Giants head coach Joe Judge watches practice during mini camp...

Giants head coach Joe Judge watches practice during mini camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on June 10. Credit: Brad Penner

Reporting day for training camp always has a first-day-of-school feel to it. Guys who haven’t seen each other in a while spend time catching up, share excitement about what awaits them, and start the process of beginning a new year.

That was the case for the Giants on Tuesday as they streamed into the facility in East Rutherford to officially kick off the 2021 season.

Beyond the medical exams and conditioning tests, though, it was also a chance for Joe Judge to reiterate his expectations of the players, many of whom, with the exception of a few off days and bye weeks, will be walking through those same doors to the same locker every day from now until January.

Last year’s main objective was to establish a new culture in the organization, and by all accounts it was a success. The players bought in, and those who didn’t are elsewhere. But that doesn’t mean they’ll move right along into this season without making sure the foundation is still in place. They started from scratch in 2020 with a new coach, new playbook, and new way of doing just about everything. They’re starting almost from the same place this time around too.

"I think every year is its own year," Judge said. "Look, there’s some things we’ve laid down as far as groundwork in Year One, but not all these players were here last year. So it’s important that we go ahead and start at ground zero for these players to understand everything that we expect them to do."

It’s also important for those who were part of the reprogramming of the franchise last year to bring the new players up to speed. That’s been a message that has been hammered home since the spring by not just Judge but the veterans who are basically his conduits to the locker room.

"That’s one of the big things we talked about in OTAs, getting those [new] guys acclimated, showing them what our team was all about and some of the standards that we work by," wide receiver Sterling Shepard said.

There are plenty of things that do carry over. The playbook is a big one, and having quarterback Daniel Jones enter a second season under the same offensive coordinator for the first time in his NFL career figures to be beneficial.

"I think it’s valuable for all of us," Jones said. "A lot of us are back and have evolved chemistry and know how to communicate with each other. But we start at step one and make sure we go about it the right way. We have a ton of new guys and I had some time to get to know them during the spring and summer and we’ll go from there, but it definitely helps to be back [in the system]."

Added Shepard: "It always feels good going into the second year of a system just because you have a baseline and kind of know what to expect."

The same goes for a defense that is returning many of the same players and same schemes.

Even with that background, though, the Giants are starting at the beginning with their installation of the Xs and Os as well as the way Judge wants everything else to function.

"We have our standards in this organization that we’re not going to compromise for anybody," Judge said of his message to the team on Tuesday.

It’s the same one he delivered a year ago, and just about every day since. It’s nothing new for the Giants to hear, yet significant for them to be listening on the first day.

"Last season has no bearing on this season," safety Logan Ryan said. "Great players help you win games, but great players who play great together make great units. That’s what we’re trying to create is great units, and obviously a great team. That’s what training camp is for."

This and every year.

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