Joe Judge collateral damage of a flawed Giants franchise

The Giants failed Joe Judge in more ways than Joe Judge failed the Giants.

This judge gone, relegated to a few lines in the next team media guide, is a byproduct of the terrible hand he was dealt, more than the failures that came to light as a young head coach for the first time.

To be clear, there were shortcomings. The judge can be a bulldozer when it comes to trying to fix things. His working relationship with General Manager Dave Gettleman soured over the past season, a situation in which neither is beyond reproach.

Judge hasn’t helped himself on a number of fronts this fairing season on the road, unraveling a bit when he needed to stay as solid as possible. When an unproven guy goes 4-13 in Year #2 and his team is outscored 163-56 in a final six-game streak (all without his starting quarterback, mind you ), turning match days into three-hour torture sessions, there’s no solid case to be made for a No. 3 year. But there is a file.

The perception of the judge and the reality of the judge are not one and the same thing. The tough image conveyed by the unfounded “Timmy Tough Nuts” label doesn’t come close to the entirety of who Judge is as a person and as a head coach.

He never ripped his players in public. Do you think he had any thoughts on the state of his offensive line that he was eager to share after one of those ridiculously weak offensive performances? There wasn’t a word from the judge, and those linemen knew he had his back.

The judge was not a facsimile of Bill Belichick. He invited a small group of media members who covered the Giants to an after-dinner meeting at his hotel suite in Cleveland during joint workouts with the Browns. Judge, in his spare time at the team’s facility, conducted media “chalk talk” sessions, going to the board to explain the intricacies of his offense and defense. He hosted a media dinner in Tucson when the Giants were training at the University of Arizona in December. It was far from Belichick-ian.

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge supports
Joe Judge didn’t get what he needed from the Giants to sniff out success.
robert sabo

It’s not Judge’s fault that he arrived as Gettleman was in the third year of a decision-making slide that largely weakened the roster. Some inside the Giants insinuate that Judge worked so hard with his players that his team was never able to regain their health, which is why he was eventually forced to hold just one intensive practice a week. What is undeniable and needs to be investigated is why the return of injured players has often taken longer than the expected recovery schedule.

Co-owner John Mara promised patience. The judge told him that was not a quick fix. Of course, it was hard to take some of Judge’s repeated assurances that progress was being made behind the scenes. Of course, his “a lot of things are going in the right direction” mantra after the 20-9 loss at Miami sounded delusional. But, remember, the judge was told he would have time to build from scratch and he was certainly led to believe that time would not be limited to two years or more.

It wasn’t fair to dump Judge after just two seasons, but it really wasn’t fair to the GM search process to retain Judge and have that decision weigh in on the new man in charge of operations. of football. As usual, the good of the team outweighed the good of the individual, and judged the collateral damage.

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge walks with general manager Dave Gettleman at practice
Dave Gettleman’s salary cap management left Joe Judge and his team with too many holes to fill.
Corey Sipkins

Mara, with all that recent experience, should have the proper gait for her biannual routine of walking down the hall to fire the head coach. He said it was “heartbreaking” to tell the judge he was fired. Probably not as heartbreaking, however, because the judge then has to tell his wife, and especially their four children, that their two-year stay in New Jersey, after making new friends, adjusting to new new schools and handing over their Patriots gear for all the Giants stuff, it was over and done with.

The judge grinds down his coaching staff and his players, and that can be tiring. As the attack faltered, he tried to keep things afloat by micromanaging that side of the ball, but there were too many holes to plug. The roster was hemorrhaging and in need of reinforcements, but the Giants were so tight against the salary cap that they couldn’t afford to bring in any help, leading to desperation among the coaching staff. .

“Joe is a good guy,” said an assistant coach. “He got away with it the best he could.”

Joe Judge was flawed, but not as flawed as what was going on around him. He was 38 when he was hired and 40 when he was told to leave. The Giants said they knew he was going to have some growing pains, but they didn’t give him enough time to grow.

Leave a Comment