Reuniting with head coach Joe Judge was one of the reasons running back Dion Lewis chose to sign with the New York Giants.
Dion Lewis officially became a New York Giant after signing a one-year, $1.55 million deal this week. The 29-year-old running back will thus reunite with head coach Joe Judge. The two spent time in New England together from 2015-17 and helped the Patriots win Super Bowl 51.
Reuniting with Judge was one of the reasons Lewis inked a deal with Big Blue. During his conference call on Friday, he spoke about teaming up with the newly hired head coach and growing up a Giants fan.
“I think it was a perfect and unique opportunity,” he said, via the Giants official website. “There was a lot of factors. Joe Judge being there and me having a relationship with him with my three years in New England. I grew up a Giants fan, so it was always a dream of mine to play for them. When I got the opportunity with the circumstances, I couldn’t pass it up. I’m looking forward to working with Coach Joe Judge, playing for my hometown team and getting to work with Saquon as well. There were a lot of positive factors.”
The 5-foot-8, 195-pound Lewis expects to see most of his reps on third-down plays. For his career, he’s recorded 172 receptions for 1,281 yards and seven touchdowns.
He’s also effective at running the ball, having gained 2,310 yards on the ground while averaging 4.3 yards per carry with 11 scores.
— New York Giants (@Giants) April 3, 2020
He’ll be familiar with his role as a backup to a workhorse back. Lewis played behind Derrick Henry, who led the league in rushing yards (1,540) and rushing attempts (303) with the Titans last season.
Lewis was additionally asked within the call if he could make Saquon Barkley a better overall back.
“I think we can help make each other better,” he said. “With all the running backs I’ve played with, I’ve learned things from (them) and they have learned things from me. Me being a little older guy, I have some experience with some things. He’s a great player, there’s not much he can’t do. I’m looking forward to working with him, competing with him, learning from him and just doing that relationship with him. Build a great relationship with him so we can make the room better and hopefully make the team better.”
Lewis is the third free-agent signing that has ties to Judge. Offensive tackle Cam Fleming and special teams weapon Nate Ebner have additionally spent time with Judge in the past. One of the mysteries heading into the 2020 season is what kind of coach the 38-year-old will be, and Lewis gave insight on that very discussion.
“He brings a lot of energy. He is very detail orientated. He is going to be prepared and he is going to know exactly what he wants you to do and how he wants you to do it,” Lewis claimed. “I know he is going to make sure everybody is on the same page. He is going to throw some jabs at you in meetings. The meetings are going to be lively. I remember him having a lot of good jokes. He’s a great guy and I can’t wait to get to work for him.”
From what we’ve heard, Lewis and the rest of the Giants are eager to work with Judge whenever teams are able to report for offseason activities.