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Joe Judge, Giants trying not to call attention to new play-caller

Head coach Joe Judge of the Giants talks

Head coach Joe Judge of the Giants talks with Jason Garrett during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. Credit: Getty Images/Wesley Hitt

Joe Judge has refused to publicly announce who will call the offensive plays in Sunday’s game against the Eagles. While it may be one of the worst-kept secrets in Giants history that senior offensive assistant Freddie Kitchens is expected to handle the responsibility, Judge has insisted on playing coy since the firing of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett earlier this week.

"We’ve got a lot of things that may be a little bit up our sleeve," Judge said of his rationale. "Any competitive advantage you have you want to keep to yourself."

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said that despite the subterfuge, he, like everyone else, expects Kitchens to be on the radio calling plays.

"I think we’ve got to think that way," he said. "But you prepare for every different scenario. If I’m Coach Judge, I’m doing the same thing and I’m not saying who’s calling the plays because then it’s one less thing we can prepare for."

Does it really make that big of a difference to the Eagles?

"Any time a play-caller changes, there’s definitely advantages to that as far as for the Giants because again, whoever might be calling the plays, it’s going to be different," Sirianni said. "No matter who it is, it’s going to be different than how Coach Garrett called it because everybody’s going to think of the game a little differently . . . I believe there’s a competitive advantage whenever there’s a change and you don’t have any current tape on the coordinator that will be calling it."

Having a new voice in the ear of the quarterback won’t fix all that ails the Giants’ offense.

"There are a number of things that could change," Judge said. "Changing a play-caller is one aspect of it and maybe the approach we take as an offense is another aspect of it. In a short week, you’re not going to go ahead and completely blow up an offense and redo things, but you are going to look to use things a little bit differently. Maybe that’s personnel, maybe that’s scheme, maybe that’s situation calls, whatever it may be."

Judge has maintained that the offensive game plan will be devised collaboratively by all of the offensive position coaches, plus himself and quality control coach Russ Callaway, who is considered a very promising up-and-coming offensive mind.

Only one of them, though, will be linked to the offensive huddle via the headset.

"I don’t know," Judge said with a grin when asked for about the 10th time to identify who that person will be. "Maybe we’ll just draw names, I’m not sure."

Notes & quotes: WR Kadarius Toney (quadriceps) did not practice on Thursday and his status remains tenuous for Sunday’s game Toney was injured late in Monday’s game against the Bucs . . . S Logan Ryan remains on COVID/reserve a week after his first positive tests. He needs two negative tests 24 hours apart to be cleared, but even with that, after such a long stretch in quarantine, he might not be ready to play on Sunday . . . The Giants are loading up on tight ends with Kyle Rudolph (ankle) and Kaden Smith (knee) unlikely to play Sunday. They signed Chris Myarick to the active roster from their practice squad and added Jake Hausmann and Deon Yelder to the practice squad.

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