The New York Giants are completing their first week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on Thursday. While some teams have lightened practice loads and even cancelled the mandatory mini-camp in consultation with players, coach Joe Judge said that did not happen with the Giants.
“I think our players understand that any time we put them on the field we’re always going to do so first off with their safety in mind,” Judge said via Zoom.
“I’m very clear, very transparent with our team in terms of how we’re going to practice, what we’re going to do.”
With that in mind, Judge was clear with media before heading to the practice field that the OTAs are not viewed or run in a competitive manner.
“As a coaching staff obviously we’re chomping at the bit to get towards training camp mode where we can ramp things up. But this is s time of year to allow our players to develop individually within their techniques, their fundamentals, really work on our strength and our conditioning as a team and really improve our understanding of our schemes and concepts,” Judge said.
“The first priority I had was to see where our players are at physically. Until I know these guys can go out there and operate at 100 percent and stay healthy and protect themselves on the field with soft tissues and we want to avoid collisions at all points at this part of the camp — this is not a collision camp. Until we know that we’re not going to just go ahead and keep this as a competitive drill.”
Offseason programs were wiped out by COVID-19 a season ago, and Judge said the voluntary work is a “crucial” part of preparing for the season.
“Every opportunity you get to work with any of these players, I don’t care if it’s a rookie or a 10-year vet, is crucial,” Judge said. “The goal is really the same for everyone at this point of the year — it’s really help develop their individual skills, their fundamentals, and their schematic and conceptual understanding of what we’re doing.”