A full-team brawl led to the end of the Giants’ Tuesday training camp practice. Joe Judge, of course, wasn’t pleased.
The first day of pads at an NFL training camp — the intensity, urgency, and emotion are at significant levels.
These elements surely arose in East Rutherford Tuesday. Following a hard hit by Giants safety Xavier McKinney on running back Corey Clement, shoves were exchanged and a full-team brawl ensued on the field, with Daniel Jones finding himself at the bottom of the pile at one point.
Joe Judge showed no love for the occurrence, having the team subsequently partake in 100-yard sprints. The second-year head coach perceives it as a learning experience though; time to move forward.
“In terms of what happened in practice [Tuesday], I’d say the important thing is we learn from it. That we can’t do anything that’s going to cost our team in a game,” Judge told the media Wednesday. “We coach, in all aspects of the game, to eliminate penalties…the result of having something like that in a game is going to be 15-yard penalties, ejections from the game, and for players and coaches specifically, fines. So we have to understand that for everything you do, there’s a consequence. We have to understand our job is to put ourselves in a position to win football games, but we don’t want to do anything that puts us in a position where that takes away the opportunity to win games.
“What happened [Tuesday] at practice would’ve taken away the opportunity to win a game, based on the actions on the field. There need to be consequences, there need to be lessons learned, and we need to move forward as a team and not repeat the mistake.”
An in-practice melee doesn’t need to overstep personal boundaries, however. Physicality is present and so are the aforementioned elements of intensity, urgency, and emotion, but the scrum isn’t something that’s going to force these players to turn on each other.
And it didn’t.
“This time in training camp, guys do get a little bit chippy with each other, but that stays on the field. When all of our players walked off the field [Tuesday], we had no issues carry over to the locker room,” Judge said. “There weren’t issues in the cafeteria, the training room, or anywhere else. Our guys are in here, and I wouldn’t say they were laughing off the situation, but they understand that we’re all on one team and we can’t do that to each other.”
But 100-yard gassers though? Push-ups as well? Are these the right forms of discipline for the players?
Some would say no, but Judge has his reasoning. The head coach believed some form of punishment was required, which makes sense considering there would be a significant price to pay if that scene transpired in the middle of a game.
“In terms of fights, my policy has been to get guys and get them out of practice. That happened and involved the entire team, I threw the entire team out of practice,” he said. “We had more ball to go, we had two more periods left in practice, we had things we needed to accomplish. Those were things [Tuesday] that robbed us of an opportunity to keep preparing; that robbed others players of reps to go out there and compete. So, we just ended practice at that point, we were going to go ahead and get our conditioning in. We had things planned for conditioning anyway, however, when something happens, there needs to be feedback…there needs to be some kind of reinforcement.”
The Giants take part in their next training camp practice Wednesday night in preparation not only for the regular season, but also for their upcoming preseason matchup with the Jets. That meeting will go down Saturday, Aug. 14 at MetLife Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET; Giants are the home team).
The intensity, urgency, and emotion will still be present at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center moving forward. Judge, however, likely hopes the out-of-hand chippiness doesn’t rear its ugly head again.