Joe Judge talks to the media after he was introduced...

Joe Judge talks to the media after he was introduced as the new head coach of the Giants during a news conference at MetLife Stadium on January 9, 2020. Credit: Getty Images/Rich Schultz

It’s too soon to know if Joe Judge’s career as the Giants’ coach will be successful, but it’s already clear that the man’s perspective is spot-on. That was evidenced by the message he delivered in his first public remarks since  the coronavirus pandemic forced most of the country to come to a standstill.

Judge took the occasion of a Wednesday morning conference call — ostensibly to provide an update on his team and the challenging situation it faces in preparing for an uncertain future — to pay tribute to the unsung heroes doing the dangerous work on the front lines of our society. Especially in the hard-hit New York metropolitan area, which has felt the brunt of the worst health crisis of our lifetime.

Judge remains sequestered at his home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, working out of his basement like a lot of people at this disturbing time. He’s putting in countless hours preparing for his first draft as a head coach, engaged in hundreds of phone conversations with his scouts, assistant coaches, team executives and contacts around the league and in college football in an attempt to get a read on the prospects the Giants are considering. He’s trying to figure out how his offseason schedule will proceed — he’s already come up with four contingency plans based on various timetable possibilities — and is set to begin a training program for his players without the benefit of actually being with them.

But Judge is deeply aware of the fragility of life at a time like this and hasn’t lost sight of what truly matters in these frightening times.

In fact, even before he took questions from reporters, Judge offered his condolences to the family of former New York Post photographer Anthony Causi, 48, who succumbed to the virus on Sunday after a three-week battle. Judge reminded everyone “there are bigger things going on” than preparing for the draft or getting ready for an offseason conditioning regimen. Causi’s death has resonated throughout the New York area, with the popular photographer eliciting profound responses of sympathy throughout the sports community and beyond. He left behind a wife and two young children.

“There’s a lot of things going on out there, people’s lives have been turned upside down,” Judge said. “I think it’s important we keep in perspective as we talk football that there are bigger things going on, that ultimately what we do is entertainment and a means of escape for people dealing with much bigger issues.”

Like every other coach at this level, Judge is consumed with his job, paying attention to every single detail there is in preparing his team the best way he knows how. He wakes up early each morning, goes to his basement and puts in just about the same amount of time he would if he were at the team’s training facility a few football fields away from MetLife Stadium. He’s mostly alone … except for his dog.

“I have a golden retriever [Abby] sitting on the couch next to me for about 15 hours a day,” he said. “Right now, she can probably tell you more about who we’re going to take in the first round than anybody else.”

But Judge also is mindful of the greater reality outside the walls of his home. He knows of the uncertainty, the fear, the anxiety . . .  the death. And he’s aware that he’s one of the lucky ones. He’s safe, his family is safe and he has a job.

He knows who the real heroes are in this real-life horror story.

“I think if the worst thing we’re dealing with right now, to be honest with you, is working out of our basement, we’ve got it pretty good,” he said. “Look, there’s a lot of people out there right now who don’t have jobs to go to with this situation. There’s police, fire department, there are nurses who leave their house every day who leave their family behind, and they are putting themselves out there to protect us. So I think there’s people we have to acknowledge with the right perspective who have it a lot tougher than a bunch of football coaches just trying to function to get ready for an offseason and a draft.”

He's right. He’s so very right. And it’s so very good to hear this from a man who works in a business that often is given too much importance in our society.

It is a different world from the one we woke up in just five weeks ago, and the new reality is one to which we must adjust for a long time. Perhaps a very long time.

No one truly knows if there will even be a football season . . .  which, when it comes right down to it,  is really the least of our worries. The safety of our families, our friends, our communities — that’s the only thing that truly matters.

Good for Judge for understanding as much and expressing it.

“The biggest thing is beyond football,” he said before signing off with the media and returning to his football duties. “I hope everyone out there is safe, I hope everyone is healthy, I hope everyone is staying in good spirits.”

And one more thank you to the people who are most important to our well-being moving forward.

“You find out how essential life is, how about essential employees, how we really would be struggling to function without people to do the everyday things for us,” he said. “Look, it’s tough sitting in your house. It’s a lot tougher going out there every day, being exposed to the virus and doing your job, and then having to go home and look your family in the eye. We can’t take lightly the sacrifices all those people are making for us, and we appreciate it.”

My goodness, do we appreciate it. Good for the Giants’ coach in offering another reminder of it.