EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants will get as close to a preseason game as possible in this strange summer Friday night when they will hold an intrasquad scrimmage in MetLife Stadium.
The concept is simple: offense on one side, defense on the other and let the best unit win.
"We'll have the special teams, it will be full offensive units and full defensive units," coach Joe Judge said. "But otherwise, it'll be offense vs. defense. We explored the possibility of splitting the team into two teams. We felt it was really best for the offensive and defensive coaches and units to get used to the communication that they're going to have on the sideline together, to keep all the offense and defense together. We can still accomplish everything we want to, but we're just going to go one sideline offense, one sideline defense."
Judge didn't say how long the starters will play or how many snaps each of the team's four quarterbacks will get. But he did offer some insight into how the event will be structured and what he's looking for.
"There are certain scenarios I want to make sure that we build in," Judge said. "At some point, I may want to see a two-minute end of half, two-minute end of game, a four-minute situation. I may want to see some low red zone work if that doesn't come up. I have the freedom to kind of flex it and say spot the ball at a certain point.
"But I'm going to start with the mentality that we're going to go out there and play ball. We're going to simulate this game as much as we can, and we'll let it be natural. Start with a kickoff, kick return, wherever the ball lies, we're just going to play it from there. It'll be offense vs. defense. If they go three and out, we punt, we bring out the twos, they go ahead and play."
The Giants worked on their two-minute offense in Thursday's practice.
"I think the unit is making a lot of improvement," Judge said. "Two-minute, four-minute situations are things that teams have to really get a feel for each other. Look, for me and Jason (Garrett) as head coach and (offensive) coordinator, me and Pat (Graham, the defensive coordinator) in four-minute situations, the offense with the personality of the play-calling and then understanding each unique situation, this is why we're practicing on a daily basis, to make sure we iron out any kinks. But I think the progress has been very good. I'm pleased with the way it's going."
*Inside linebacker Blake Martinez joined the list of players who missed practice Thursday.
"He's just checking with the trainers on something," Judge said. "We'll have more updates later." Asked a follow-up moments later, Judge said, "At this moment right here, I'm not overly concerned. He's just kind of checking on something right now. We'll let you know more information as we go."
*Rookie tackle Matt Peart, the team's third-round draft choice this year, took some first-team reps.
"He's a guy who comes to work every day with a lunch pail and he's improved going along," Judge said. "As we said early in camp, we're going to move our line around. We're going to work guys at different spots and make sure we build in versatility and position depth. We had to move some guys around today for that purpose. He's a guy who's improved every day."
*Sterling Shepard caught a downfield pass from Daniel Jones and then proceeded to toss the ball about as long as the completion. Judge ordered the fifth-year receiver to retrieve the ball and join him in the center of the field.
"Look, every practice is a mini game," Judge said. "You have to learn from the experiences going forward. He made a tremendous play on the play and then he threw the ball. That's a 15-yard penalty. We're going to have the ball on the 10-yard line, the penalty is going to put us on the 25-yard line. That's not something that we're going to accept from any player on the team. It's a learning lesson that he's got to take and go forward. But it's important that everybody else learns from that same lesson that we don't have to repeat the mistake."
The longest-tenured Giants player had no issues with the impromptu lesson delivered by the head coach.
"You have to take coaching in every way, shape and form," Shepard said. "I need somebody to stay on me. You never have it figured out. That's something that we learned in our team meeting yesterday. You can be a 10-year vet and think you have everything figured out, but you really don't. It keeps you grounded. I appreciate having a coach like coach Judge.
"It would have been a 15-yard penalty in a game and that's what he told me. I thought about it and that is true. When you make a big play at practice, you tend to do stuff that you might not do in a real game. But that's stuff that we have to keep in mind. Sometimes, emotions get high in a game. Yeah, I need to think about those things before I do them."
View photos of the Giants' active roster as it currently stands.