Giants head coach Joe Judge speaks at his introductory news conference at...

Giants head coach Joe Judge speaks at his introductory news conference at MetLife Stadium on Jan. 9, 2020. Credit: Corey Sipkin

INDIANAPOLIS — When Joe Judge put together his coaching staff, hiring people who had similar professional backgrounds to his own was paramount. In other words, having worked for Bill Belichick or Nick Saban almost was a prerequisite.

“If I didn’t work with you directly but you worked in a similar scheme or system, you have a better idea of what I’m trying to accomplish and that there is a rhyme and reason behind things we’re trying to do,” Judge said. “That may not be very clear, but when you have gone through it and experienced success within that system, it’s easier to embrace.”

Now that the Giants are moving toward the roster-building period of the offseason, with free agency looming next month, that familiarity no longer is as important. In fact, Judge suggested that he might shy away from what other Patriots assistants-turned-head-coaches have done in bringing in veterans who can act as interpreters or liaisons in the locker room.

“The only priority is to bring in good football players,” Judge said. “We’re not trying to re-create anywhere we’ve been before. We’re interested in building the 2020 New York Giants, not re-creating any of those other programs.”

Giants plan to keep Williams

General manager Dave Gettleman said the Giants are considering using the franchise tag on Leonard Williams, the defensive lineman they acquired in a trade with the Jets four months ago despite his impending free agency.

“He’s a good young player,” Gettleman said of his desire to keep Williams.

Gettleman also knows that the optics of allowing Williams to walk so soon after spending a third-rounder in this upcoming draft and a fifth-rounder next year on him would be ugly.

“I’ll get killed!” Gettleman exclaimed. “But I have thick rhino hide.”

Giant steps

The Giants aren’t only evaluating players at the Combine. Judge said the coaching staff is spending time installing the offense and defense this week in preparation for the arrival of the players on April 6 for offseason workouts … Judge said he does not believe in signing veteran free agents to help groom younger players, which seems at odds with some of Gettleman’s recent signings such as Jonathan Stewart, Connor Barwin and, to an extent, Antoine Bethea. “It’s just the way it works out,” Gettleman said.

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