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Giants Now (1/13): Saquon tweaks offseason routine; Coughlin pens letter to Giants

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The regular season may be over, but there is still a ton going on around the New York Giants. Here are some of the big stories surrounding the Giants from Monday, January 13:

Coughlin thanks Giants for continued support of Jay Fund

Former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin created the Jay Fund Foundation in 1996 in the Jacksonville area. When Coughlin was hired as by the Giants in 2004, a New York City branch of the foundation was opened. The Jay Fund Foundation flourished during the 12 years Coughlin manned the Giants' sideline. After they parted ways following the 2015 season, the organization continued to support the Jay Fund Foundation, as players and coaches would regularly make appearances at various fundraisers and events. With the Jay Fund Foundation approaching its 25th anniversary, Coughlin wrote an emotional thank you to the Giants for the organization's continued support.

"They say gratitude is a great multiplier. In my seventy plus years, I can confirm this is one of life's great truths. During my twelve years as head coach of the New York Giants, and in the past few years since my departure, I've had time to reflect on the great friendships I made and the incredible support I and my foundation, the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, have and continue to receive from the owners, players, the front office staff, and the passionate fans," Coughlin wrote in a letter shared with Giants Wire through the Jay Fund Foundation.

"As the foundation prepares to mark 25 years of helping local families tackle childhood cancer, I want to pause and say thank you to the Mara and Tisch families, Pat Hanlon, Allison Stangeby, and the many individuals, players, and coaches, and everyone in between who have shared their time, energy, and financial support with our families. I don't think you can truly imagine the depths of these families' gratitude or mine."

Barkley changing his offseason approach

Despite missing three games due to a high ankle sprain, Giants running back Saquon Barkley became the first player in franchise history to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. Barkley ran the ball 217 times for 1,003 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and six touchdowns in 2019, but the 22-year-old really came alive in the final few weeks of the season. Over the team's last three games, Barkley ran 63 times for 393 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and four touchdowns, while adding 11 receptions for 146 yards and an additional touchdown. Although he still had plenty of success this past season, Barkley intends on switching his approach to offseason training in 2020.

"Work. Even if you go take a trip, work. Not just relax," Barkley told ESPN’s Jordan Raanan of his plans for the rest of the winter. "Sometimes it's good to relax your mind, but no, it's not an all-or-nothing approach. ... I'm not going to be squatting 700 pounds. Or running 40s out there. But be smart with your training. Just get to it a lot earlier than what I did last year."

Raanan wrote: "Barkley will be now that he is entering his third year as a professional. He now knows what works for him and his body. He understands what is best for him and his family… Barkley will be spending much of this offseason in New Jersey after buying a house last year. This is now his full-time home. That will allow him to be close to the team facility and his quarterback. Daniel Jones has also said he plans to spend much of his offseason in New Jersey. This will allow the Giants' two most important offensive players time to work together, this winter and spring."

Judge, Stefanski battled for starting QB job in high school

Joe Judge was named the 19th head coach in Giants history last week. Over 20 years earlier, Judge was battling it out for a starting quarterback position with someone else who would eventually wind up patrolling NFL sidelines. Judge was supposed to attend St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia for high school, but ended up switching schools after losing the quarterback battle to NFL head coaching candidate Kevin Stefanski back in 1996.

"Judge… was set to go to powerhouse St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia, like his dad and brother had done before him..." wrote Greg Joyce of the New York Post. "But in 1996, a freshman quarterback battle ensued between Judge and another kid destined for the NFL sidelines — Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski — according to ESPN. Stefanski won out and Judge changed course, leaving for smaller Lansdale Catholic instead."

"Judge truly arrived as a junior. The two starting quarterbacks over the previous four years had been the son and grandson of longtime coach Jim Algeo. His son, John Algeo, went on to play at Cornell, and his grandson, Mike deMarteleire, was another prolific passer and won back-to-back league titles."

View photos of new head coach Joe Judge as he arrives with his family and tours the Giants facility

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