The first opponent the Giants face this season will be . . . the Giants.
Joe Judge said the team will hold a live intrasquad scrimmage next Friday, giving him a first chance to see how the players react to situations that will be as close to game-like as he can get them to be. With no preseason games and a condensed preseason schedule, it will be one of the few opportunities Judge has to observe his players before making critical roster decisions.
“That will look a whole lot like every high school and college football scrimmage in America, offense on one sideline and defense on the other,” Judge said. “We’ll create situations on the field, let them play live football all the way through. We have to have an opportunity to let our guys play at full speed and let them go out and experience the game and demonstrate that they can operate in it when coaches aren’t yelling in their ear and trying to make corrections. We just want to get them out there and let them play.”
Judge said he plans to have such a scrimmage each of the three weeks leading up to the regular-season opener against the Steelers on Sept. 14. It will be the final level in a multi-step acclimation process that began with simple conditioning and agility drills at the start of training camp and is in the midst of ramping up. Wednesday was the first time the entire Giants team was on the field in helmets and shells.
“If you like football, you truly love being on the field with the players,” Judge said. “That’s the funnest part . . . They love football, we love football. Meetings are necessary to make sure we know what we’re doing on the field, but practices are what it’s all about.”
They were not allowed to practice offense vs. defense on Wednesday, though. That comes on Friday, when they can begin actual practices without full pads. On Monday, they can start practicing in full pads.
And then, of course, the big game on Friday.