New York Giants Notebook | Setting The Tone, Andrew Thomas' Progress and More

Notable leftovers from Thursday's media sessions.
Publish date:

Every decision Joe Judge makes this year is like a brushstroke on a canvas of the big picture for what he is trying to build long-term.

Whether they be strategic or personnel-related, Judge's actions are setting the tone for his tenure and the future of the Giants organization.

"I'm conscious that my decisions will always be looked at throughout the building and for every decision I make," Judge said. "The biggest thing I have to do is be consistent in the decisions I make based on the circumstances involved.

"I have a philosophy, we have team rules that are clearly laid out to our players. There is not a lot of gray area in anything we do as a program."

He made one of those brushstrokes this week with the decision to send veteran wide receiver Golden Tate home from practice for a day after outbursts by him and his wife over the number of touches he is getting.

Tate returned to practice on Thursday and was forced to play on scout team offense in a statement by Judge that he and the Giants will not tolerate Tate's actions this week.

Tate's future with the team, including his role on the offense this week, is unknown as Judge faces the latest hurdle in a tumultuous rookie season.

Andrew Thomas Coming Along

Rookie offensive tackle Andrew Thomas has been a primary scapegoat for the Giants' offensive struggles.

According to Pro Football Focus, Thomas has allowed 40 total pressures and five total sacks so far this season, but there is reason to believe that the rookie is turning the corner.

"It's tough being a rookie playing against guys that are very talented, very good at what they do and have been doing this for a long time," Thomas said.

"I knew it was going to be tough, so I'm just going to continue to work and get better."

Thomas has only allowed one sack at 12 total pressures in his last three games, which is still less-than-ideal for a starting left tackle, but still better than the four sacks and 28 pressures he allowed in his first five starts.

His run blocking has also improved, as was seen on running back Wayne Gallman's rushing touchdown against the Buccaneers in which Thomas relentlessly cleared the way.

"I thought he did a good job in the game the other night against a really good defensive front, really good pass rushers," said offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

"He hung in there well. Really good evidence of him run blocking at a high level and pass protecting at a high level. But certainly not a perfect performance."

"A lot of stuff in the game you go back and you say, 'this can be better, this can be better.' That's what we'll continue to do with him and everybody on a week by week basis."

Thomas is also now accompanied by some fellow rookies on the offensive line as third-round offensive tackle Matt Peart and fifth-round guard Shane Lemieux have also been worked into the offensive line rotation as of late.

The more snaps that group gets on the field together, the better, as the chemistry they develop is critical for the long-term well-being of the offensive line and the offense as a whole.

"I've seen [Thomas] take a step forward every week," Judge said. "I thought he did a good job the other night, along with Shane and Matt and Nick (Gates) and Cam (Fleming) and Kevin (Zeitler).

"I thought they all played a good game, played a tough game. There were obviously plays you turn on you have to correct technique or maybe an assignment or communication thing."

Jumping James

Cornerback James Bradberry made his fair share of moves against the Buccaneers on Monday night, traveling to cover top Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans on the majority of snaps while also taking turns to cover some of Tampa Bay's other talented wide receivers.

Bradberry, as the Giants' best cornerback by a large margin, gives defensive coordinator Patrick Graham one of his most essential tools on that side of the ball and plenty of room for creativity in how to deploy coverages.

"Just by nature, JB (James Bradberry), he's been in the league longer. He can match up with numerous guys. He's a good chess piece to have, I keep using that phrase," Graham said.

"He's a good piece to be able to move around because we can match him up at different places to help make it easier or help play to our advantage with some of the other positions."

Bradberry is certainly not guaranteed to play in one spot or line up against any one receiver throughout a game.

"You can start the game one way and then say, 'Okay, we're going to switch it in the second quarter,'" Graham said. "We started the game one way, 'Okay, we're going to switch it in the second half.'

"That's part of the whole chess piece moves like we were talking about earlier. Then it's definitely based on the people like in terms of skill set. How do we see the matchup? Do you take into account the other people playing defensive back?"

Graham's defensive strategy has yielded promising results with an undermanned secondary so far this season. Bradberry, as the centerpiece of the Giants' defensive backfield, has been a strong candidate to make his first Pro Bowl in 2020.