“It was definitely the first time,” Martinez said of the resumption of practice.
It was the last example of a judge training the Giants hard. Hearing him scream and curse in training is a daily occurrence this summer. And he was without excuse for his approach.
The call for an early revamp of the practice seems to have been welcomed.
“Love it,” said running back Saquon Barkley, recently elected team captain. “It’s something we knew we were going to focus on. Everything we do will have a purpose behind it. The coach didn’t like how we started. We kind of started over, and as captains and leaders we had to rise to the challenge. I think we answered. The point is that on Monday there will be no reboot. We have to find that way to have that energy and have that goal from the start. We shouldn’t start over for this to happen. ”
The Giants open their season Monday night by hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are important outsiders of the competition.
Martinez and Barkley seemed to agree with Judge’s assessment that the Giants were indifferent at the start of practice.
“Yeah, that was one of those times where we just weren’t off track and we kind of have to refocus and get things going,” Martinez said. “And we did. We had to bounce back and sort of show our determination and ability to adapt and sort of, as a team, understand what we’re doing wrong and fix it. ”
This is the kind of approval that there has been since Judge’s arrival, and there has been no dissent over the new demands.
Barkley believes it will pay dividends in the long run.
“The approach taken by this team and the response we have given to Coach Judge methods have been excellent. Obviously we’re a young team and we’re going to face some adversity throughout the season. we’re going to face adversity on Monday night. But it’s the way we react, the way we keep working and improving each day. ”
The Giants have been the worst team in the NFL for the past three seasons combined. The judge, 38, was hired earlier this year, after eight seasons under Bill Belichick in New England, to resolve the issue.
He made it clear in his introductory press conference that there will be an old-fashioned physical approach: he is not going to be easy on his players.
This is true this summer. Special teams ace Nate Ebner, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Patriots, recently told ESPN it was one of the toughest training camps he has seen. But Judge insisted his players have been open and receptive to his team’s training. He mentioned earlier on Thursday that he believes the strength of the team is how everyone has come together through adversity.
It looks like the players have responded positively to this latest twist. “It was really cool to see how everyone took it in a positive way,” Martinez said. “It wasn’t like, ‘Ah, here we go. Why are we doing this? ‘
“It was just like, ‘Hey, this is what we need to fix. We have to make sure we get it right because I think we all understand how important this first week is to send out a statement for ourselves as a team on who we want to be throughout this season. . ”