In a division where three out of the four head coaches have each led a team to a Super Bowl appearance, it’s a bold assertion to argue that first-time NY Giants’ head coach, Joe Judge, has the highest ceiling for success over his NFC East counterparts this season. But I will make it anyway.
Throughout his seven years in New England as a special teams assistant, then coordinator, and later wide receivers coach, Judge was part of three championships while being surrounded by elite athletes, experienced coaches, and a winning mentality.
To say he’s learned the trade well would be an understatement.
Still, his debut season in this role naturally has him pegged as the underdog in a division now coached by so much winning experience; and the failures of Judge’s two predecessors still hanging over the franchise don’t help matters.
Plus, Judge is coaching a roster comprised of players with 1-3 years experience on average, including himself. This means he’ll have the most potential for unexpected success while being granted the most leeway for errors.
However, it’s important to note that this belief in Judge’s ability to shape the current roster into a postseason contender sooner rather than later is not to claim that the NY Giants have the best team in the NFC East.
This year, they don’t.
But rather, it is to say that of all the head coaches in this increasingly competitive division, Judge has the most potential to succeed on a team that has the ability to make more noise than most experts predict over the next few years are finally committing to a total rebuild.
Just look at the Big Blue’s 2020 future power rankings. The bar has already been set low for this team.
Overall, Judge’s X-factor will be his ability to lead, along with how well he’ll be able to communicate with his new coaching staff that features an experienced Jason Garret as offensive coordinator and Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator, who will also be serving as Judge’s assistant head coach.
It will also be interesting to watch how Judge manages the versatility of the young athletes currently filling out his depth charts, and how well he’s able to utilize their talents to win football games this season.
The rookie coach and his new offensive coordinator are in lockstep about getting input from their young players on how things are run on the field which is a huge step forward from the rigid Pat Shurmur who would hardly consult with his own offensive coordinator.
He’s also been adamant about tailoring the team’s schemes around his current player’s strengths rather than being scheme dependant which they have been for the last two seasons.
Meanwhile, he’ll have Jason Garret and the head coaching experience he brings from Dallas, to act as a sounding board for ideas on team management as well as how to draw up his offensive schemes.
I am also very optimistic Judge will have more success instilling discipline in this team than his two predecessors, who were both ultimately unable to instill and sustain accountability during their head coaching stints.
Therefore, even matched up against Super Bowl-caliber coaches Mike McCarthy, Ron Rivera, and Doug Pederson, Judge is an underdog who could very well steal the spotlight in the NFC East this season, and could really get into the mix in 2021 and beyond.