Who said Giants practices are all running penalty laps, contact drills and no fun?
In a drill borrowed from the New England Patriots, the Giants ended practice Tuesday by turning on a hose and asking rookies one-by-one to dive on the wet football to simulate covering up a fumble rather than letting it slip away. It was a scene from a neighborhood backyard on a hot day, minus the slip ‘n slide.
Except, before it wrapped, the players nudged coach Joe Judge into taking a turn, chanting “Joe! Joe! Joe!” as he slid into a mud pile wearing shorts, a long-sleeve warm-up top and neck gaiter face covering.
“That was my first time seeing something like that,” veteran linebacker Markus Golden said. “I was hyped up and excited to watch it. We ended it with Coach Judge. That was big time. He knows how to do it. He’s coaching us about ball security and he proved that what he does works because he got out there and did it himself.”
Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson stood over Judge and soaked him a little extra as players cheered. Jabrill Peppers, Nate Eber and Leonard Williams all passed around the hose. Rookie offensive lineman Shane Lemieux actually took a second turn on the ground.
“I’m not the guy to go into camp looking for fun,” Golden said. “I go into camp looking for the hard work. But you have to make it fun no matter what. To end the day with a drill like that and actually see your head coach actually slide through the mud and recover the ball, it doesn’t get more fun than that.”
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There are two practices and a scrimmage left in training camp. Linebacker Blake Martinez, signed as a free agent from the Green Bay Packers, has been part of camps where an egg-toss was added to the agenda, but this was new.
“Coach Judge is always about efficiency, but he adds the fun aspect to it,” Martinez said. “Adding in water brings that kid feeling where you’re on a slip n’ slide. It just made it a great way to end practice.”