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Joe Judge preaches to Giants about making smart decisions regarding coronavirus

The Giants introduce their new coach Joe Judge

The Giants introduce their new coach Joe Judge at MetLife Stadium on Jan. 9. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Joe Judge said he is trusting his Giants players and staff – and their families -- to make smart decisions when they are away from the team facility rather than implementing stricter rules on where they can go during their down time.

“The biggest message I have had to everybody, whether it’s the coaches or support staff or the players, it’s not about being in a bubble this year,” Judge said on Wednesday. “That doesn’t exist. It’s about making the right decisions.”

While some teams are trying to encapsulate their players and coaches as much as league rules allow, which includes keeping them in nearby hotels when not at work, Judge said such a tactic is really just for show.

“To be honest with you, if it’s not completely isolated like the NBA and the NHL are working in, then it’s not a bubble,” he said. “It’s really just a way of trying to have training camp and trying to stay isolated.”

And that is nothing new.

“If this was a non-COVID year, we’d be trying to keep the team as isolated as can be just to keep the focus on what we’re doing and build that training camp atmosphere,” Judge said.

The fact that it is, as he called it, a COVID year, means that rules and decisions are more important. Judge is not requiring coaches to stay at the team hotel and players are allowed to stay at home if they decide to do so. Judge, though, keeps reminding them that such liberties come with responsibilities.

“We have to understand all of our decisions impact each other,” he said. “We’re all in training camp, there are 32 teams right now, everyone is working toward the same goal. No one in this building is entitled to cut short our team’s pursuit of that goal by making a selfish decision away from this building.”

NOTES & QUOTES: Judge said DL Leonard Williams, on the NFI list with a hamstring injury, is “day to day” … OL Nick Gates, recently signed to a two-year extension, will compete at both tackle and center this summer, Judge said. “We have to do a good job of mapping out how we are going to allocate his snaps and reps on the field,” Judge said … Judge on the return of LB Markus Golden, who signed his unrestricted free agent tender on Tuesday: “He was someone we wanted to have on the team and we’re lucky it worked out the way it did.”

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