Dave Klein was the Giants' beat
writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books
and he was one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls
up until last year. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.
JUDGE TRYING TO SOLVE THE LOSING -
WITH MANY NO-SHOWS AT PRACTICE
By Dave Klein
In their last four seasons, the Giants are 18-46, which impossibly breaks down
to 9-23 at home and 9-23 on the road, and it doesn't get much worse than that.
They played to records of 3-5, 2-6, 2-6 and 2-6 in MetLife Stadium and they were
3-5, 2-6, 3-5 and 1-7 away from home.
So now Joe Judge, in his second year as the head coach, having taken over from
Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur (with almost no help from Steve Spagnuolo, who was
1-3 after he took over from the fired McAdoo), has to be focused on finding a
way to achieve some sort of improvement.
He has gotten tons of help from general manager Dave Gettleman, who has provided
smart draft choices and key veteran free agents, but the bulk of the burden still
lies with Judge and his staff.
the team conducted yet another OTA practice session, and prior to the festivities,
Judge was remotely interviewed, and at least for now, he is pleased and satisfied
with the on-going progress.
pleased with the way they worked [veterans and rookies]," he said. "It
slows down for them every week, you know, the scheme and the systems and the terminology.
So as a coach, you start plugging it all together and moving fast forward.
"When you get these guys from the draft in the minicamps, they have been
so far removed from football training. You have to get back to team football when
you are moving at high intensity and volume and moving more easily into team drills."
One of the questions for this upcoming season is the future of offensive tackle
Nate Solder, who took off last year with COVID concerns as well as family health
reasons. He is a 10-year veteran but watching film clips from 2019 indicate he
might have lost some of the sharpness in his abilities and now, a full year later,
those concerns are accentuated.
been working hard for us," Judge said. "He took time to get his body
back in playing shape. He's been doing a good job, working hard on the field.
He's been great with the guys. He's obviously an older guy, brings a lot of experience
and he's been a good voice in the room as the entire offensive line has had great
communication with (line coach) Rob (Sale), and (assistants) Pat (Flaherty), Freddie
(Kitchens, Ben (Wilkerson). I've been pleased with how that entire unit of players
and coaches have been working and the progress they're building towards right
It has been a subject harped
on almost daily. The offensive line was not much good last year and must demonstrate
genuine improvement to make all the new pieces of the offense come together. For
now, the starters are tackles Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart, guards Will Hernandez
and Shane Lemieux and center Nick Gates, and they have all taken to impromptu
coaching from Solder.
"He's a veteran,
been in the league 10 years now, and he just brings that experience," Gates
said. "I think it helps the group, especially as a young offensive line.
I think it helps us tremendously."
This in no way discounts the possible addition of other veteran linemen (Trai
Turner, for instance) nor the sudden emergence of those now on the roster, such
as tackle Jackson Barton, center Brett Heggie and guards Zack Fulton and Chad
EXTRA POINTS - Almost the entire
secondary stayed away from yesterday's OTA, including Adoree Jackson, James Bradberry,
Logan Ryan, Jabrill Peppers, Darnay Holmes, Sam Beal, Xavier McKinney, Aaron Robinson,
Isaac Yiadom and Julian Love. Also on the no-show list were wide receiver John
Ross, kicker Graham Gano and the No. 1 draft pick, wide receiver Kadarius Toney,
who signed his contract just a day ago.
There are only five OTAs remaining, with a three-day mandatory minicamp scheduled
for next week. ... The top veteran free agent signee, wide receiver Kenny Golladay,
was in attendance, as were defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence
and linebacker Reggie Ragland.
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