New Giants coach Joe Judge encouraging players to bond by facing off in online video games

Yahoo Sports

This is something you probably won’t see Bill Belichick suggest.

There are pluses and minuses to having a 38-year-old head coach. New York Giants rookie head coach Joe Judge doesn’t have much experience, but he can relate to his players better than others might. And he had a very 2020 suggestion for his players as a bonding exercise.

He wants them to play video games against each other.

For everyone who was scolded by their parents to turn off the Nintendo and get outside for some exercise, you can smile now.


Joe Judge tells players to get on their game consoles

Judge told Mike Tirico on NBCSN that he is encouraging some gaming while players are at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s not like they’re not playing video games already, so it might as well become a team-building exercise.

“A lot of these guys play video games together, as much as that seems like something to just pass time, it’s as important for team bonding as anything that they can get on an Xbox and play each other,” Judge said.

It’s not a bad idea. Players like competition, players in their 20s grew up playing video games online, and it helps pass the time to put on some “Madden” or whatever they choose.

Maybe it even helps team chemistry.

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge wants his players on their Xbox. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
New York Giants head coach Joe Judge wants his players on their Xbox. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Judge worried about team building

While most of the virtual offseason is still teaching Xs and Os, Judge said he’s concerned that camaraderie is lost. Players spend days together at offseason workouts and OTAs, and it’s just not the same during the coronavirus restrictions.

“We’ve got to knock down some of these walls and bridge gaps with our players and form relationships,” Judge told Tirico. “The one thing we can’t have is we walk in for training camp in July or August and now we’re looking around and introducing ourselves to each other. We can’t have that.”

The NFL is too often a Very Serious League, and the idea of players playing ping pong or video games would drive some coaches insane. But Judge is young enough to understand. Maybe Judge is onto something in this unusual year.

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