If the OTAs are indeed the preparatory process for what's yet to come in training camp and the competitions that lie ahead, the new York Giants rookies should be more than ready to go.
Head coach Joe Judge, who has structured his first in-person off-season program in steps--the current one something of an extended acclimation period for the players as they adapt to new wrinkles in the scheme and new faces--said he's been pleased with how the rookies have responded so far.
"With rookies, what you see a lot of time is you see a level of improvement week-by-week more so than the vets because they are so young," he said before the start of the team's final OTA on Friday before next week's mandatory minicamp.
"It's like watching a bunch of pups grow up; they come in, they drink from a fire hose in rookie minicamp. In terms of just getting on the same page, you have to remember these guys walk down the hallways and just try to remember everyone's face and names."
While the competition on the football field won't commence until the pads go on, the Giants rookies--six draft picks and three undrafted free agents--have been challenged to earn the trust of their coaches and teammates by what they do on and off the practice field.
Judge said the rookies have made strides toward accomplishing those goals.
“These guys, it slows down for them every week, you know, the scheme, the systems, the terminology. You start seeing their bodies get in better shape,” Judge said.
Getting the physical aspect down is the easy part. The more challenging part will be moving at a pace the rookies will need to survive out there.
But Judge, whose staff will continue to work with the rookies after the mandatory minicamp as part of a rookie developmental program, is confident it will all fall into place.
“When you get these guys from the draft in the rookie minicamp, they have been so far removed from football training. It's that combine training, it's that personal trainer. Kind of let's go at your own pace," he said.
“In terms of the rookies, they have to get their legs back under them, but we see a lot of improvement every day from these guys, and it's stacked week-by-week so far.
"I'm pleased with the attention to detail they are giving for us, and the way they are working with the rookie development program and I'm excited to get the pads on and see them go full speed.”
MORE COVERAGE FROM FRIDAY’S OTA
- Offensive Lineman Brett Heggie Ready to Compete for Giants Roster Spot
- New York Giants TE Evan Engram is Ready to Move on From Last Season
- Nick Gates: Giants O-line Coach Rob Sale a Good Teacher
Be sure to keep it locked on Giants Country all the time!