Giants head coach Joe Judge and his staff are leaving nothing to chance this weekend as they transition to the post-Jason Garrett era.
In addition to soliciting more feedback from the players as to what kind of plays they like to run, the quarterbacks are now wearing wristbands with condensed play card inserts to help them run the offense.
Judge said that the decision to have the quarterbacks wear wristbands--the first such time Daniel Jones will do so since turning pro--was not a result of massive changes made to the offensive terminology or anything of the sort.
"It’s something a number of our players and coaches have used in the past," Judge explained. "We thought it may be helpful with our players just going forward. Just different ways of communicating."
Judge, who continues to keep the identity of the team's new play-caller a secret, said the decision to have the quarterbacks start wearing it now was a group decision rather than the request of the mysterious play-caller.
"I said a number of our coaches have used it. I’ve been around it as well, just a thing our players have used," Judge said, adding that the decision doesn't represent a disconnect in getting the play relayed to the quarterback.
"Through communication with players, coaches within the meetings, something that we came up with that we thought may help in some avenues."
Onward and Upward. The dismissal of a coordinator usually sends shockwaves through the coaching staff, given how closely they work together. But in the wake of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett's dismissal, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, while expressing remorse for Garrett's plight, said that the world doesn't stop because of a decision made by the head coach.
"Unfortunately, that’s football," said McGaughey. "We’ve all got jobs to do, and my main focus is worrying about my lane. I stay right in my lane. I don’t worry about the other phases. I just focus on my job.
"My job is to help the other phases, so I cheer them on as much as I can and make sure I focus on doing my job. The sign on the door when you walk in and we talk about it all the time, it’s do your job and that’s players and coaches, not just the players."
"Really just been trying to plow away on Philly with the short week and Thanksgiving," added Graham. "The fact that Philly is playing so well right now, the quarterback, the offensive line, the receivers, and the backs. Really just spent most of my time getting adjusted on that and not really having time to sit down and think about too much of anything else. Just appreciative of all the stuff Jason (Garrett) did for the team and the organization."
The Giants' disappointing record isn't solely due to the offense's struggles, as both special teams and the defense have had their forgettable moments. That's why neither of the two remaining coordinators is sitting back, thinking they're safe moving forward.
"This is the New York Giants, like you’re always on notice, right?" McGaughey said. "We’re in a high-performance business, so when you don’t perform at a high level, that’s the way it is. That’s the reality of our – that’s players and coaches. It’s a high-performance business, so we know that walking in the door."
"You’re always aware when it’s somebody from the staff, but Joe, the head coach, his job is to do what he thinks is best for the team and then we’ve got to move forward and just keep plugging away because Philly doesn’t care," he said.
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No Change in Logan Ryan's Status. The Giants are not expected to have safety Logan Ryan for this weekend's game against the Eagles.
Ryan, who last week tested positive for COVI-19, remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list and has been unable to produce the mandatory two negative tests within a 24-hour span to be removed from that list.
"He tests every day and we’ll see how that turns out," said Judge. "Is there still a brief window? There is. We’ll see how that turns out."
Because Ryan is fully vaccinated, under league rules, he can be removed from the list so long as he's asymptomatic after ten days from initially testing positive. That timing, however, won't sync up with the Giants game against the Eagles this weekend.
Meanwhile, if Ryan should produce the required two negative tests, Judge said there is a contingency plant work him into the lineup.
"Do we have a contingency plan if something were to change? We do. But at this moment, he hasn’t been available for us on the field, so we’re planning without him."
Forgive and Forget? Last year, Judge was very vocal and emphatic over how the Eagles compromised their competitive integrity in the regular-season finale, a move that ultimately cost the Giants a chance to slip into the playoffs.
Since then, the Eagles replaced that coaching staff, as led by Doug Pederson. As such, any edge the Giants might have gotten from having been screwed over has dissipated, according to Judge.
"There’s nothing from last year that’s going to be relevant on Sunday," he said.
Saquon's Struggles. Giants running back Saquon Barkley has resigned himself that the ankle injury he suffered in Week 5 will probably have to be managed for the rest of the season.
"Anytime you roll your ankle, it’s something that’s going to nag throughout the season," Barkley said Friday. "That’s something you’ve just got to stay on and you’ve got to keep up and it gets better week by week. Just got to keep trusting it and keep trusting my body and keep putting the hard work that I’m putting in and just keep going with it."
Barkley has been listed as a limited participant since returning to action after the bye. He admitted to feeling frustrated over his feet, not keeping up with his brain and eyes when he's out there running the ball.
"I can tell you right now, it sucks. It feels weird, it’s frustrating. But you know, that comes with some of the unfortunate things that happened to me the last two years," he said.
"It’s part of the journey; it’s part of the story. As I continue to work through it and continue to get better, when I’m back and I’m doing the things that I know I can do, continue to have a long, healthy, successful career, I’m going to look back on these moments and these dark times and these frustrating times and know that these are the moments that helped mold me become the player that I am and the player that I am going to continue to be and going to be in the future."
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