clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

‘Valentine’s Views:’ Punishment laps, and why I might deserve one

Some random thoughts for a Sunday as the Giants get back to practice

New York Giants Training Camp Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

I’m kinda mad at myself.

If you’ve been reading Big Blue View for any amount of time, or listening to the ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast, you know that I’m a pretty level-headed, even-keeled guy. I don’t get all worked up and go off on what you might call a ‘rant’ very often.

Well, this week I pretty much did. And this is why I’m upset with myself. I didn’t rant here in a ‘Valentine’s Views’ column. I didn’t even hang onto my rant for an episode of my twice-weekly podcast.

I went and used up my venom regarding the criticism of New York Giants coach Joe Judge’s use of laps and physical practices on the ‘Locked on Giants’ podcast with Patricia Traina. Quite often, Pat and I swap appearances on each other’s shows. We did that Thursday, taping her show first (ladies before gentleman and all that chivalrous stuff) and then mine.

When we started talking about the heat Judge has gotten from Shannon Sharpe, Emmanuel Acho and others I couldn’t hold it in. Because I want to share it with you, here is some of what I said:

“Marc Ross, Emmanuel Acho, Sterling Sharpe (Yes, I know it’s Shannon Sharpe!), all of you guys, just be quiet! Go away! Come to practice. See what’s going on, talk to Joe Judge, talk to Giants players, go back to your corners for God sakes! God forbid an NFL athlete gets asked to run because he screwed up!”

Go to about 11:40 to hear the whole rant.

I did have more to say about this on my Thursday show. Go to about the 1:45 mark to hear how I phrased my “question” to Patty about the laps.

So, yes, yours truly can get worked up once in a while. Next time, I’ll just try to do it on my own platform.

It’s about where they are going

Fans always want instant gratification. They want their team to be good RIGHT NOW. They want every rookie to be great immediately. They want every problem to be fixed yesterday. Something Judge said during the week reminded me that it’s a process, that he was hired to fix a team that has gone 12-36 over the past three seasons, that making the Humpty Dumpty Giants whole again is not going to happen overnight.

When asked about what the Giants were as a team, he said it was “entirely too soon” to know the answer.

“This is an evolving process. It’s a long season. You’re going to see a lot of teams come out there in Week 1 and no matter how they look, good or bad, Week 1, they’re going to be a completely different team Week 16,” Judge said. “To me, it’s not what you are right now. It’s where you’re building towards. Where is this progress going?”

That not only applies to the difference this season from Week 1 to Week 16, but from Year 1 to Year 2 and so on.

The Giants are, once again, at a beginning. Let’s not expect perfection out of the gate. Let’s just look for signs that things will get better.

Judge does like to talk

The Giants’ rookie coach learned from Nick Saban at Alabama and Bill Belichick in New England, and you see that influence all around the Giants. You see it in how practices are run, and what players and assistant coaches are willing to share — and not share — with media. You see it in Judge really giving no information about sidelined players.

In general, though, you don’t see it in Judge’s videoconferences. He’s far more expansive and informative in those sessions with media — aside from injury stuff — than I ever thought he would be. Instead of clipped, stock answers he often gives more detail and insight than I would have expected.

One example was the other day when he was talking about the question I mentioned above. He somehow launched into a lengthy and informative discussion of why he wanted Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator.

Same type of thing on Friday when I asked Judge what he thought of Daniel Jones’ command of the offense during Friday’s intra-squad scrimmage.

Rather than a simple answer, Judge detailed where he stood during the scrimmage (behind the offense), and why (because he “could really feel our guys out there on the field”) from that vantage point and learn things the film wouldn’t tell him.

To me, those are awesome details that tell us both about how the coach thinks and what he’s seeing during practice.

What’s in a name, anyway?

Alex. Alan. Alex. Alan. Alex. Alan. Alex-Alan.

I can’t get the Bachman kid’s name right. Geesh! It’s only four little letters and I mess up Alex Bachman’s name pretty much every time I don’t pull up the Giants’ roster and check it. Sorry, Alex!

I think I am going to have to learn it, though. A practice squad player out of Wake Forest a year ago, the 6-foot, 190-pound 24-year-old keeps making plays during training camp.

Ask Judge about most any player and he will give you a run down on how attentive a guy is in meetings and how hard he practices on the field. One of the things I’m learning about Judge is that if a player has really impressed him, the coach will give you a little bit more than that. He did that Friday when asked about Bachman.

“He’s productive in drills, he’s productive in team periods. It’s no surprise to see him making plays,” Judge said.

I’m going to have to commit the kid’s first name to memory. It’s Alex.

Quick thoughts

  • Good news for the NFL so far on the COVID-19 front. Their protocols are working. At least for now. The real test is going to be when teams have to travel and compete against each other.
  • I have, of course, been wearing a mask whenever necessary throughout the pandemic. I learned something about mask-wearing after a couple of trips to Giants practices this week. Wear one for 5-6 hours at a time, like I had to in visits to East Rutherford this week, and you still feel it on your face long after you remove it. It’s an odd feeling.
  • I’m guessing that next Friday’s scrimmage at MetLife Stadium is going to be a lot like a Week 3 preseason game, where front-line players get their most extended “live” action before the Sept. 14 season opener.