Saquon Barkley: NY Giants still fighting for Joe Judge
NY Giants running back, and captain, Saquon Barkley says that Joe Judge still has the commitment of his players, despite swirling rumors about his job security
Following Joe Judge’s impassioned defense of the culture he’s trying to build Sunday afternoon, despite his team’s 4-12 record, there has been some question over whether players are still in their head coach’s corner.
Entering Sunday afternoon’s season finale, Judge owns a meager 10-22 record, and perhaps is on rockier ground in terms of job security in the eyes of Giants owner John Mara than he was even a month ago.
But, NY Giants running back and captain Saquon Barkley said this week that he and his teammates still believe in their head coach, and are still playing hard for him.
"“Coach is a passionate coach,” Barkley said of Judge, following Thursday’s practice. “He said things that he felt and that he believed in, and that a lot of players in the locker room believe in, too. What I took from it was the message that this place is going in the right direction. It may not look like it right now from the outside looking in, but internally we know what we have here, we know what we’re doing in the locker room, meaning the characters that we have, the personalities that we have, the work ethic that we have. Sometimes, it doesn’t automatically transfer to the football field, but like I said after I talked after him, I believe it’s the only way I know how to get stuff done, how to improve and how to get better is to continue to work and continue to trust the process.”"
Judge is aiming Sunday, not only to finish the season off with a victory over the Washington Football Team, but also to stave off being the third consecutive NY Giants head coach to be fired after two seasons or less.
Friday, Judge brushed off any notion that he’s feeling any sort of added pressure.
“No. My focus is on playing Washington,” Judge said. “We talk all the time about ignoring the noise. Whatever’s going on outside this building a lot of times I have no idea about … Getting our players ready to go.”
For what it’s worth, NY Giants safety Julian Love seemed to confirm some of the issue that had happened during Pat Shurmur’s time as head coach, before Judge’s arrival, that Judge mentioned during his post-game soliloquy.
“I know somebody told me that he mentioned in years past that it was like that,” Love told reporters Wednesday. “I can attest to that being here for a few years now. I think thankfully you’re not seeing that. You’re not seeing guys lose focus. You’re seeing guys, like I said, be attentive to this game and just really giving it your best. It’s a prideful thing. You don’t want to just fold, so I think that’s what we are discussing.”
It remains to be seen if Judge has done enough on Sundays, or if his message following Sunday’s blowout loss resonated with Mara enough to save his job for at least one more season. But, it sounds as though the players inside the NY Giants’ locker room are still fighting for him, even though there’s nothing much else left to play for.