The Giants will change things up in their training camp routine Saturday night, when they finally get to put into motion one of coach Joe Judge’s central themes.
For the entirety of Judge’s first season, the global pandemic prohibited the Giants from reaching out to the community, something Judge stressed at his introductory press conference would be a team focus. The Giants did plenty of outreach in 2020, but it was all forced to be remote access only.
That will change this weekend, when the Giants practice at Eddie Moraes Stadium in Newark — a newly-renovated 4,500-seat facility formerly called Ironbound Stadium that was closed by the federal government in 1987. This is part of the NFL’s “Back Together Saturday’’ initiative.
The practice is not open to the general public, but the Giants invited high school football teams from Newark and surrounding communities, plus nearby Pop Warner and other youth programs, so a crowd of about 2,000 is expected. Judge and a handful of Giants players will address the youngsters.
“We haven’t had a chance to really interact with the fans, and that’s in different elements,’’ Judge said. “One is football, and then, the key focal point of this program is we’re going to be a strong community. We’re going to be very involved with the community and show support for the people who show support to us. That’s something from day one I’ve talked about, is that good service is very important to us and even last year, all our guys made great contributions and strides with being tied to the community. Just like we were, it was all tied in through Zoom, it was all remote, it was all virtual.
“This is the first exposure we’ve had, although there’s other COVID protocols. It’s still the first time we get to be face to face with them, to address the fans and approach them to speak, and it’s very important for us. Not everybody has the opportunity to see us. It’s important for me, it’s important for this organization that we’re going to come to you. We’re going to make the effort and make sure that we can get to you and make sure you get the opportunity for the team that you cheer for, that we’re going to come to your community. Ultimately, your community is our community.’’
The Giants could soon be adding a new quarterback.
They had Sean Mannion in for a visit and workout Friday, and he likely will be signed in the coming days. That would give the Giants four quarterbacks on the roster: Daniel Jones, Mike Glennon, Clayton Thorson and Mannion.
Why make this move? Judge wants to add an arm as his team puts on the pads in training camp and the Giants get set for joint practices with the Browns and Patriots, plus the three preseason games.
Mannion, 29, has not done much since arriving in the NFL as a 2015 third-round pick of the Rams out of Oregon State. He has appeared in 11 games, with two starts — one for the Rams in 2017 and one for the Vikings in 2019. He was not in the league last season. Mannion is 0-2 as a starter and has completed 60.8 percent of his passes, with no touchdowns and three interceptions.
RB Saquon Barkley has reached the stage of his rehab at which the Giants are trying to have him simulate as many practice situations as possible when he works with trainers on a side field.
“Right now, that’s where Saquon is, and a couple of players are in that mode of mirroring our practices to bring them back,’’ Judge said. “Also, the trainers may on certain days have different plans for them based on de-loading them or may ramp up a little more based on what the rest of the team is doing and their status.
“What I’ve seen from him every day is a guy that comes out and he’s just very focused on keeping it narrow and just understands that today is what’s important and he’s got to go ahead and take a step forward every day.’’