NY Giants head coach Joe Judge has very little high-level coaching experience, and as such, it’s imperative that he adds a former NFL head coach to his staff.
Joe Judge will be taking on a tall task when he jumps all the way from special teams coordinator to head coach of one of the proudest organizations in football. For the NY Giants to be successful in 2020 and beyond, many things are going to need to happen.
The first one is Joe Judge building out a well-rounded coaching staff, and the biggest part of that in my mind will be making sure one of the coordinators he adds has former head coaching experience. While Judge seemed to show he’s got the stones to make it in this business -especially in New York – at his introductory press conference, things are going to get much more difficult when whistles start blowing.
The biggest mistake the last two NY Giants head coaches made was attempting to do too much, namely calling offensive plays. Judge will have to learn from their mistakes and be an effective delegator of responsibilities, and it will only help him to have someone on his staff that’s already been a head coach to ease the transition.
While considering potential candidates to fill the vacant (for all intents and purposes) offensive and defensive coordinator positions, it would be wise for Judge and the organization to choose an experienced coach that poses no real threat to Judge’s job security should things start off sour.
Luckily, there are more than a few names that fit that billing at the moment. The most prominent name that has been brought up in this regard might make many Giants fans begin to feel nauseous, but when you really begin to think about the role he would be playing, there are few (if any) better-suited candidates for this particular role than Jason Garrett.
First off, Garrett received almost zero interest from other teams in this most recent NFL coaching carousel (he was technically under contract, but everyone knew that was a farse). More importantly, ‘captain clap’ has a proven track record of success as an offensive coordinator, as the Cowboys had a top-five offense when Garrett was in that role.
Garrett has also always gotten the most out of his quarterbacks and would figure to work well with Daniel Jones. By all accounts, Garrett is one of the best people in football and a hard worker. The Giants reached out to Garrett around the time Joe Judge was hired, and although the nature of the call has still not been released, many believe it was in fact for offensive coordinator (John Mara also recently came out and gave his blessing on Garrett becoming the OC).
I recently ran a poll on GMENHQ.com feeling out NY Giants fans on whether or not they’d be okay wit Garrett coming in as offensive coordinator, and the results were surprising. Out of almost 500 votes, 70% said they would be okay with Garrett coming over in that capacity.
In addition to Garrett, another recently fired NFC East head coach makes some sense as well, in Jay Gruden. Gruden was the OC in Cincinnati for years and routinely coaxed top-level results out of his unit. Gruden seems much more like a coordinator than a head coach, and he has to realize that his second chance as a head coach is likely not coming without years of success as an offensive coordinator again.
On the defensive side of the ball, Wade Phillips makes a ton of sense in this capacity as well. Phillips was recently let go by the Rams and has a litany of head coaching experience that dates back 25 years. Phillips was the defensive coordinator for the Broncos team that won Super Bowl 50, and has routinely led some of the most fearsome units in football.
There are more options than just these, but I think you’re starting to get the point. Joe Judge is making a tremendous leap at a young age, and he’s likely going to need to surround himself with wisdom and experience to make this work.
Other than Freddie Kitchens (who I guess technically fits this role, too?), not much has come out about potential hires for either coordinator positions just yet, and many believe Kitchens would be brought on as a QB coach anyway.
We’ll keep you posted as anything breaks from here on out.