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Joe Judge on 4th downs, practice philosophy, playing in New Orleans, more

Takeaways from Judge’s Wednesday media availability

Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

New York Giants coach Joe Judge touched on a variety of topics in his media availabiity on Wednesday. Here are some of the takeaways.

Hostile environment

With the New Orleans Saints playing at the Superdome for the first time this season after Hurricane Ida forced them to move their first “home” game to Jacksonville, Judge knows what the Giants are walking into on Sunday.

“We expect one of the greatest atmospheres we’ve ever been in. For those of us who are kind of historians of the game, you look back on that Katrina game, the first game back in the dome. I would expect this to be very, very similar,” he said. “That town takes a lot of pride in New Orleans, a lot of pride in their team and the team takes a lot of pride in representing their city, so this is going to be a tough game for us.”

Too much running?

Judge took issue with the idea that the Giants run overly hard practices, and that those practices are contributing to soft tissue injuries.

“This is not an experimental program,” Judge said. “This is a time-tested program that’s worked that I’ve been a part of on multiple levels, whether it was at the collegiate level or the professional level. I’ve been a part of this with great success. Not only has it been a program that’s had success, it’s been a program that’s kept players healthy.”

Judge also said the Giants “work very hand-in-hand with our medical department, our sports science department to make sure we keep monitors on individual players and what their individual loads are.”

“Close isn’t good enough”

The Giants are now 6-13 in Judge’s time as head coach. They started last season 0-5. They have started this one with three straight losses.

“Close isn’t good enough. We’re not playing horseshoes and hand grenades. We have to have results. We understand that,” Judge said. “It’s a production business and we’re going every week for success and success in this league is winning, right?

“We have to understand when we put ourselves in position for these games, what’s ultimately the difference at the end of the game and it doesn’t come down to that last play. It’s a series of, you could say sometimes it’s four or five, seven, 10, whatever it is, plays throughout the game. You have to look at it and say, ‘These were really the plays that stopped us early that prevented us late from having success.’ So, to me, it’s fundamentals from the opening whistle to the end of the game.”

Fourth down decisions

This topic, which we have been hammering here at Big Blue View, came up again on Wednesday.

“I’m not afraid to go for it on fourth down, I’m not afraid to go for two, I’m not afraid to run fakes, onside kicks. Trust me, I don’t live in a world of fear, I don’t, but I’ve got to make sure that every decision I make is calculated to put the team in a position for success,” Judge said.

What about the analytics that say Judge has recently made a series of incorrect fourth-down decisions?

“Analytics is just a tool ... You can look at a stat sheet all you want, I promise you if Excel was going to win football games, Bill Gates would be killing it right now.”