Sports Minute: Joe Judge and Giants have fun as training camp winds down
By TOM CANAVANAP Sports Writer
New coach Joe Judge showed his lighter side and rolled in the mud as the New York Giants' training camp started to wind down with the team opener less than two weeks away.
The usually no-nonsense Judge finished Tuesday's practice by having the rookies and eventually some veterans practice a sliding fumble recovery drill on a muddy field with a wet football while being doused with water from a hose.
The drill ended with hoots and hollers and chants of “coach, coach, coach” when the 38-year-old, first-year boss took a turn at recovering the ball. He did the job and was surrounded by laughing players.
“That was my first time seeing something like that,” veteran linebacker Markus Golden said. “I was hyped up and excited to watch it. Had all the rookies go, and then we ended it with Coach Judge. That was big time. Coach Judge, he knows how to do it. He’s coaching us about ball security and he proved that what he does works because he got out there and did it himself.”
Golden said it was the most fun he has had since the team put on pads more than two weeks ago. The Giants have two more practices, with the last being a scrimmage on Thursday.
NFL teams will cut their rosters to the 53-man limit on Saturday and the season starts next weekend. The Giants, who are coming off a 4-12 season that cost coach Pat Shurmur his job, will have to wait a little longer. They open with a Monday night game at MetLife Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 14.
“I think Coach Judge is always about efficiency, but he adds the fun aspect to it,” linebacker Blake Martinez said. “I think that was one of those types of moments where we’re working on ball security and recovering fumbles, but making it a lot of fun for everyone around and a lot of fun for the guys who are doing it. Whether it’s adding in water, adding in that type of aspect, it brings that kid feeling where you’re on a slip n’ slide. It just made it a great way to end practice.”
Martinez, who missed some recent practices for an undisclosed reason, said he is ready to play.
NOTES: Veteran DB Logan Ryan, who is going through the league COVID-19 protocols before joining the team, probably won’t practice this week, Judge said. The former Rutgers product will play both cornerback and safety. ... The team is working with S Jabrill Pappers on hydration issues. He has been cramping during practices. ... The Giants have been using face shields during in-close, walk-through workouts to protect players from COVID-19. WR Golden Tate is nursing a sore leg hurt on Monday.
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