New York Giants coach Joe Judge insisted he was speaking in generalities, not about a specific player.
The question, however, was about former Tennessee Titans tackle Isaiah Wilson, and it was easy to see how the answer applied to the 2020 first-round draft pick who already has been released by two NFL teams.
NFL.com reported Wednesday that the Giants signed Wilson to their practice squad. The move represents another chance for the 22-year-old who got into much more trouble than game action during his one season with the Titans. Wilson is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. and had been a free agent since mid-March when the Miami Dolphins released him for failure to live up to commitments he made, a move that came just days after his trade from Tennessee to Miami became official.
Judge said he would not comment “specifically on any transactions until they're complete or happen,” and of Wednesday’s official transaction report, Wilson’s move to the Giants was not official. But he did have some things to say.
“I have a lot of trust in the staff we have here,” Judge said. “I have a lot of trust in the support we have, and I have a lot of trust in the program we have here to put people in a position to be successful. I don't think it's a blanket of what someone else has done with someone that has to tie in how they do successfully for you. I think there is a point in time that everybody needs a fresh start.
“I think that if you treat everyone on an individual basis and understand the person and you address someone as a person in terms of what's best for that guy to help them get on their straight and narrow, then they have a chance for success.
“That's not directed directly to (Wilson), but that's just in general, period.”
Wilson, the 29th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, started his NFL career by opening training camp on the Reserve-COVID 19 list. He ended the season on the Non-Football Illness list, where franchise officials placed him in mid-December in order to help him deal with “some personal issues.” In between, he made more than his share of personal missteps.
It became clear last week when he worked out for the Indianapolis Colts that he wanted to re-start that career. A subsequent workout for the Giants officially earned him another opportunity.
“I can pretty much deal with anybody as long as they're themselves and they're honest and, in this setting, that they love football,” Judge said. “So, if you meet those three things – if you're an honest person, you're going to be yourself on a daily basis and you love football – yeah, I'll be able to deal with you, no problem.”
It will be up to Wilson to show that he can stay out of trouble this time. And it will be interesting to hear what Judge says when he talks specifically about Wilson.