Sterling Shepard: Joe Judge is a tough coach, but that’s what we needed

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Wide receiver Sterling Shepard has played under three head coaches, but hasn’t experienced a winning season since his rookie year.

Though the Giants narrowly missed winning the NFC East in 2020, they still finished 6-10. Still, during an appearance on The Oklahoma Breakdown podcast, Shepard said he feels like the discipline and toughness Joe Judge instilled in his first season bodes well for New York going forward.

“He’s a tough coach, man,” Shepard said, via SI.com. “He’s tough coach, but that’s what we needed. For the previous two coaches, we didn’t do any conditioning or anything like that. But I will say last year was my first year of really having conditioning — it kind of felt like Oklahoma all over again.”

Shepard added that he saw the benefits of what Judge brought from that standpoint during games.

“You know what? It was honestly good for us,” Shepard said. “We would get into the fourth quarter and guys would be wheezing and we were like, nothing happened. So he’s getting us into shape, but it’s all for good.”

The Giants did improve by two games from 2019 to 2020, and the team gave up nearly 100 fewer points year over year. But even in the NFC East, Judge has to instill a little more than just toughness to become a true contender.