It wasn’t so long ago that Joe Judge wouldn’t even utter Daniel Jones’ name, never mind anoint him as the starting quarterback of the Giants. On Thursday, though, Judge finally opened up about the player he inherited when he took the job . . . and apparently is growing fond of.
“I love working with this guy every day,” Judge said in an interview with CBS Sports Radio. “He’s got a fire that burns in him. He brings other guys along with him. He shows up every day. He knows what you’re going to teach before you’re teaching it in terms of being prepared on material. He sets the tone for the room, and we’re very excited [for] when we finally get these guys in person. I’m glad he’s on our team. I’m really glad he’s on our team.”
Judge stopped short of setting high expectations for Jones as he prepares for his second NFL season.
“I want to be fair to Daniel right now,” Judge said. “Let him have the opportunity to learn the offense that he’s working in right now that he’s never taken a snap in, and let him progress at his rate and develop his career over the course of time that’s going to meet the expectations that we set internally.”
Judge has made it clear that he does not intend to speak publicly about those expectations regarding any player, and he has remained relatively firm in not discussing any of the players on the roster until he can get them on the field and see how they play in person. He has asked his players to maintain that external silence as well.
But it’s clear that after nearly two weeks of working with Jones during the team’s virtual offseason program, Judge was willing to make an exception on Thursday.
“I’m very excited about working with Daniel,” he said. “I love his toughness. I love his competitiveness. Those shine through right away.”
Among other topics Judge covered in the radio interview:
* The exceptionality of the Giants. “Let’s not pretend all 32 teams are the same. This is a tremendous opportunity. This is a great market. Growing up in the Northeast, the one thing I’ve always valued is the fans. You want to be somewhere where it’s important. You want to be somewhere where the job you put work into is valued. New York, this is one of those towns. This is the town that on Monday, they’re talking about everything you did in the game.”
* Following Bill Belichick’s footsteps: “I’m going to be myself. That’s me. I’m not going to try and be anybody else. If I try to be anybody else, it’s going to be disingenuous and it’s going to fail. If you lie to the team, you lose them right away. As far as imitating somebody else, that’s never been my style.”
* And the Giants’ roster: “The first thing I love about the roster is we’re young. I really love that. I love that we have young talent. We have a lot of eager players looking to come in and compete and make their mark, and that, to me, is the biggest thing that jumped out. We have a lot of young guys with talent and we’ve got to develop these guys and get them going.”