Wednesday is always a big day in the NFL.
Teams release their first injury reports of the week, players begin on-field preparations, and head coaches meet with the media to set the table for the upcoming matchup. Joe Judge did just that and took the podium early Wednesday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. In four days, his team will kick off the Week 1 matchup against the Denver Broncos and, by extension, the 2021 season.
Here is what you need to know:
🔹 Judge said when you look at the Broncos, it all starts with their head coach, Vic Fangio. The team assumes his identity. Fangio's defenses have ranked in the league's top five in yards allowed in eight of the last 14 years, while placing top five in fewest points allowed seven times over that span. Fangio enters his third season with the Denver Broncos in 2021. He was a defensive coordinator for 20 of the last 24 seasons at the NFL or college level before becoming the Broncos' head coach. He served as the Bears' defensive coordinator from 2015-18 after leading the defenses for the San Francisco 49ers (2011-14), Stanford University (2010), Houston Texans (2002-05), Indianapolis Colts (1999-2001) and Carolina Panthers (1995-98).
🔹 Judge has a ton of respect for former Giants head coach and current Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Judge said Shurmur does a good job of looking at your history to expose your flaws.
🔹 Denver is not a team that "dips their toe in the water." A fast start is key against the Broncos. Regardless of the opponent, the Giants made that a point of emphasis this offseason.
🔹 Judge wants to see how RB Saquon Barkley responds to contact this week before determining his status for Sunday. Judge said the team always looks through the lens of player safety, and Barkley is no different. Judge said the running back is "progressing nicely," but they want to do what's best for his long-term health.
🔹 The team has seen WR Kadarius Toney's health improve. The rookie first-round pick has been able to execute all that the team has asked him to do.
🔹 The biggest difference in QB Daniel Jones this season is his "time in the system." It is clear to the head coach that the third-year quarterback has "progressed in his craft."
🔹 Judge said you win the game on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as much as on Sunday. Judge likes the way his players put in the work during the buildup to gameday.
🔹 TE Evan Engram will do separate work with the trainers at practice today. The team will see where he is tomorrow.
🔹 Broncos OLB Von Miller is a "rare player" who "can ruin your day in a heartbeat." Judge said when he talks to scouts, he doesn't even bother saying find him the Von Millers of the world because they very rarely exist.
View rare photos of the history between the New York Giants and Denver Broncos.