With just over a month until Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season, trouble seems to arrive in the New York Giants camp.
The New York Giants’ first day of padded practice at training camp ended abruptly Tuesday when coach Joe Judge angrily addressed and punished his players for a teamwide brawl that included starting quarterback Daniel Jones at the bottom of the pile.
Joe Judge could be heard delivering an expletive-laden tirade at his team after the scuffle. Next, he had them alternate running laps and doing pushups as punishment. Then the group assembled after more than 10 minutes of penalty-induced conditioning in a semicircle for one last lambasting before practice suddenly ended.
The incident started when tight end Evan Ingram retaliated after a late hit to running back Corey Clement. Safety Logan Ryan then came and leveled Engram from behind. The rest of the team, including Jones, stupidly jumped into the melee, which drew immediate ire from the coaching staff. Nobody could’ve figured what was about to come next.
Jones was plucked out of the pile by offensive lineman Kenny Wiggins. Joe Judge then started lacing into the group as a whole. When asked why he joined the brawl, Daniel Jones simply responded that he is “part of the team.” Although stupid, he gained support from his offense..” Jones said he wasn’t injured during the fight, and the Giants needed to “do a better job of controlling” their emotions and excitement during the intense padded practice and games. This seemed to be Judge’s primary contention after the fight.
None of the Giants players seemed to think it would lead to any problems in the locker room. In fact, they thought it would only make them stronger. Entering Week 1, the team chemistry should be at an all-time high.
Clement even mentioned how back in the locker room moments after the melee, they were already back to joking as if nothing had happened. “Football is a great sport because even though you take some blows, it brings you together as a family,” he said. “It doesn’t carry over. We all understand the nature of the game. You get hit, you get back up. If you don’t want to be a part of it, you can’t cry about it. A hit is a hit.
Drew Lock? Teddy Bridgewater? Who will be the starter? But even then, given what we learned about Pat Shurmur and his play-calling tendencies, would it still matter? It would make sense for the Giants to open at home against a non-division opponent. Their marquee games are on the road this season, so dress up the opener and take advantage of Week 1 pomp and circumstance. Saquon Barkley should return. The defenses should both be stingy. The matching of wits between Giants DC Patrick Graham and Broncos OC Pat Shurmur – fired as Giants head coach just one season ago will be fascinating. The Giants have won just once in Week 1 since 2011, but the Broncos have an eight-game September losing streak. So make it nine as the Fighting Joe Judges get off to a good start.
With Pat Shurmur going up against his old team, I give the edge to New York Giants, and with the Giants showing interest in training camp, the group should be a tight-knit group entering Week 1.
The pick of the Game as of today would be New York Giants @ -105.