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Joe Judge: 80-man roster “was best for the team’s development”

Giants’ coach explains decision to trim roster early

When the NFL and NFLPA agreed to a plan that would allow teams to choose whether to carry 90-man training camp rosters before trimming to 80 on-field padded practices begin on Aug. 17 or trim to 80 players now, the New York Giants originally chose to stay with 90 players.

That changed quickly, with the Giants choosing over the weekend to trim their training camp roster to 81 players, including Austrian running back Sandro Platzgummer, who carries an International Pathway Program exemption.

So, what changed after just a couple of days of working with players?

“Long story short it was what was best for us to be able to evaluate everybody as a whole and really build a progression,” head coach Joe Judge said Wednesday during a videoconference. “Look, ultimately I wish we could have gone with 90 the entire way through in a traditional camp. That’s not the rules in place right now.”

Teams staying with 90 players cannot have all of their players together until trimming to 80 later this month. Only half the players on teams using 90-man rosters can be in a team’s building at one time. That would eliminate the potential for full-squad walk-throughs during the “ramp-up” phase of training camp.

“It [a 90-man roster] presents some logistical issues for you, both facilities-wise and how you can map out coordinating different players working with each other,” Judge said. “We wanted to make sure that we gave everyone a chance to get out there on the field and really take a look at them and work. After a duration of time we felt it was best for the team’s development to move to 80.”