Giants training camp is underway.
The players and coaching staff have arrived and are ready to officially start the 2021 season. Head Coach Joe Judge is prepared for the first full squad practice on Wednesday and he is keeping it very basic by focusing on conditioning.
“Conditioning is part of football,” the second-year coach said on a Zoom news conference today. “We’re not going to go ahead and say, ‘Hey, listen, don’t worry about the quarterback’s footwork through individual period. Just go out there and coach (during) team and get all his footwork fundamentals.’ (Conditioning) is a fundamental. We’re going to work on that extra so that it carries over into team periods and it can help keep our players healthy and on the field.”
Being healthy is one of the most important aspects of being a winning football team. By focusing on health and conditioning early in the season will only pay dividends throughout the year. Coach Judge is all about preparation and consistency. The players are aware of his game plan and are all on board with his strategy.
“We’re getting our players’ bodies to stay healthy,” Judge said. “One thing we do is a lot of research and self-scout. We went back after last year and we showed it to the players themselves and then came back in spring to explain why we practice the way we do. It was reflected in a decrease in injuries across the board within this organization as well as relative to the league. We were one of the healthiest teams last year in the league and the healthiest this team has been in a long time.”
The team is healthy for the most part. Six players are starting the season on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list. Running back Saquon Barkley (knee), center Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), tackle Matt Peart (back), tight end Kyle Rudolph (foot), linebacker Oshane Ximines (hamstring) and rookie cornerback Aaron Robinson (core muscle), the team’s third-round draft choice.
There will be more updates on these players as to their ability to return to the team as training camp progresses.
Kadarius Toney was taken off the Reserve/Covid-19 list today. Two players were placed on that same list: LB Blake Martinez and Safety Joshua Kalu.
It could take some time for Toney to get into the swing of things. He is a rookie, and he needs some time to get back on his feet. Coach Judge understands the situation Toney is in. You have to be careful and cautious when players return from the covid list. You have to ease them into the day to day activities.
“(Toney is) with us today in the building, so he’s back with us,” Judge said. “We have a number of guys for different reasons that we’re actually going to take them a little bit slower. Obviously, coming off of that protocol as we learned last year with the number of players on our team throughout the season, we’re going to go and move them around the field and make sure that he’s ready to go, then we’ll start integrating with our team. We’re not going to go ahead and rush anything to get in the process. He’ll be in the meetings with all our players. He’ll be able to go out there and operate in some of the – some of the meetings we get a little bit more on our feet.
“But in terms of practice itself, we’re not going to do anything with him on the field with the team until we know he’s fully ready to go. His timetable will be different, I’m sure, than a lot of the guys last year that we learned from. One thing we really took away from last year was these things are all very specific to each person, what their symptoms were or what their exposure was, but that time away from training is what’s critical.”
Training camp has just begun and players will be handled differently according to their own situations. As camp heats up and goes on everyone will be expected to perform at the highest level as long as they are healthy. It seems like Coach Judge has this team under his control and understands perfectly what the team should be doing in the early stages of camp. Stay tuned for more updates from Giants training camp.
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