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Sterling Shepard backs Joe Judge
Veteran wide receiver Sterling Shepard has a message for those on the outside who blanch at the stern, somewhat old-school, style of Giants head coach. He said Giants players are “not at all” bothered by the tough love that comes from Judge.
“That’s kind of the standard that we’ve set here in this building and as a team, and I think guys have bought in and know what to expect whenever you step on the field and when you’re playing under a guy like Coach Judge,” Shepard said. “If you don’t like it, then you’re welcome to leave. But that’s the way that we do things around here and everybody is standing by that, and I’m all for it. I mean, it’s a little different for us because we’re receivers, we’ve got to be able to run all day, but I don’t mind it.”
Nate Solder feels “recovered”
Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder has nine years of NFL mileage on his body. That’s 130 regular-season games and 16 post-season games, four of which were Super Bowls. After a year away following a COVID-19 opt out, Solder is back. He said Wednesday that he may not have found the Fountain of Youth at age 33, but the year away from taking an NFL pounding has helped him.
“I don’t feel younger, but I do feel great. My body feels recovered, healthy,’ Solder said. “I think there is a cumulative toll that playing every season takes on you, so actually having that time to let some of those bumps and bruises kind of heal up has been a good thing.
Solder, who was with Judge in New England, also backed the Giants’ coach.
“The great thing about Joe, and I have tremendous respect for him and what he’s all about, he’s the same guy that I’ve always known,” Solder said. “I don’t think that he’s trying to put on airs. I don’t think he’s trying to be anything that he’s not. He’s exactly who he says he is and that’s just his integrity and I think that’s shown through in the last week that I’ve been here.”
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EDGE, AZEEZ OJULARI, NEW YORK GIANTS
The New York Giants lacked pass-rushing prowess on the edge last year. No edge rusher on the team had more than 20 total pressures over the entire season, and even though Lorenzo Carter returns from injury for 2021, Carter’s career-high is just 35. Ojulari had 37 total pressures on just 193 pass rushes in his final season at Georgia, earning a PFF pass-rushing grade of 91.7 and being labeled as “one of the most advanced edge rushers in the class” in the PFF Draft Guide.
Ojulari has a lack of size and power to his game to overcome, and that’s always a worry at the NFL level, but he has a natural ability to rush the passer on the edge with speed, technique and agility — the Giants are in desperate need of that. It behooves the team to give him every possible opportunity to show what he can do, rather than limit his chances because of fears of what he can’t. The preseason is potentially big for Ojulari to tilt that balance in his direction.
In case you missed it
- Giants training camp, 8/4: “Old-school” Joe Judge talks about Tuesday brawl
- Bigger, leaner Matt Peart prepping for increased role on Giants’ offensive line
- Giants’ roster news: Newly-signed C Joe Looney retires
- Kenny Golladay injury update: Wide receiver said to have “slight hamstring pull”
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