Joe Judge is the Giants’ man with multiple plans

Joe Judge is A Man With A Plan.

A Plandemic, as it were.

He brings to his first NFL head coaching job a precocious Belichickian unflappability, thoroughness and leadership that requires a plan for the possibility of him testing positive, for Daniel Jones testing positive, for Saquon Barkley testing positive, for Next Man Up anywhere and everywhere.

“We have succession plans for the coaching staff,” Judge said on a Zoom call. “Once we get a depth chart in place at the end of the roster development, we’ll have plans for every player on the team, who the next man up would be …

“We started talking back in the spring in terms of if any one coach, myself included, couldn’t come to work that day for any period of time, how would we address meetings, practice on the field, the game? We have to make sure we have a plan.”

Joe Judge’s Plandemic: Survival of the Fittest.

“Part of our culture is doing what’s necessary to be successful and at this time, to be successful we have to stay healthy,” Judge said.“The healthiest team has an advantage, and we’re gonna do our part to stay healthy.”

Joe Judge
Joe JudgeAP

Joe Judge’s Plandemic: No excuses.

“We’re just not going to make any excuses for anything that comes up this season,” Judge said. “We’re all here to play and coach football, we’re here to do it well, and we’re going to put everything into it.”

In six mostly virtual football months, Judge has provided enough evidence that he can be that long-lost CEO the Giants have needed and wanted. Not an offensive coordinator/play-caller disguised as a head coach. The chief executive officer of a football team trying to get back up off the mat under sobering, frightening and unimaginable circumstances where one false step by one Giant, coach or player or staff member, can turn them into the baseball Marlins and imperil the NFL experiment.

The football gods have thrown the kitchen sink at Joe Judge … this merciless, relentless pandemic … the Black Lives Matter movement … the troubling legal charges against DeAndre Baker and ex-Giant Aldrick Rosas … and he refuses to blink.

The old Bill Parcells credo: Four or five things happen in pro football every day that you wish wouldn’t happen. If you can’t handle those, you need to get another job.

Joe Judge doesn’t need to get another job.

“I think that my job is to make sure that we’re preparing for all the possible scenarios that could come up throughout the season,” Judge said. “It’s not only things we’ve thought of already, but things that pop up as we go. ‘OK, what if this happens? What’s our plan in place?’ Now you do that as a football team anyway. This year, you just take into a different account with COVID and how that may affect our team or other teams as well …

“Right now, we have all plans for practice that will look as normal as can be. If that changes at some point, we’ll figure it out and we’ll adjust and we’ll keep on moving.”

The Giants Way won’t be unlike the Patriots Way in this way: Players will be cross-trained.

“We are going to play all of our offensive linemen at multiple positions right and left,” Judge said. “We are going to have a competition for every position. We are going to have multiple guys playing inside at center and outside at tackle. We are going to play all of our tackles at right and left to start camp and see who fits best.”

Joe Judge’s Plandemic: Better safety than sorry.

“It’s not just where I go, I know I’m at the stadium or driving to my house. … I have to be conscious of where my wife and children are,” he said. “Who are they around on a daily basis? What am I bringing back to the team? There are some sacrifices we have to make. If the biggest thing we have to do is for half a year wear masks around each other, distance a little bit and when we go home, be home, I think it’s a pretty fair trade-off to be a part of the National Football League.”

Right man at the right time.

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