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Giants coach Judge rips Eagles for tanking, disrespecting sacrifices of players, families

PAT LEONARD
New York Daily News (TNS)
New York Giants head coach Joe Judge during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, Dec. 27, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Joe Judge buried the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday for tanking, but not because Sunday night’s Eagles loss kept the Giants out of the playoffs.

Judge sounded off because he said the Eagles’ tactics were disrespectful to everyone who sacrificed so much to make this season possible. And he said he would never be a part of something like that as long as he is the Giants’ boss.

“To disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything you can to help those players win, we will never do that as long as I’m the head coach of the New York Giants,” a stern Judge said.

Here is Judge’s full, calm, but pointed message when asked about how the Eagles’ handled Sunday night’s game:

“I’ll let Philadelphia speak for themselves on that, in terms of how they approached the game. Look, real simply, I was in my office last night, watched our film of our game yesterday, and then I was actually watching our first Tampa game with the Philly-Washington game on in the background right there. So look, there’s been a lot made of that game internal or from the outside. Let me just be very clear on this: we had 16 opportunities this year. That’s it.

“It’s our responsibility to take care of our opportunities and to perform better and to execute the situations when they’re on our plate. We don’t ever wanna leave our fate in the hands of anybody else. So we’re not gonna make an excuse as an organization, not now not never. We had our opportunities. We need to learn from the lessons we have from this year and carry them forward. That’s the experience you truly gain. But that’s really the most important thing right there. Our opportunities.”

That being said, obviously players have asked me throughout the day and I just can’t express that, one thing to keep in mind with this season is, we had a lot of people opt in to this season, OK? We had a lot of people opt in. Coaches, players. That includes family members as well. So to look at a group of grown men who I ask to give me effort on a day-in, day-out basis and to empty the tank, and then I can look them in the eye and assure them that I’m always gonna do everything I can to put them at a competitive advantage and play them in a position of strength – to me you don’t ever want to disrespect those players and their effort and disrespect the game.

“The sacrifices that they made to come into work every day and test before coming; to sit in meetings spaced out; to wear masks; to have shields over those masks; to go through extensive protocols; to travel in unconventional ways; to get text messages at 6:30 in the morning telling them practice is gonna be canceled, we have to do a virtual day; to tell them please don’t have your family here for Thanksgiving; please avoid Christmas gatherings; we know it’s your wife’s birthday, let’s make sure we put that one off to the offseason.

“There’s a number of sacrifices that have been made by all the players and coaches in this league. There’s a number of sacrifices that come along as well with the family members of the people connected to them. To disrespect the effort that everyone put forward to make this season a success for the National Football League. To disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything you can to help those players win, we will never do that as long as I’m the head coach of the New York Giants.”

Judge was asked whether he has reached out to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson directly.

“No, that’s not my job,” Judge said. “I’m focused on the New York Giants and what we have to do. I’m just directly responding to questions I’ve been asked throughout the day by players and making sure everyone understands our philosophy and what we’re gonna do here. And when we say that we’re gonna come to work every day and we’re gonna make the area proud and we’re gonna be a blue collar team and all that stuff, that that’s not gonna be lip service.

“So we’re gonna do everything we can all the time to make the sacrifices and commitment to be successful and put the players in a position of success,” Judge added. “And look real simply, it’s my job as a coach – and it’s our job as coaches – to give these players some kind of edge or advantage. It’s their job to go out there and play and execute and perform. But we can’t put them on the field and not do everything in our power to give them every advantage possible.”

Judge took one last dig at the Eagles when explaining why his year one goal of establishing a “foundation and culture” with the Giants is so important. Judge said Eagles center Jason Kelce clearly understands its significance from recent quotes he’s heard.

“Sometimes they’re just kind of catch phrase words that everyone says yeah yeah I gotcha, foundation and culture,” Judge said. “But those are really the most important things of any team. And you hear Kelce talk about it last night after the Eagles game, he had a sound byte talking about the culture of a team, and I think he was spot on with that.

“It’s truly all about the team.”