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Joe Judge: “This isn’t some kind of trip down memory lane”

Giants coach says trip to New England for joint practices is about business

NFL: Cleveland Browns Training Camp Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Judge is taking his New York Giants to Foxboro, Mass. this week for joint practices with the New England Patriots. Even though he coached there under Bill Belichick from 2012-2019, Judge made it clear Monday afternoon that this isn’t some kind of sentimental trip for him.

“I’m sure it’ll be a little bit different coaching against a lot of those players for the first time, but to be honest with you I’m a New York Giant. My focus is on getting our team developed and ready for the season. This is a great opportunity to work against a good opponent,” Judge said.

“This isn’t some kind of trip down memory lane. I wouldn’t take the team up there for any kind of personal reasons. We know we’re going to get quality work against them. This should be a week that helps our team progress like last week [joint practices vs. the Cleveland Browns] did and make us a better team.”

Judge is one of many assistants from the Bill Belichick coaching tree who have gotten NFL head-coaching opportunities. Many have failed. Often, they are accused of trying to build their programs in the New England image. With his colorful language and occasional old-school practice tactics, some have put Judge in that ‘Belichick-Lite’ category.

“I don’t try to get too much into places I’ve been before. I draw things from every experience I’ve had … to me the history that’s really important is the history of the New York Giants,” Judge said.

“I’m very careful a lot of times to make sure everyone in this organization knows that I’m not trying to make this team anything but the New York Giants. I’m not trying to re-create anywhere I’ve ever been. I’m not trying to go ahead and emulate or imitate any other program. This is the New York Giants. We’re going to do it with our players, we’re going to do it in our personality, we’re going to do it the way we think is best for us every day and we’re going to work on focusing on making our team the best that we can possibly be.”

Here are more takeaways from Judge’s Monday media availability.

An annual event?

Judge did say it is possible that Giants-Patriots joint practices could become an annual event.

“We have discussed as organizations continuing these as an annual event,” Judge said. “This is a team that we play in preseason, anyway.”

On Daniel Jones not playing in two preseason games

Judge said that “Injury risk had nothing to do with him not playing at this point.”

The initial plan, per Judge, was for Jones and other starters to play roughly a quarter Sunday vs. the Cleveland Browns. After two joint practices, though, the feeling was that enough had been accomplished that the game would not be helpful.

“I made it very clear to the players that didn’t play not playing is not a reward and playing is not a punishment. We play our players to get ready for the season,” Judge said.

“My expectations at this point would be for Daniel to play at least the first half [vs. the Patriots] and we’ll decide what we’re going to do in terms of coming out at halftime later in the week.

“This to me has nothing to do with comparisons to other players in the league. This is our team and how we prepare them best.”

The Barkley Plan

Judge said that Saquon Barkley will do more this week than he has previously, but added he doesn’t currently know what that will entail.

“The priority will be to continue ramping him up and doing more and more,” Judge said.

“We’ll see where he is. He keeps advancing in his rehab. His foot’s tapping every day wanting to do more and more and physically he keeps progressing and showing us that he can do more and more.

“I would expect it to be more than what we saw last week.”

Other injured players

Offensive tackle Nate Solder (shoulder), wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring) and wide receiver Kadarius Toney (unknown) will all make the trip. Judge made it sound as if Solder was the only one who had a chance to get some snaps in Sunday’s preseason finale. He was also non-committal about the availability of Toney and Golladay for Week 1 vs. the Denver Broncos.