Despite his tough persona, Judge quickly dissects and praises a youngster who seems to be hanging on to the lower rung of the 80-man training camp team. Often times, Judge is more effusive about receivers David Sills, Alex Bachman, and Austin Mack than his alleged top three targets.
Judge fails to set the standard, “He works to improve” when asked about Javon Leake, an undrafted half-rookie and kick returner and Devante Downs, a former seventh round pick for the aged Vikings 24-year-old who appeared in nine special teams games last season for the Giants.
Little overtakes the 38-year-old rookie head coach. The judge noted that “you can see his eyes in meetings, he is very engaged and focused on you when you speak” when he comments on Downs. The judge called Leake “a guy that’s really coming right now.” Cornerback Jarren Williams, who played for the Albany Great Danes in 2019 after graduating from St. Francis, Pa., May be the size to help cover units with kicks.
“Very receptive, he plays with good demeanor,” Judge said.
The judge doesn’t seem to be a kindness guy just to be nice.
There are no allegiances formed yet. While Judge will know where everyone is coming from and how they got here, what he sees and feels will be the deciding factors as to who will receive a Giants uniform, locker and direct deposit.
“I don’t care where you’re drafted, undrafted, where you’re from, rookie, vet. It really doesn’t matter to me, ”the judge said. “It really isn’t. At the end of the day, we’re going to put the top 11 on the pitch. While on the outside it sometimes seems hard to believe, I have to look 53 guys in the eye and tell them that I have given them all the best chance to succeed.
“You can’t lie to these guys in the locker room. These players know who the best players are. They line up and compete with them. If you force someone in just maybe because of where it was written or how much you signed it for, you’ve got 52 other guys looking at you knowing you’re lying to them because you are not giving them the best chance here. You can say a lot of things here and there, but you have to be honest with your team. ”
That’s why Bachman, a 6-foot dynamo from Wake Forest who’s usually ahead of the pack in any conditioning race, has a chance. He caught an over-the-shoulder catch in front of rookie Christian Angulo in Monday practice, which doesn’t hurt.
“He’s productive in drills, he’s productive in team times,” Judge said. It is no surprise to see him perform plays. ”
CJ Board, a 26-year-old fast catcher with four games of NFL experience (with the Jaguars last season), caused a stir when he jumped into the end zone for a Daniel Jones lob and came down with the ball, beating Corey Ballentine. It doesn’t hurt either.
Returning wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert calls the 6-3 Sills “a rep thief” in that if Sills sees any hesitation in any of his teammates, he will step in and take his place in the game. following. Tolbert called Mack, an undrafted rookie from Ohio state, “a super smart guy” and said Board “really has speed on the ball.” ”
Again, what is said now does not have to be gospel later. But rest assured, Joe Judge will go with his eyes and his instincts and it will lead to surprises galore.