New York Giants Notebook | Young Judge, Lawrence on Lawerence, and More
Fans have used plenty of different words to describe head coach Joe Judge in his first season. His strict, disciplinarian style had come to define the Giants' organizational transformation so far this season.
But lost in Judge's old-school haze is the fact that he's also one of the youngest head coaches in the league as well.
Judge, at 38 years old, is the third-youngest head coach in the NFL behind Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams and Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals.
For the Giants, a team with one of the youngest rosters in the NFL, the youth of their head coach hasn't impeded any sense of respect that Judge commands as the leader of the team.
Wide receiver Darius Slayton, 23, doesn't care about Judge's age and instead sees the qualities of a trustworthy and effective leader.
"I think in any case whether you are old or young, in anything in life I think as long as you're coherent in what you're saying, then it leads to people being able to believe and trust what you're saying," Slayton said.
"He's a pretty structured guy. He's a good leader. He has a high football intelligence and is a good teacher. He's taught a lot of fundamentals as far as playing various positions as well as just the ins and outs of the game of football."
In some cases, Judge's youth even creates a better connection with the players.
Inside linebacker and defensive captain Blake Martinez, 26, is over a decade behind Judge in terms of age but still finds those connections with Judge beyond just the player-coach connection.
"I think at first, obviously, coach Judge is a very serious personality at first," Martinez said. "As you got to see him outside the meeting rooms and things like that, he's able to connect to anybody. He wants to know everything about you, and I think that's been an awesome aspect of him as a head coach.
"You're not scared to talk to him as he's always got a joke or two to mess with you about. It's been fun."
The Lawrence Brothers
Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, a first-round draft pick out of Clemson back in 2019, is likely to see one of his former Clemson teammates join the NFL rankings next spring.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, with whom Dexter Lawrence won a National Championship in 2018 and with whom the defender shares a surname, is the early favorite to be this year's first overall draft selection.
If the season were to end today, Trevor Lawrence might join Dexter Lawrence in New York as the Jets currently hold the top pick in the upcoming draft and are thought to be contemplating moving on from Sam Darnold.
Dexter Lawrence, now in his second NFL season in New York, believes that Trevor Lawrence has the right attitude to thrive in a market as intense as this one.
"Honestly, he's just laid back," Dexter Lawrence said of Trevor Lawrence. "I don't think he buys too much into it. He's going to be his self regardless. That's kind of why I think he can hold that weight on his shoulders pretty much.
"He's always the same guy every day. He's going to be funny, he's chill, he's going to be a team guy, everybody loves him. That's just who he is."
While the two are related only by their football connections and not by blood, the defender believes the quarterback will thrive where ever he goes.
"Any environment he's put into, he can make the best of it. That's the type of guy he is. He has the Lawrence blood in him," Dexter Lawrence said with a chuckle.
The Myth of Momentum
The Giants' bye week is coming fresh off their first two-game win streak of the season, and one might think the Giants are riding a lot of momentum that could fade over a week off.
However, Judge is not a believer in momentum on a week-to-week basis, calling it a "myth."
The Giants have a game against the Cincinnati Bengals to prepare for when they return from their bye week, and the focus needs to be on preparing for that opponent rather than trying to stay in a groove from their previous two wins.
"Nothing that we did against Philadelphia or Washington is going to help us against Cincinnati," Judge said.
"We have to learn from what we did wrong and make corrections, but we have to come back on Monday and have a good, strong practice.
"We have to have a good day on Monday. In terms of the momentum, the only momentum I think we'll be able to go ahead and transfer and create is how we practice and how we play. We have to come back next week ready to go."