Giants’ Xavier McKinney takes subtle shot of Joe Judge’s coaching style

The New York Giants went from one of the most disciplined head coaches in the NFL to one of the most relaxed in Brian Daboll. Former HC Joe Judge focused on discipline and preparation, which ultimately failed the team miserably in hopes of rebuilding over the past two seasons.

There were some notable positives, but poor roster construction hurt the team. In the end, Judge was always poised to fail, with general manager Dave Gettleman always making big decisions on the back end. However, ownership took a whole new route with Joe Schoen and Daboll, formerly of the Buffalo Bills.

The first feedback from players regarding Daboll’s style is quite different. Third-year safety Xavier McKinney specifically noted how player-friendly Daboll is and the conversation that comes with refining specific strategies and plans. Communication is a big part of team spirit and chemistry, something Daboll prides itself on.

“The communication part, it’s not as tense as it used to be,” McKinney said on The New York Post’s “Blue Rush” podcast. “You can be yourself, you can be yourself. When we come here, we always come here to work, but it’s just fun, everyone being who they are and having fun with it.

McKinney said Daboll allows players to be themselves, where they had to follow strict rules and discipline before. Clearly, this has strained the players physically and mentally over the past two seasons, and McKinney has already begun to have a positive relationship with the former Bills offensive coordinator.

“He’s been great,” McKinney said. “Communication has been fantastic. Him asking us, ‘What’s too much? What is too little? What more do we need to do? What should we reduce? Just him being transparent with us and having that line of communication always open.

Daboll made it a priority to ask players what they would do differently and what strategies to implement moving forward. In its third season, McKinney has some ideas about what to change moving forward, and that may include removing excessive turns.

Recently, McKinney had a casual chat with the new Giants head coach while smoking a cigar, showing a totally different mentality than Judge.

“He was smoking a cigar and we just had a chat, he just asked me how the week was going, I told him fine,” McKinney said. “Things like that have been great, it’s refreshing to know that he really is for the players and wants to see us succeed and really help us in the way that we need.”

Many Bills players in the past have noted their extraordinary relationship with Daboll, especially Isaiah McKenzie and Stefon Diggs. Both players have said great things about their former offensive coordinator and what he brings to the table.

It’s quite interesting that the Giants went the opposite way of their former head coach, but so far so good when looking at the player’s comments.