New York Giants head coach Joe Judge has stressed personal responsibility and accountability since the literal moment his foot stepped down in East Rutherford.
On Monday, for the first time, that became evident to everyone watching as both players and coaches ran penalty laps after practice.
“There are consequences on the field for making mistakes,” Judge told reporters.
For some, running laps may be a difficult pill to swallow. For others, it’s just the cost of doing business. Ultimately however, in the eyes of wide receiver Sterling Shepard, it’s something everyone must buy into.
And if you don’t want to run laps, there’s a simple solution: don’t make mistakes.
“I think it’s going to take everybody buying in. If we’re going to be the team we want to be, we have to buy into what Judge has in store for us. Don’t make mistakes. That’s how to get out of it,” Shepard said, adding that he hasn’t run penalty laps since high school.
For running back Saquon Barkley, the memory of running laps was even more distant than that.
“We’re really focused on being a detail team,” Barkley said, unable to recall the last time he ran laps after practice. “The little things matter.”
Focus on the little things is what has been missing in recent years, and it’s why the Giants have cycled through their entire roster, several head coaches and a general manager. It’s also why they’ve won just 12 games since 2016.
These Giants, under Joe Judge, will not meet that same fate. And if they do, it won’t be because the team lacked discipline and attention to detail.