Training camp is over, but Joe Judge’s tough coaching is not.
The Giants’ first-year head coach stopped Thursday’s practice about 20 minutes in, halted the music and brought his players together to rip into them, unhappy with what he had seen so far. Judge’s expletive-filled message came during an individual period of practice and after his talk was over, he made his players start all over again, beginning with another round of stretching.
“I love it, I love it,” Saquon Barkley said. “That’s something we knew we gotta focus on. Everything we do is going to have a purpose behind it. Coach didn’t like how we started off, so we had to start over. As captains and leaders and as a team, we had to step up to the challenge and I think we responded.
“On Monday, there won’t be no restart, so we got to find a way to have that energy and find a way to have that purpose from the beginning.”
The practice issue came four days before the Giants open the season against the Steelers on Monday night at MetLife Stadium.
Judge has not shied away from coaching his players hard, including making players who committed penalties run laps, which drew outside criticism.
Linebacker Blake Martinez said he liked how the team responded to Thursday’s challenge, as rare as it might have been.
“That was definitely the first time [I’ve seen that], but it was really cool how everybody took it in a positive way,” Martinez said. “It wasn’t like, ‘Ah, here we go, why are we doing this?’ It was, ‘Hey, this is what we need to fix, we need to make sure we get this right.”