Giants Remove Names From Jerseys; Coaches Forced to Run Penalty Laps

Joe Judge explains why the Giants removed names from their jerseys

Getty New York Giants head coach Joe Judge

There’s a new sheriff in town, and Giants head coach Joe Judge is making some major changes to the culture in New York, some more visible than others.

In true Yankees fashion, the Giants have removed last names from the back of all practice jerseys during training camp. Judge addressed the eye-catching move in a Zoom call with media members on Monday.

I never commented on jersey names when I got here anyway. To be honest with you, I’ve been places where we’ve gone an entire offseason without numbers.

To me, it’s important to know who the players are on the field across from you by their body type and how they move, more so than having to see a nameplate to identify your teammate. We should know each other as coaches and players by how we move and the way we carry ourselves.

When a quarterback gets under center, I expect him to know, is that a safety in the box or a Will linebacker? I expect them to know, is that a sized defensive end on the outside or is that an outside linebacker walked up? The numbers and name stuff, we’ll do that on game day.

Right now, we have numbers just to meet the rules laid out by the league. But to be honest with you, the identification of who the players are, we should be better than that as coaches and players by knowing our teammates.

As much as Judge may want his players to practice in an oversized Hanes undershirt, those jersey numbers will once again be accompanied by nameplates come Week 1 vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Judge Makes Players, Coaches Run Laps at Practice

Judge’s presence at training camp is being felt much further beyond just a simple fashion statement. Players and even coaches have been spotted at practice taking penalty laps for mishaps and miscues.

The last time wide receiver Sterling Shepard saw a coach install a similar punishment? “Probably middle school,’’ Shepard stated, per NorthJersey.com, as he flashed a smile.

It’s going to take everybody to buy in if we want to be the team that we said that we wanted to be. I think we have to buy into what coach Judge has in store for us. If that’s what he has in store for us, running laps for mistakes, just don’t make mistakes. That’s a simple way to get out of doing that. But I’m embracing the change and I’m all for it.

When asked by media why players and coaches were running laps at practice, Judge responded in typical Joe Judge fashion.

There are consequences on the field for making mistakes. In a game, it’ll cost you five, 10, or 15 yards. In practice, there needs to be consequences so we learn how to deal with our mistakes.

The militant way can be successful at times in the NFL, but can also lead to a coach being tuned out fairly quickly if the team starts to lose. A common occurrence within the Giants’ organization in recent years.

Judge has received nothing but praise from inside the Giants’ building as well as in league circles. Still, he has a thin line to tread between changing the culture and not losing his team, as even 2x-Super Bowl-winning head coach Tom Coughlin had to alter his approach during his tenure with the Giants.

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