EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Giants coach Joe Judge often avoids specifics when asked to evaluate players, but today he offered insight not to his conclusions, but the process by which he reaches them.
Judge, who oversaw his first intrasquad scrimmage on Friday, was asked if he assesses both an individual player's progress and how he works within his unit.
"Absolutely," Judge said. "In fact, when I go back and I watch the tape from the scrimmage, you watch it three different times. First, you watch it schematically. Then you watch it fundamentally. Then you watch from a personnel standpoint. As you watch it every time over and over differently, you try to pick up as much as you can and continuously write down notes. There were several players coming out that we had to address some fundamental corrections today. We made sure we took time individually to walk through the techniques. Tomorrow, we'll be out there full-speed tempo so that we can go ahead and take those same techniques and execute them again. These guys are less than two weeks in to playing football in 2020, so we can't take for granted that they need the fundamental work on a daily basis."
Judge continually stresses that his coaches must be good teachers.
"That's how we approach everything," Judge said. "To us, they have to hit every player individually and however they learn best. We spent the spring virtually on computers looking at each other. Some guys absorbed more than others. You get them in person now, some guys can sit in a meeting and absorb it. Some guys have to watch tape of examples of it being done the right way. A lot of guys need to be on their feet and experience it to really understand the concept. Now that we're in person, we're looking to hit every way of teaching with every player possible."
So…what were some of Judge's takeaways from the scrimmage?
"I like the way everyone came out and competed," he said. "That definitely showed up on the tape. Guys were flying around, guys were playing fast. I thought we had good communication on both sides of the ball. We had a lot of substitutions situations at both sides handled accordingly. You saw a lot of young guys step up and play faster on Friday than we had earlier in the week. You can tell they're getting more confident and comfortable within the scheme. That was definitely something that showed up right away."
*Linebacker Ryan Connelly, running back Eli Penny and defensive back Prince Smith did not practice today.
"I'm not going to go into any specific injuries really at any time," Judge said. "But I'll say this, we had several players that we kind of managed a little bit different today. We came off a long, hard week, a hard scrimmage the other day. We gave them a day off yesterday. Today was really a day to mentally take a step forward, physically get our bodies right, then we're going to hit the field again tomorrow. We'll see where everyone's at tonight after a couple days off. We'll approach practice tomorrow accordingly for everyone individually."
*Brett Bielema enjoys coaching Markus Golden much more than he did facing him as an opponent.
The two met once on the collegiate level. On Nov. 24, 2014, Bielema was the head coach at the University of Arkansas when Golden's fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter clinched the Missouri Tigers' 21-14 victory against the Razorbacks.
Bielema is now in his first season as the Giants' outside linebackers coach/senior assistant. That group's top returning player is Golden, who re-signed with the Giants on Aug. 10. Now the former Southeastern Conference adversaries work together every day.
"It's been awesome for me," Bielema said. "I've been a fan of Markus for a long time. Unfortunately, I had to play against him in college, and then saw his career grow and got to know a little bit about him over the last few months. He's been awesome in the room. His voice, he's got that personality. He's been a really nice addition to our room."
Because he was a free agent, Golden did not participate in the team's virtual offseason lessons.
"I think because nobody was allowed on the field (in the spring), it really wasn't that far of a catchup factor," Bielema said. "MG, really, the thing I appreciate about him, he just wants more and more and more and more. So, I kept feeding it to him. I've been able to have some individual meetings as well, so he's been a real pleasure to be around."
*When they speak to reporters, Giants assistant coaches are often asked about head coach Joe Judge. Tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens can recite a different scouting report on Judge because he knew him as a player. In 2004, Judge was a senior special teams standout and Kitchens was the tight ends coach at Mississippi State. The following year, Judge began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Bulldogs and Kitchens was the running backs coach.
"I'll tell you this about Joe, he was a hard-nosed, physical kind of player that had everybody's respect on the football field," Kitchens said. "Offensively, defensively, everything. Joe was a good guy to be around."
*Quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski was asked if anything about Daniel Jones has surprised him.
"I don't know if I'm really surprised by a lot," Schuplinski said. "I have noticed his arm looks strong to me. I did some work with him when he was coming out in the draft when I was at a different place and it looked good. It looks even stronger now. I don't know if that's a testament to his work in the offseason and what he's been doing. That's one thing that jumped out to me, I guess."
Must-see photos of the Giants in action with training camp now in full swing in East Rutherford, N.J.