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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Giants’ Joe Judge expects to see Buccaneers’ ‘best football’

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Tom Brady threw two first-quarter interceptions and the Buccaneers this past Sunday lost in Washington, 29-19, the second consecutive loss for the defending Super Bowl champions. 

Brady is not accustomed to such lulls and there is a school of thought that the Giants are getting Brady and the Bucs at the wrong time, on a losing streak and eager for redemption Monday night in Tampa. 

“I don’t know if that exists,” coach Joe Judge said. “This guy is always working to be the best out there. I would expect to see their best football of the year this [week], I really would. I’ll expect to see Tom play his best football, I’ll expect them to play their best defense as a team, best offense, best coaching job they’ve had. It’s a very, very talented roster. They won the championship last year for a reason.” 

Joe Judge (left) expects Tom Brady (right) to play his best football following the Bucs' second consecutive loss.
Joe Judge (left) expects Tom Brady (right) to play his best football following the Bucs’ second consecutive loss.
Bill Kostroun, Getty

Judge, of course, knows Brady better than most as a member of Bill Belichick’s Patriots coaching staff for eight years with Brady in New England. 

RB Devontae Booker, K Graham Gano and FB Eli Penny all missed practice for personal reasons. … LB Lorenzo Carter, who missed the past two games with an ankle injury, showed no sign he is close to returning — he worked with trainers on the side during Monday’s practice. … Rookie RB Gary Brightwell was activated off the COVID-19 reserve list and participated in individual drills. Brightwell and running backs coach Burton Burns both tested positive for COVID-19 and missed the game against the Raiders. Burton also returned to the team this week. 

The Giants, coming off their second-best rushing game (31-149) of the season, will not have to face one of the NFL’s premier run-stoppers Monday night in Tampa. 

DT Vita Vea exited Sunday’s loss with a bone bruise and slight MCL sprain and is expected to miss the game against the Giants. 

There were five NFL general managers in attendance for last Saturday’s North Carolina versus Pittsburgh game, a game featuring two of the top quarterbacks in college football, Sam Howell of North Carolina and Kenny Pickett of Pitt. The Giants sent Kevin Abrams, their assistant general manager, to this game. 

Do not connect the dots and assume the Giants are in the market for a quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft. 

“There’s a lot more than just quarterbacks that were in that game,’’ Judge said. “We look at a lot of players. That was one of the more notable games last week during the bye week for our guys to get out and watch different players. In terms of our responsibility, it’s our job to know everyone who’s available on the street, through these transactions and the draft next year, through free agency. That’s our job, to know what’s going on out there, but I wouldn’t read too much into that.’’


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