It is going to take all of them. Every single one.
Man-for-man, the Giants do not stack up. Not Monday night in the season opener against the Steelers at empty MetLife Stadium. Probably not the next week in Chicago, or the next week when the 49ers come to town or the next week in Los Angeles to face the Rams or … you get the picture.
Joe Judge completed his first training camp as head coach and at 38 years old gives off the vibes of someone who could be around for the long haul. But he has no magic formula and, as with anyone new to a job, there will be growing pains. Judge cannot do it by himself, either, which is why he will lean, heavily, on those he entrusted to do much of the heavy lifting.
“I’m the defensive coordinator, but it has to be a reflection of what the head coach wants,’’ Patrick Graham said. “You have a vision for how you’re going to win games.’’
“We have a vision for our program here with the Giants,’’ offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. “You have a vision for your football team, the kind of guys you want to have on your team, what the team is made up of. Then you have a vision for how you’re going to win games.’’
The vision, of course, is Judge’s, but not his alone. He takes over a franchise with more losses (36) than any other team in the NFL over the past three years, an operation on its third head coach in the past six years. The first Giants’ opponent, the Steelers, are on their third head coach in the past 51 years.
“Very simply put, this team defines continuity in professional sports,’’ Judge said of the Steelers.
The challenge is great. Daniel Jones in his first opening day start (he replaced Eli Manning in Week 3 last season) goes against an acknowledged superior defense. An Achilles’ heel for years — a shabby Giants defense — gets to see if Ben Roethlisberger at age 38 and coming off elbow surgery can still get it done.
Judge, with his background almost exclusively in special teams — rare for an NFL head coach — is responsible for everything, but will not try to do everything. We shall see how it works out.
“Obviously, I’m involved with all sides of the ball,’’ Judge said. “I’m very involved with the day-to-day operation. I’m very involved with how the game is going to be unfolding. I want to be informed with how the game is going to be called. Obviously, I’ll have opinions, but when we get to game time, I’m going to let our coaches coach and our players play. I’ll obviously be involved with all sides of the ball, but I’m not there to micromanage. We hired good play-callers, we brought in good players, we’re going to let them do what they do.’’