Since NFL training camp began officially on July 27th, The New York Giants have had without a doubt the most news come out of their practice sessions, most of it portrayed in a negative light by many media outlets.
By now, many of you currently reading this are likely aware of the brawl that occurred during the Giants first padded practice on August 3rd which resulted in Head Coach Joe Judge sending his players into a set of physical exercises that would remind anyone who has played a sport at a high-school or higher level of a weekly physical exercise circuit including sets of wind sprints and pushups.
Additionally, by now, many of you currently reading this are likely aware of the piece that was released by Zach Rosenblatt on July 28th detailing Kelvin Benjamin’s numerous and frankly childish complaints about Judge and his coaching methods as well as their personal disagreements that resulted in Benjamin being cut after making it through a large portion of the Giants offseason program as a possible option for a backup Tight End position when the season started.
One final note that many have pointed out is that, with the sudden retirement of Offensive Tackle Zach Fulton on August 6th, there was a span of 4 days starting on August 3rd during which, 3 players (including Fulton) on the Giants training camp roster decided to call it a career with those joining Fulton being Offensive Lineman Joe Looney and Linebacker Todd Davis.
With these issues occurring within the span of about a week, sports media has been having a field day with negative predictions for the upcoming Giants season and criticism of Judge coming from every angle, but I feel that there are some perspectives that are not being given as much attention as they should be given because it does not produce as many clicks, but if you look at these events from a different approach, almost all of these events could be conceived to be good things for the franchise in the long run and for this season in particular.
THE FIGHT: AUGUST 3rd
Regarding the team fight that occurred on the 3rd, I understand that it looks bad on paper, teammates getting chippy with one another, letting their emotions get the best of them and risking the health of the starting Quarterback, Daniel Jones are all negative events, there is no way around that fact. While I won’t go down the road of how the players said the fight was just a product of a competitive practice in a team that is attempting to form a winning culture, one can tell a lot about the demeanor of a team by listening to how the players speak about one another after having any sort of conflict. The Giants active players seemed to have moved on from the incident, taking away a lot of positives, one of which was the team building that comes from defending your teammates as well as showing everybody that Coach Judge is not here to play around.
I want to remind those who have been following the Giants this offseason that there was a large concern prior to voluntary OTA’s that the players on the roster did not care enough, now we are looking at a team that got a little chippy during the first padded workout and we criticize for them caring too much?
When people go 100% in competitive, athletic events, sometimes emotions and tensions boil over and people get into altercations, what is important is how those altercations are handled after the fact, and I am of the opinion that Judge handled the situation properly by enforcing conditioning-style discipline on the entire team and showing that he will not tolerate such antics while also reinforcing the notion that he is trying to build a competitive culture for a franchise that has not made the playoffs since 2016.
THE KELVIN BENJAMIN “HOAX”
Moving on to the last and possibly the most infuriating story of training camp, Kelvin Benjamin has found a way to move himself back into the spotlight with a series of complaints and accusations pertaining to Coach Judge and his aggressive methods as well as the circumstances behind his release.
[*You can find the full story from Zach Rosenblatt at https://www.nj.com/giants/2021/07/kelvin-benjamin-lays-into-joe-judge-after-getting-cut-by-giants-in-training-camp-it-was-all-a-hoax.html]
While I won’t spend too much time talking about a player that hasn’t made an impact on a team in years, what I will say is that Kelvin Benjamin had absolutely NO right to say what he said about the Giants organization.
Benjamin claims that the Giants asked him to cut down to 151lbs from 165lbs by the beginning of camp. Instead, Benjamin did the exact opposite by gaining 3 pounds and was somehow bewildered at the fact that the Giants were unhappy with his new weight.
Once he was told he was being fined for doing the exact opposite of what he was asked, Benjamin stormed off, started trash-talking Joe Judge and was cut a few hours later.
Benjamin then had the audacity to claim that Judge will never be a super-bowl caliber coach, which is quite rich coming from a man who has never won a title talking about a man who’s been on several different winning coaching staffs at various levels (Alabama and the Patriots).
Kelvin Benjamin can say what he wants to, but at the end of the day it is clear that this Giants organization is trying to create a culture of competition, challenge, and dedication which he clearly did not fit into, as he claims his experience with the Giants has “turned him off” from the game of football.
Either that or he’s just a washed-up player who no team will touch…
You can decide for yourself.
 https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/nfl-training-camp-2021-here-is-every-joint-practice-session-leading-up-to-week-1/  https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/31950328/teamwide-brawl-abruptly-ends-new-york-giants-training-camp-practice  https://www.nj.com/giants/2021/07/kelvin-benjamin-lays-into-joe-judge-after-getting-cut-by-giants-in-training-camp-it-was-all-a-hoax.html  https://www.sportskeeda.com/nfl/news-why-veteran-giants-players-retiring-training-camp-brawl  https://www.espn.com/blog/new-york/giants/post/_/id/62658/brawl-aftermath-new-york-giants-players-defend-joe-judges-take-a-lap-ways  https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-ota-absent-players-20210527-e2npsug4nvgwbemmf5momiy57q-story.html  https://www.nj.com/giants/2021/07/kelvin-benjamin-lays-into-joe-judge-after-getting-cut-by-giants-in-training-camp-it-was-all-a-hoax.html