Giants' Joe Judge making players -- and coaches -- run as padded practices return to Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants practices aren't going to be tiring for just players with Joe Judge in charge. Coaches, too, might be wiped by the fast-paced environment and intense workouts that have them occasionally running laps with players.

That was just one of the noticeable differences on Monday at the first Giants full-padded practice. Players, and sometimes coaches, were running laps after mistakes or miscues. At one point, an entire 11-man offensive unit jogged around the field because Judge, in his first year as a head coach, or someone from his coaching staff was unhappy with some sloppiness on the field.

The Giants had the team split in half throughout the practice, with each group essentially mirroring the other. They were running drills -- heavy on ball security and physicality -- at a rapid speed. It was intense and detailed, with coaches seemingly yelling and screaming nonstop. The cacophony also included an inordinate amount of expletives mixed among the instructions.

It all seems to have a purpose.

"There are consequences on the field for making mistakes," Judge said. "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."

This may be the rub-off from his former boss, Bill Belichick. Judge is the latest branch from the Belichick tree after nine seasons learning under the legendary coach in New England. But he's not yet Belichick, who has won more than a handful of rings as a head coach and a coordinator. Instead, Judge is a newbie coach taking over a young team that has done a lot of losing in the past few years.

So, it's going to be paramount to Judge's success to walk a fine line: Get everyone onboard with the new way of doing business without alienating some of his top players, particularly the veterans. It's not going to be so easy.

This is a similar script that his buddy Matt Patricia, the current coach of the Lions, used upon arriving in Detroit. Patricia had players and coaches running laps, too. In his case, it hasn't led to a plethora of wins ... at least not yet. Patricia's techniques were met with some resistance, too.

That is what makes this all so intriguing with Judge and the Giants. It's quite a change from the previous regimes of Pat Shurmur and Ben McAdoo.

"The last time I [ran laps for mistakes], probably middle school," wide receiver Sterling Shepard said. "I'm embracing the change. I'm all for it."

Star running back Saquon Barkley also could barely remember the last time he saw this technique used for accountability. Barkley hesitated when trying to recall.

"I don't know," he eventually answered. "But hey, we're really focused on being a detailed team and holding each other accountable. Little things matter. It comes with the territory."

That seems to be the biggest difference between Judge and his predecessors. His attention to detail is off the charts.

Judge has the practice scheduled where each of the two groups is running the same play, only seconds apart. This in theory would allow for him to watch one group run the play and then turn and see the other group do the same moments later.

Of course, it doesn't always work so smoothly. Still, it shows the level of thought and detail the Giants are putting into their practice scripts. One would think the same approach would apply to everything the new staff is doing.

"We have a lot of moving parts, but our players understand that there's a purpose in everything we're doing," Judge said. "We're trying to make sure everybody maximizes the time on the field, maximizes our reps, and gives us a chance to evaluate everybody, and for them to improve on their individual techniques."

Even the aesthetics of practice have changed. The Giants took the field Monday without names on their backs. And Judge has a reason for this as well.

"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," Judge said. "We should know each other as coaches and players by how we move and the way we carry ourselves. ... 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."

Clearly, the different look and feel is everywhere around the facility. Then again, training camp seemingly always looks new at the beginning. Only time will tell whether it will lead to a better and more prepared team.

For now at least, Judge seems to have the full attention and respect of his team, including some of the veteran leaders. That is a start.

"It's going to take everyone to buy in if we want to be the team we say we want to be," Shepard said. "I think we have to buy in to what Coach Judge has in store for us.

"And if that is what he has in store -- running laps for mistakes -- just don't make mistakes. That is the simple way to get out of doing that."

It will keep the coaches better rested, too.