The New York Giants practiced in shells on Wednesday. They will practice again on Thursday before getting the weekend off, then returning to get ready to open the 2021 NFL season against the Denver Broncos.
Here are a few brief takeaways from head coach Joe Judge’s meeting with media on Wednesday.
Roster movement is “natural”
The Giants made three roster moves on Wednesday (Quincy Roche, Justin Hilliard, Collin Johnson in/C.J. Board, Dante Pettis, Trent Harris out). There will be more to come. Head coach Joe Judge is unfazed by the uncertainty over who will be on the roster Sept. 12 when the Giants open the season against the Denver Broncos.
“September is really an extension of preseason in a lot of ways. Obviously, it counts toward your record in the regular season, but throughout September, you’re really figuring out your team. There’s a lot of roster movement. There’s guys that we’re going to have on our roster on day one that we didn’t go through training camp with,’ Judge said. “That’s just a natural part of the National Football League. It’ll be a part of the process of us really identifying what we’re doing well, things we have to overcome and keep improving as we go through it. To me, you’re never a final product to begin with, especially not early in the year.”
Getting Billy Price, Ben Bredeson ready
The Giants have traded for two offensive linemen this week. Bredeson practice Tuesday. Price has yet to report, though Judge said he is expected later in the week. Can both be ready by opening day?
“We’ll wait and see. It’s our job to get them ready. That’s what I’ll always rely back on. The offensive line coaches, the offensive coordinator, myself as the head coach, special teams coaches involved with them as well – we’ve got to do our jobs of giving them the information and make sure we can relate to what they already know, so they can build on a faster transition into this offense and get them caught up as fast as we can,” Judge said. “I mean, look it’s different than in previous years as well, where you may claim somebody and you’re playing five days later. So, if we have a couple of extra days to work with, that’s a bonus.”
On learning to stop losing
Some veteran Giants players have recently said that before a team can win players need to learn how to stop losing. Here are Judge’s thoughts:
“I think that’s always a part of the game. Look, there’s a lot of parity in this league. There’s a lot of talent. The league is structured that the worst teams have the earliest draft picks, you get compensatory picks for players you lose in free agency. The league is built for parity. There’s good coaches on every team, there’s good players on every team. It’s too close a competition. Over a third of the games – I believe the stat is right now – are decided by three points or less, so mistakes kill your chances of winning. We talk all the time about being smart, tough and fundamentally sound. That ties into being smart in knowing the assignment and the execution. Tough, physically and mentally tough, to be able to go out there and handle adversity. And then fundamentally sound, for us at every position to have good execution on every play. Every good play starts with good fundamentals, so we’re always stressing those three principles to make sure that we’re not having turnovers, penalties, mental errors. That’s obviously a key component for us. It’s tough enough to win a game in the National Football League. If you put yourself behind the eight ball with self-inflicted wounds, it becomes even tougher.”