Photo: Charles Wenzelburg/New York Post
You can’t make this up. Well maybe you can in Giants’ world where everything runs amok.
Second-year Giants head coach Joe Judge conducted Giants training camp on Wednesday, and already chaos started. Just one day. Remarkable. Normally, it takes weeks or months for a crisis to begin. Here’s the funny thing about all this if you are scoring at home: it was a light workout with guys wearing shorts.
When I woke up to this news Wednesday morning about the Giants cutting Kelvin Benjamin before the end of practice because of Wesley Steinberg’s satirical tweet of him being escorted for stealing food at the Giants facility, I chuckled knowing he was released for being overweight for camp.
When I arrived home to check on Twitter, I found out Benjamin ripped Judge on his way out of town. This is not a laughing matter.
The former Giants tight end let it all out to NJ Advanced Media’s Zack Rosenblatt and ESPN.com’s Jordan Rannan Wednesday evening. He accused Judge of sabotaging his chances of making the 53-man active roster. He thought of his tryout as a hoax.
But that did not interest me much. Benjamin ripping Judge as a person and a head coach should be the story. It should raise concerns for Giants fans and John Mara. Heck, even Giants general manager-for-life Dave Gettleman should be bothered by this.
Look, go ahead and mention him spewing bitterness, but there is a tinge of truth to what he said about Judge. He mentioned the Giants head coach won’t win a Super Bowl because he sits there and cusses all day. He mentioned him being one-sided rather than give-and-take. Think my way or the highway. Think of this as him being another Bill Belichick wannabe.
He might as well have spoken for his former teammates that play for Judge. He can speak out because he is gone. Not many Giants have the luxury to do what he did.
Benjamin’s incident with Judge conjured memories of last season with Judge and Golden Tate. Tate’s wife expressed his dissatisfaction on Instagram about him not getting enough catches from Giants quarterback Daniel Jones after a Giants’ 25-23 loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 2. Judge felt Tate put his wife up to it, so what he did was force Tate to practice with the team just to let him not travel with the team to Landover in the Giants’ matchup against the Washington Football Team.
Judge handled it in an amateur fashion. There was no reason for him to do this to a proud veteran. If the Giants head coach had a problem with this, he should have suspended his wide receiver when he found out about this. He basically humiliated him by making him practice just to make him stay at home. He did this intentionally.
It was petty and immature on this head coach’s part. He should have handled this like a man.
There’s no question players took note of it. They couldn’t have been happy about it. This may have inspired Benjamin to speak out. He did the Giants and their fans a favor.
When Benjamin mentioned that Judge acts as he knows it all, it reminded me of the Giants head coach getting into it with then-Giants offensive line head coach Marc Colombo about offensive line techniques. It got so bad that Colombo wanted to punch him. Oh, and Colombo was fired for having the gumption to go against the head coach. No one could blame Colombo for acting out since Judge hired Dave DeGuglielmo to oversee the offensive line. This is just another example of Judge not knowing how to get out of the way. Oh, and DeGuglielmo didn’t exactly do a great job as an OL coach.
I can’t speak for the Giants players about Judge. No one knows how they feel about him. But a 6-10 record last season should be a barometer. Another losing season should erase no doubt that the players don’t think much of Judge as a person or as a head coach.
Who knows what John Mara is thinking? But he can’t be happy Benjamin aired his grievance on his head coach. This comes after Mara came off so delusional in an interview with New York Post’s Steve Serby the other day about how he found the right guy in Judge as the Giants head coach, never mind this head coach had a losing record and couldn’t lead the team to an NFC East title in a season that featured four losing teams in that division.
Gettleman can’t be happy with the power Judge has. There’s no way the Giants general manager wanted to cut him just because he was overweight. Remember Benjamin passed the conditioning test. Remember the Giants general manager doesn’t like to be reminded he is wrong, so he will have this faith in a guy no matter what. Just ask Daniel Jones. One would think the Giants would have been all in on Aaron Rodgers or draft Justin Fields this offseason, but Gettleman believes he found his quarterback even though he is the worst quarterback in football.
Gettleman brought Benjamin to camp as a favor to his once wide receiver. They knew each other from their Carolina Panthers days, Realistically, Benjamin had no shot to make the team. The Giants general manager knew it, too. But for his head coach to make sure this ended right away rather than wait for a month, it came off as a power trip.
Don’t mistake this for empathy for Gettleman. It’s hilarious to see a power-hungry general manager getting his from another power-hungry Giants employee.
This is about a head coach who thinks he has it all and he can use his power in any form. This is about a head coach who doesn’t understand how to communicate or work with players. This is about a head coach who doesn’t get it. It has gotten old.
Judge can pull a power play on his general manager all he wants. He can act like he knows it all, unlike his players. He can behave like Belichick. He can BS with the writers. He can make Giants fans like suckers.
Sooner or later, he needs to back it up with wins and playoff appearances.
Otherwise, incidents with Benjamin, Colombo and Tate not only cost him his job with the Giants, but he may not get a chance to be an NFL head coach again.