Joe Judge Explains Why He's Not Mandating His Assistant Coaches to Live in a Training Camp Bubble

Patricia Traina

In a regular preseason, the Giants would gather their players at a team hotel to build the camaraderie and focus that head coach Joe Judge is looking for.

But in this, a COVID-19 year which has thrown “normal” out the window, there is no such thing as normal. So when it comes to taking a page out of the Saints’ book—they recently rented out entire floors in a local hotel for their staff, coaches and any players desiring such housing as sort of a pseudo bubble—Judge isn’t entirely on board with that concept.

“To be honest with you, if it's not completely isolated, like the NBA and NHL are working in, it's not a bubble,” Judge told reporters on a video conference call Wednesday.

“Look, if it were a non-COVID year, we'd be trying to keep the team as isolated as could be to keep the focus on what we're doing and build that, you know, training camp atmosphere we have to have.

"But I'm not mandating any coach stays in the hotel, and obviously by league rules, no players are mandated to stay in a hotel, but our players can either opt-in or opt-out of the hotel and those who do stay have a curfew.”

Between players, coaches, and staff, NFL teams typically have far more people than their NBA and NHL counterparts, which makes for creating a bubble environment challenging for the NFL.

As part of his daily meetings with the team and his staff, Judge continues to drill home the importance of making the right choices.

“They have to make the right decision when they're waiting from billion and to how they structured their nights. I'd say the biggest message I had to everybody, whether it's my coaches, the support staff, the players is it's not about being in a bubble—that doesn't exist. It's about making the right decisions away from the building and making sure we don't bring something into the building.”

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