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Giants’ Joe Judge insists 1-6 team is ‘moving in the right direction’

Coach says he sees weekly improvement despite mounting losses

NFL: Washington Football Team at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are just 1-6 after seven games. That isn’t nearly enough victories. Giants coach Joe Judge on Tuesday, though, insisted that the team is on the right path.

“When I look at this team long term and I have a vision for this team and I know where this team’s going to go I believe we’re fully on track and I’m proud of all the players the way they work. The culture we’re building, the foundation we’re laying right now,” Judge said.

“I see improvement across the board from all the players on a daily basis. The way they come to work and the way they fight on a weekly basis is what we’re looking for.

Coaches are sometimes accused of only seeing the next game and not seeing the long term or the big picture. Judge, 38 and a first-year coach, says there is a long-term plan.

“To me there’s always a big-picture perspective you’ve gotta keep in mind. To me when I look down the road and I have my vision for what this team needs to be, how we need to work to be there, how we have to play for each other collectively and the foundation we have to lay there’s a lot of things that are getting accomplished,” Judge said.

“Now that being said, we’re still playing for wins. We’re not asking the fans to just go ahead and be happy with mediocre results. We want to go out there, we want to win for the fans, we want to win for this organization. Our players work hard every week to have tangible results. I see improvement, they see improvement, but we also understand as an organization there’s things we have to do better to give ourselves the opportunity to finish all the games we’ve been in.”

The Giants have had varying degrees of opportunity in four of their five losses, with only a 36-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers not being a competitive game.

“There’s a lot of progress I see on a daily basis and a weekly basis. I know we’re a better team today than we were 10 days ago. I know we’re a better team than we were in Week 1. I know we’re a better team than we were in training camp,” Judge said. “But, so are every other team. We have to keep making progress and developing long term, but when you look at the players we’re building with I see a lot of progress and I see us moving in the right direction.”

Here are more takeaways from Judge’s Tuesday media availability.

On rookie Xavier McKinney

The second-round pick has been on IR all season after fracturing his left foot during training camp.

“You know what, he’s doing a really good job in his rehab. I know the trainers are pleased with the progress he’s making. Obviously, everyone is on their own individual timetable, but I do know I see him in the weight room making progress. This guy’s in good spirits. He does a tremendous job for us in meetings, staying engaged, staying up on scouting reports of other teams. We give him some projects internally to make sure he improves his own football IQ in terms of how to look at the other teams, that he’s mentally preparing and mentally advancing while he can’t physically be on the field for us.

“But him, along with all the other guys that are on that IR basis, they’re doing a good job working, doing everything the trainers ask them to and they’re making daily improvement. We’ll see where he is in terms of the long-term, getting him back on the field. We’re all very optimistic and eager to get him back on the grass.”

On Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady

Judge, of course, was with Brady as an assistant coach with the New England Patriots for several seasons.

“This guy is clearly one of the best to ever play the game. He’s playing at a very high level. You watch Tom, obviously, I had a little bit different of a chance this weekend being home for a little bit, working from the house, of peaking at the TV and seeing Tom out there playing. That, along with the coaching tape I’ve watched, this guy hasn’t had much drop off. He’s playing at a very high level. He has the guys around him playing at a high level as well. One thing about Tom is he’s a very intelligent player. He thinks ahead of the play, he’s always looking for answers, he’s very proactive in how he sees the game, he understands the personnel on the other side extremely well. He’s been in all of the situations, however you slice it up, as many times as you can possibly imagine, whether that’s through practice or games. This guy is fluent in football.”