Joe Judge said he was going to fix it.
He did. For one game, anyway.
The head coach who in the course of last week promised things would be better and put the responsibility for that on his own shoulders with a memorable quote about stinky fish, was doing more than just talking about change. He actually applied it to the way he coached the team, returning the focus in practices from game-planning for opponents to fundamentals and techniques.
“Last week there was a large aspect of making sure that we understood that we control the results based on how we perform and execute,” Judge said. “Every good play starts with good fundamentals and that was a large emphasis in what we did in practice last week.”
It was like training camp. They weren’t worried about the Panthers. They were worried about the Giants.
So they worked on details and communication, on the depths of their drops in zone coverages on defense, on the precision of their route-running on offense.
“It’s really about us,” rookie linebacker Azeez Ojulari said. “At the end of the day, it ends up going back to us and what we have to do out there, and how we do it, and just trying to fix everything in that standpoint of us.”
Now we’ll see if the fix sticks.
Judge seems to think it might. When they won their first game of the season against the Saints earlier this month he was warning just about everyone he could about the dangers of positive results in the face of inconsistent action.
“Sometimes, the worst thing that can happen to you is doing something the wrong way and having success,” he said back then. “Sometimes, you have success and it’s in spite of something you did wrong, and you can’t mistake that for the way to do it.”
He went so far as to call that kind of thinking “the most deceiving thing in the history of mankind.”
The next two games showed just how deceiving it was. They were crushed by the Cowboys and Rams.
After this victory over the Panthers, however, Judge no longer seems concerned about the fool’s gold he saw in New Orleans. This week they’ll be doing the same things they did in …….