Joe Judge has dealt with an unusual offseason ahead of his inaugural campaign as the New York Giants head coach.
This current NFL offseason has encompassed a number of alterations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. From making the annual draft a virtual event along with holding virtual workouts and meetings, it’s safe to say this time period ahead of the 2020 season hasn’t been easy for any member of an NFL organization.
But it’s especially been a strenuous task for newly hired head coaches, such as the 38-year-old Joe Judge. The New York Giants staff leader, who was hired back in January, has yet to come together with both his players and the rest of the staff. Nonetheless, the bright, young mind believes the productivity within the team during this abnormal offseason has been at a significantly high level.
“I’m very encouraged with the way our players worked this spring,” Judge stated while speaking to Giants play-by-play radio announcer Bob Papa. “I’m very encouraged with how the staff was able to adjust on the fly and really adapt to the circumstances. Our focus wasn’t on what we were missing. Our focus was on what we had available to us to use. We really put the focus on accomplishing everything we would in a normal spring without being able to go on the field together. I’d say as we left, I believe we accomplished that. We got our systems installed. We were able to build on the offense, defense, and special teams. We got a lot of team-building accomplished as well. We were able to build in some competitive aspects of our program. That’s all been very positive.”
Big Blue concluded its virtual offseason program last Friday, June 12 after commencing it back on April 20. The organization began reopening the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ earlier this month, with only around 15-20 employees initially returning to work (no coaches or players). The league recently gave coaches the green light to return, but those on New York’s staff will work virtually until training camp, a period that’s currently scheduled to begin late July.
The fact that the team didn’t undergo in-person rookie camp, OTAs, or minicamp will make Judge winning a significant number of games in his first season all the more impressive. This is especially the case when you take into consideration how many young players the Giants employ on the roster. Many of the offensive skill players, along with their left tackle of the future in Andrew Thomas, are still in their early years. The secondary is additionally young with James Bradberry the oldest slated starter at 26 years of age.