The New York Giants have won two straight games. They are 3-2 after an 0-5 start. They are playing improved football and have put themselves in position to contend in the less-than-stellar NFC East.
Don’t, though, suggest to coach Joe Judge that the Giants have momentum as they enter their bye week.
“I don’t really believe that exists, to be honest with you,” Judge said during his Wednesday media availability. “Nothing that we did against Philadelphia or Washington is going to help us against Cincinnati ...
“The only momentum I think we’ll be able to transfer and create is how we practice and how we play.”
Here are more takeaways from Judge’s Wednesday media availability.
On being ‘Dad’ for a couple of days
The Giants are on a bye week, but players and coaches are working — remotely now because of the positive COVID-19 test for Graham Gano. Players will get Thursday through Monday off. Will Judge take some time off?
The coach said he will “structure some good family time this weekend” with his wife and four children.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say when this weekend rolls around there’s a point where I’ve gotta dive in and be dad again. I’ve gotta dive in with the kids and give ‘em all my undivided attention. I’ll probably be way more worn out from that than I an from a week of game prep. But, it’s something we’re looking forward to.”
On Nick Gates’ development at center
Judge was asked not only about Gates’ development. but if he had reservations on moving him there in a year where there were no offseason practices or preseason games.
“Initially we saw that as having a full offseason, full training camp, but like with everything that wasn’t going to waver when the pandemic hit, it wasn’t going to change our course of action in terms of how we’re going to get this team ready,” Judge said.
“We just decided, hey, we’re going to adapt or die. We’re going to get ready and there’s going to be some growing pains with a lot of guys. We’ve got to move forward.”
Judge likes the progress Gates has made.
“I think he’s developed really. I see a lot of improvement on a weekly basis from Nick. Look, going from playing guard and tackle to center is a completely different animal. The multiples on your plate, the command you have to have, the calls, even just the different mechanics of having to snap before you block. These are things you have to learn how to do,” he said.
“I see a lot of promise going forward with him.”
On the return of Will Hernandez
In his first game back after missing two weeks with a COVID-19 diagnoses, Will Hernandez did not play until Kevin Zeitler suffered a concussion late in the game. How did he do?
“What I saw when he went in the game was I guy who was ready,” Judge said. “He was mentally, physically and emotionally ready to go. Obviously, two weeks off from a game, it’s a lot to ask anyone to jump right back in the swing of things and go through an entire game. When we needed him, he came through. He played well, he played tough.”
On replacement placekicker Ryan Santoso
With Graham Gano on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, punter/placekicker Ryan Santoso has been signed to the 53-man roster. Santoso has kicked off in three NFL games, but never attempted a field goal or extra point.
“Ryan’s a guy who has a huge leg, he’s shown a tremendous amount of improvement since he’s been here. It’s a unique skillset that he does all three, field goals, kickoffs and punts. He’s shown a lot of improvement in all three phases through being,” Judge said. “I think Tom (Quinn) and T-Mac (Thomas McGaughey) do a tremendous job of working with this guy. This guy is a mentally tough guy, too.
“He’s one of my favorite guys on the practice field. He kicks for us in kicking periods, obviously. He does a lot of his field goal operational work on Friday with the team. Me and him normally have some kind of side bets going on as he is kicking, kind of put a little pressure on it. I think he’s a little bit better in terms of roping that thing through the uprights when I’m talking a little smack behind him. We have a lot of confidence in Ryan. He’s definitely a developing player. I think he has a big upside in this league for a long time, I really do ... If he’s got to go, we have a lot of confidence he will be able to go out there and do the job effectively.”