2. Focus on player strengths
On multiple occasions during his introductory press conference, Joe Judge referenced identifying the strengths of each player and then utilizing those strengths, rather than making them conform to fit a specific scheme or system that may not allow them to fully exploit their talents.
Judge stated that the most important thing that he learned coaching under Bill Belichick was “to be flexible within your personnel. Don’t try to show the round peg into square holes. Figure out what you have and let them (the players) play to their strengths.”
After the previous coaching regime notoriously tried pounding round pegs into square holes weekly, Judge’s statement has to be a breath of fresh air to Giants fans. After all, previous defensive coordinator James Bettcher famously attempted to play 2019 first-round draft pick Deandre Baker in soft zone coverage on a weekly basis, despite that being a noted weakness of his, rather than allowing him to play to his strengths in a man or press zone coverage where he thrived at the collegiate level.
Judge referenced his need as a special teams coordinator to analyze each player on the roster as an athlete based on ability, rather than looking at them as a position player, so that he could determine how they could best be utilized on special teams. This ability should play well when analyzing potential draft picks and free agents to see how they fit best on the Giants roster, as well as when developing a game plan.
In reference to the game plan, Judge mentioned that it may change on a weekly basis, depending on their matchup. He said in his press conference that they may go with a 4-3 defensive scheme one week and a 3-4 scheme the next if that makes sense. Judge also stated that “there may be times where we throw the ball 50 times and there’s going to be times we throw it 10 times and run the ball 45 times”. The notion of a fluid game plan that changes regularly reeks of Belichick’s influence.
The statement by Judge that there is “a human element to the game and that the coaches need to take care of the players in the locker room and put them in the right situation to be successful”, speaks to his desire to assure that the staff is best utilizing the players on the team.