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Big Blue View mailbag: Lawrence Taylor, Joe Judge, more

The mail’s here

The Postal Service might be a mess, and I know at least in my neighborhood we never have a clue these days when the mail will show up. Around here, though, the Big Blue View Mailbag always gets opened on Saturday. So, let’s do it.

Marcus Mewborn asks: I unfortunately wasn’t born when Lawrence Taylor played and although I see highlights I never got to watch his greatness week to week. O’dell had “the catch” which shot him into super stardom and made you realize how good he actually was. What game and/or moment was it for LT that solidified he was a special player?

Ed says: Oh, man. There probably wasn’t a single play. I love the 97-yard interception return for a TD from this game, but this one is pretty cool:

Ah, shoot. Just watch all the highlights from that game. LT didn’t even play in the first half.

Honestly, there is just no player I have ever watched who struck fear into opposing teams the way Taylor did. Here:

Dave Kamens asks: Now that the Giants have made some moves during training camp, I was wondering how some of these moves affect the cap space. Signing a kicker and then releasing him shortly afterwards, the same for a wide receiver and letting go an undrafted free agent. Do these guys get paid anything? They have contracts, is there guaranteed money in it or do they just get paid for the time they spent in camp before they are released? Just kind of interested in the all the changes and how it affects the guys and the salary cap.

Ed says: Dave, every contract is different. In the case of placekicker Chandler Catanzaro, there was no guaranteed money. So, no dead money on the salary cap.

Joel Story asks: My question is about the NY Giants players’ mindset regarding Coach Judge’s “accountability culture”. I love the change Coach Judge is bringing to the Giants—focus, attention to detail and accountability—and I think this change will pay huge dividends at some point in the future. As opposed to the Giants’ “celebration culture” of 2019, i.e. several instances of showboating and at least one choreographed end zone celebration while the team was losing game after game, I view Coach Judge’s approach as a much-needed about-face.

While a few former NFL players have been skewering Coach Judge for making players run laps after mistakes in practice, many Giants fans, including me, are fully aligned with our new head coach’s tactics—but we’re not NFL players. Having attended training camp yourself this week, have you been able to gauge the players’ mindset about Coach Judge’s accountability culture? Do you think they’re fully on board with the new head coach, as some of the team’s stars have publicly proclaimed they are? Or do you sense simmering resentment and possibly even mutiny, as Coach Judge’s critics are predicting?

Ed says: Joel, check my answers on the Locked on Giants podcast and on my own show. Former NFL players can, and will, say whatever they want. They’re wrong, in my view. The Giants have been the league’s worst team, 12-36, the past three seasons. Judge wasn’t brought in to be a nice guy. He was brought in to win.

I don’t think there is any “simmering resentment.” Judge isn’t playing favorites. He is treating Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones just like everyone else, and that’s important. This team, Barkley and Jones included, has really accomplished nothing in the NFL. There are few established players and no one on the roster who has won a playoff game as a Giant. They have no ground to complain.