allowed in 2019 (third-worst). Graham’s defense also allowed only 349 yards per game and forced a solid 22 turnovers on the year.

Under the toolage of Patrick Graham, the Giants saw multiple players celebrate career-years. Leonard Williams posted a career-high 11.5 sacks. Blake Martinez was phenomenal, totaling 151 combined tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception, and 2 forced fumbles. James Bradberry made his first career Pro Bowl and played at an All-Pro level in 2020. Additionally, the Giants’ main safety duo, Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers were crucial to the Giants’ success. Peppers also had a career-year while Ryan played above expectations in his first season as a safety.

The Giants also saw tremendous growth from their young defenders. Rookie Darnay Holmes was a solid starter at slot cornerback. New York had a revolving door at the second cornerback position but saw each player grow and develop until turning into capable starters at the position.

Details on the length and money of the contract have not yet been revealed. But this is a big move for the New York Giants. Signing Patrick Graham to an extension ensures the Giants continuity and the chance to build something special on the defensive side of the ball for years to come. Graham was one of the best assistant coaches in the NFL this season and has been rewarded as such.

New York Giants: Dave Gettleman to remain general manager, according to reports

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants are continuing with Dave Gettleman as the team’s general manager, according to Paul Schwartz of the NY Post. Schwartz notes that the decision came from ownership, as they believe the Giants are “heading in the right direction.” Paul Schwartz also says that ownership also believes “Gettleman is the right man to continue the building process alongside head coach Joe Judge.”

This will undoubtedly be a controversial decision amongst Giants fans. The New York Giants hired Dave Gettleman in 2018 and the team has not seen much success over the past three seasons. With Dave Gettleman as the general manager of the Giants, the team has gone 15-33 in three years. They have also seen two head coaches hired during the Gettleman era.

Prior to the 2020 offseason, Giants’ co-owner John Mara made it clear that Dave Gettleman was on thin ice. Mara mentioned that Gettleman’s “batting average” needed to go up. Certainly, it did, with great signings in the 2020 free agency period like Blake Martinez and James Bradberry having a huge impact on the Giants this season.

The Giants also saw improvements week-to-week by Gettleman and company’s 2020 draft class. And, most importantly, second-year quarterback Daniel Jones showed tremendous progression through this season. Jones was Gettleman’s most important selection as general manager of the Giants and his success largely determines the success of Dave Gettleman as a general manager.

Granted, while the Giants fought for a playoff spot until the final game of the 2020 season, they still finished the year below .500 with a 6-10 record. The team is improving and this is the best record they have posted during the Gettleman era. After this season of improvements, Dave Gettleman now officially bought himself at least another year as the general manager of the New York Giants.

John Mara and Dave Gettleman will meet with the media this week to discuss the state of the New York Giants and “the factors that went into retaining Gettleman.” Schwartz’s post indicates that this was largely a John Mara decision and that Mara feels “the arrow is pointing up” towards success in the Giants’ future with Dave Gettleman.