Pat Shurmur disputes Joe Judge’s characterization of NY Giants’ culture

Pat Shurmur responded to Joe Judge’s claims about players planning vacations and lacking focus during his time as NY GIants head coach

Following Sunday’s NY Giants blowout loss to the Chicago Bears, head coach Joe Judge launched into an 11-minute defense of his team’s culture, one that he says he’s aiming to improve from the ground up.

Wednesday in Denver, Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur disputed the notion that he ran a country club style atmosphere during his two seasons as Giants head coach, from 2018 through 2019.

“I obviously — that’s not an accurate assessment. But beyond that, I have no comment,” Shurmur told reporters.

However, it is noteworthy that during Shurmur’s tenure as head coach, the NY Giants had a ping pong table in the locker room, players frequently gathered to play poker during the portion of the day when media was allowed inside the locker room, and at one point there were even cornhole boards for players to play.

Former NY Giants wide receiver Golden Tate had his golf bag at his locker for at least half of the 2019 season, and former Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree even bought a poker table for teammates to use around the holidays in 2019.

“There’s a lot of teams right now that are out of playoff contention,” Judge said Sunday. “Okay, whether it’s golf clubs in the locker room, or people planning vacations outside of it. All right, there’s a lot of finger pointing and blaming and shouting. All that type of stuff, right, all that stuff.

“You know what we have in our building, any of that. We don’t got any of that. Any of that. Our guys know we have one more week this year to be this team. They know we have one more week this year to be this team. And they expect me to show up and give every ounce of football that I got in me this next week. You got that?”

Following practice on Wednesday, NY Giants defensive back Julian Love essentially confirmed some of the issues Judge mentioned on Sunday afternoon were festering within the locker room prior to his arrival.

“I know somebody told me that he mentioned in years past that it was like that,” Love told reporters Wednesday. “I can attest to that being here for a few years now. I think thankfully you’re not seeing that. You’re not seeing guys lose focus. You’re seeing guys, like I said, be attentive to this game and just really giving it your best. It’s a prideful thing. You don’t want to just fold, so I think that’s what we are discussing.

“I don’t know, I think it’s calling it in. Phoning it in, kind of just trying to get through the days. I know from my perspective I always felt I’ve got something to prove, dating back to two years ago when I was playing the last five games of the season on defense, so I couldn’t afford the opportunity to just take it easy because I was demonstrating my abilities. Last year too, I feel like I’m always trying to show who I am as a player. I think it’s important. I think as players, you take pride in things and that’s what you get. Thankfully, a lot of other guys are taking that approach. They’re trying to put their best foot forward for the team, for Joe, for the community.”

The NY Giants have seen little improvement, despite Judge’s assistance that he is fixing the team’s culture, with just a 10-22 record under Judge, after shurmur capped his two year tenure as Giants head coach with a meager 8-22 mark.