A day after a brawl for all the headlines at New York Giants training camp, it seems as if all is harmonious in the Big Blue locker room and it's time to move on.
Veteran wide receiver Sterling Shepard conveyed that the team is turning the page and made it clear that he has no problems with Joe Judge's old-school approach in punishing the team for the fracas.
"I think it was yesterday. Kind of got to move on and focus on getting better today," Shepard said, via team transcript. "This is training camp, man, emotions are going to run high, guys are fighting for jobs, we're going to be competing, so with that level of competition, things are going to get heated. It boiled over a little yesterday, but you learn from it and you keep on pushing and keep on moving on, and that's what we're focused on doing today."
It boiled over Tuesday when running back Corey Clement broke into the third level on a run and was hit by safety Xavier McKinney. Tight end Evan Engram followed with a push to McKinney and safety Logan Ryan retaliated in defense of his defensive backfield mate with a shove of his own. Thereafter, the rest of the team joined in the skirmish.
Drawing as much notice as the donnybrook was Judge's reaction. The second-year coach set his team to running and doing push-ups as punishment. It's nothing new in the still-short but memorable Judge era.
For Shepard, it now comes with the territory and he was rather emphatic as to how those who disagree can handle it.
"That's kind of the standard that we've set here in this building and as a team, and I think guys have bought in and know what to expect whenever you step on the field and when you're playing under a guy like coach Judge," Shepard said. "If you don't like it, then you're welcome to leave. But that's the way that we do things around here and everybody is standing by that, and I'm all for it. I mean, it's a little different for us because we're receivers, we've got to be able to run all day, but I don't mind it."
Following all the hubbub on Tuesday, things returned to being puppies and rainbows rather quickly.
"We're great, man," Ryan said via SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano on Tuesday. "It's football. It's a physical sport. If you're not tough or chippy I don't know if you can play this game. Me, Evan, we're locker buddies. We'll be fine. This is a football team. Practice gets physical and chippy, but everything gets left between the lines."
So the Giants are moving on from their Tuesday tussle, but Judge is confident they're coming away wiser for the dust-up.
"What happened yesterday at practice would have taken away an opportunity to win a game based on the actions on the field," Judge said Wednesday, "so there needs to be consequences, there needs to be a lesson learned and we need to move forward as a team and not repeat the mistake."