NY Giants coach Joe Judge understands the challenge Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf presents in this Sunday’s game
NY Giants head coach Joe Judge has plenty of respect for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf.
Metcalf, the brash and incredibly talented second-year wide receiver enters Sunday’s contest with 58 receptions for 1,039 yards and nine touchdowns through the Seahawks’ first 11 games of the season.
“This guy is a rare guy,” Judge said of Metcalf on Wednesday. “You try to simulate his size and speed and playmaking down the field. You don’t have a lot of guys walking the earth like him.”
Standing 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds, Metcalf is one of the most physically imposing wide receivers in the NFL, and he has leveraged his size and athleticism to lead the league in receiving while playing with a massive chip on his shoulder after falling out of the first-round of last year’s draft.
So, how does a defense prepare for an athletic freak of nature like Metcalf, who is averaging 17.9 yards per reception and is coming off a 10-catch, 177 yard performance on Monday night?
“The reality is, you have to do everything you can to give your players the right looks from tape,” Judge admitted. “The right looks in practice, the scout teams. We have to work to prepare each other the best possible. But look, we all understand this guy is a tremendous player.
“He’s an elite player in the league. We can’t do anything to just flat out replicate it, so we have to do the best we can in practice, and then prepare our guys mentally so when they see him on the field, they understand it’s going to be different than what they’ve necessarily seen in practice.”
There’s a chance the Giants counter with James Bradberry traveling against Metcalf. Bradberry is holding opposing quarterbacks to a 68.7 passer rating when targeting him, receivers to 10.4 yards per reception against him, and has a 75.3 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus.
But, leaving Bradberry on Metcalf leaves the Giants’ exposed to Tyler Lockett, one of All-Pro quarterback Russell Wilson’s favorite targets.
Regardless of how the Giants plan to defend Metcalf, Judge understands that his team faces a unique challenge in search of their fifth win of the season in hopes of remaining atop the NFC East standings this week.
“They all run strong, physical, downhill,” Judge said of the Seahawks. “It’s a big, explosive, size-speed team. Offensively, they pose a number of problems that we have to go ahead and start working on today to give ourselves a chance.”
Matt Lombardo is the site expert for GMenHQ, and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday for FanSided. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL.