The NY Giants shocked everyone on Tuesday by hiring relatively unknown Patriots special teams coordinator, Joe Judge, as their new head coach. Here’s why it’s far too early to truly evaluate the move.
Man, what a wild morning that was. What was expected to be a somewhat normal day in this head coaching search turned into a frenzy, as NY Giants fans went from panicking (me included) over ‘losing out’ on Matt Rhule (more on that later) to having a new head coach in a matter of minutes.
Joe Judge has interviewed for numerous head coaching gigs, despite ‘only’ being a special teams and wide-receivers coach, including the Giants’, but was still not considered to be a strong candidate due to his lack of meaningful experience. Apparently, John Mara and Dave Gettleman see something special in him, as they declined the chance to match Matt Rhule’s mammoth offer and brought on Judge instead.
At first, it was a true wonder as to why the Giants seemed to rush into hiring Judge, but as the morning unfolded it began to make much more sense. First, he had an offer on the table from Mississippi State (somewhere he previously coached) to become their new head man. With so few NFL gigs left, it’s fair to assume this was a time-sensitive issue for him.
Second, it’s come out that Matt Rhule was not as high up on the NY Giants’ wish list as many reported (including us). This was proven true by the fact that Rhule reportedly gave the Giants the chance to match his offer, and they told him not even to get on the plane.
Often times, critical information is leaked to the media during these coaching searches. To the front offices’ credit, this didn’t seem to be the case here for Big Blue, as almost no one had this as a possibility. Judge has served as the special teams coordinator for New England from 2015 through this past season and added wide-receivers coach to his resume in 2019 as well.
The 38-year-old also spent time as Mississippi State and Alabama, notably coaching under Nick Saban To say his coaching tree is impressive would be an understatement, as having coached under Saban and Belichick can only be considered a positive.
For what it’s worth, Belichick has had glowing things to say of Judge, calling him an “excellent coach” and saying he knew he was head coach material early on. As we’ve seen before, being a Bill Belichick disciple does not guarantee future coaching success, but it sure as heck can’t be considered a negative.
As we begin to calm down from the craziness that ensued this morning, let’s remember that it’s far too early to assess this hire in any way. Most have likely never even heard Judge speak, let alone know what type of ship he will be running with Big Blue.
He deserves a chance, and a solid amount of time, to install his system and practices before we even begin to determine if this was the right move. For starters, it would be prudent for him to bring in a former NFL head coach as either his offensive or defensive coordinator to help smooth the big transition he’ll be undergoing.
At the end of the day, this is our new guy, and it symbols a change of guard from the Giants of the past. This is a true out of the box hire, and hopefully signals a new way of operating.
Here’s to hoping Joe Judge knocks this out of the park.