Joe Judge not trying to turn Giants into Patriots lite

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New York Giants head coach Joe Judge is entering his second year on the job. Before taking over the Giants, Judge was one of Bill Belichick’s closest confidants in New England with the Patriots for eight seasons, mainly running the special teams.

Judge was asked on Monday if this week’s practices with the Pats up in Foxborough would be used as a time of reflection on his days with them.

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“I’m sure it’ll be a little bit different coaching against a lot of those players for the first time, but to be honest with you, I’m a New York Giant,” said Judge. “I’m focused on getting our team developed and ready for the season. This is a great opportunity to work against a good opponent, very well-coached, and to go up there and make sure that we hit some specific situations and focuses that both teams need in the regular season.

“This is really just a great opportunity for us to go up there and work against a quality opponent. This isn’t some kind of trip down memory lane. I wouldn’t bring the team up there for any kind of personal reasons, just the team we’re going to play anyway in the preseason. We know we can get quality work in with them and it should be a week to help our team progress like last week did, and we benefitted.”

Just to drive home the point where his loyalties lie, Judge did not mince words.

“The only thing that’s important to me is the New York Giants. That’s what it’s about right here. This week, going up is helping the Giants get better and that’s what our focus is,” Judge added.

And for those who may believe Judge is trying to make the Giants into the Patriots, he addressed that as well.

“To be completely honest with you, I’m very careful a lot of times to make sure everyone in this organization knows that I’m not trying to make this team anything but the New York Giants,” Judge said. “I’m not trying to recreate anywhere I’ve ever been. I’m not trying to go ahead and emulate or imitate any other program. This is the New York Giants and we’re going to do it with our players, we’re going to do it in our personality, we’re going to do it the way we think is best for us every day and we’re going to work on focusing to make our team the best team that we can possibly be.

“I have a great deal of respect for everything that Coach Belichick has done up there, I have a great deal of respect for the players who are still there who played for me, I have a great deal of respect for the staff members I worked alongside, but right now my priority and my loyalty is fully with the New York Giants, with our staff, our players, this organization, and I can’t make that more clear to every player, coach and fan.”

The Giants will hold joint practices with the Pats on Wednesday and Thursday and then return home to host the Patriots in their final preseason game on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium.