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Joe Judge: NFC East race just getting started

Takeaways from Judge’s Wednesday videoconference

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge addressed an array of topics during his Wednesday videoconference. Here is some of what the coach discussed.

On the NFC East title race ...

“Not to give you coach speak, but we definitely embrace every opportunity. I talked to our players today about embracing the opportunity we had to go out there today. I think when you look at this division, this is really the starting point for the division. We’re coming out of Thanksgiving after this weekend, everyone is really on equal ground. The only thing that matters is what we do from this point forward ... In terms of the entire division, the most important thing truly is what I always say, is being a better team every week and being a better team at the end of the season because everyone right now is on equal ground going forward.

On being expected to beat the Bengals ...

“The message I always have for the players is look, if you start reading headlines and you want to believe the good, then you better be ready to believe the bad because a lot of the same people are writing two different stories about you weeks apart. You can’t go with the rollercoaster up and down. Whatever is said on the outside of the building may have some truth to it, but at the same time, we can’t let that dictate how we prepare or the flow that we have and the mindset that we have.”

On Graham Gano kicking into a net in his living room ...

Giants placekicker Graham Gano is, of course, quarantined because he is on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

“He better open the window, Cincinnati doesn’t have a dome,” Judge said. “I don’t know what he thinks he’s accomplishing there.”

On Zoom meetings with players ...

“This virtual world we’re meeting in, our guys have been tremendous with it. You click on there and we talk about having a professional setting. All of our guys have a good, quiet place they can concentrate at home. You can watch it in the grid format like we do right here and you can see everybody’s eyes. Everybody is locked in, everyone is tuned into each other. That’s all been very, very positive. You hear horror stories from other teams around the league, to be honest with you. About guys being distracted, guys playing with kids in the middle of meetings, things like that. Our guys have great about coming to work, being professional. Making sure that it’s a priority that when they are in that zoom meeting, they’re at work. I think we have seen a lot of benefits because of it.”

Judge also pretty much ratted on one of his kids, who is dealing with virtual learning in school.

“If we don’t see your eyes, then you ain’t there. I learned in the spring real fast. I have 10-year old who figured out he can put ‘…connecting’ on the bottom of his Zoom and the teacher just wouldn’t call on him. You have to learn all these little tricks and stay ahead of it. We have to see your eyes and know you’re locked into the meeting.

Is he consulting his kids on how to run Zoom meetings?

“No, I’m just observing criminal activity and staying ahead on enforcement.”

On prepping for the Bengals with uncertainty at quarterback ...

The Bengals are reportedly starting Brandon Allen. Judge said the Giants are prepping for both Allen and Ryan Finley.

“Zac’s [Bengals coach Zac Taylor] going to make it a challenge every week, regardless. This guy does a really good job of establishing a game plan. The thing I think he does really better than most in the league is the adjustments he makes throughout the game. He has his base offense. He goes into it with you can identify how he’s starting to attack you, but then throughout the game, he changes it up continuously. He does a really good job of getting down in the red area and getting the ball across the goal line. He’s really got a great offensive mind right there. I think the thing about these guys is these receivers are really elite, they have good runners, they have a solid offensive line. ...

“Right now we’re preparing for Allen, who was obviously announced today through the press. But we’re preparing for Allen as well as Finley because we have to expect to see at least a little bit of both throughout the game. Both are very capable quarterbacks, both present a lot of challenges. We have to really make sure we’re working hard this week for both guys.”