Joe Judge Collateral Damage to a Flawed Giants Series
The Giants have failed Joe Judge in more ways than Giants Joe Judge has failed them.
The judge, relegated to a few lines in the next team’s media guide, is far more a byproduct of the horrific side that was dealt with, than the failures revealed as a young coach for the first time.
To be clear, there were shortcomings. A judge can be a bulldozer when it comes to trying to sort things out. Her working relationship with general manager Dave Gittleman has deteriorated over the past season, a situation in which neither of them can be blamed.
Judge himself hasn’t helped on several fronts during this hectic season, breaking down a bit when he needed to stay as solid as possible. When an unproven guy goes 4-13 in Year No. 2 and his team edges out 163-56 in the last six extended games (all without the starting quarterback, mind you), turning game days into three-hour torture sessions, it’s not There is a strong argument to be made for year number 3. But there is a case.
The judge’s perception and the judge’s reality are not one and the same. The ruthless image that the unfounded “Timmy Tough Nuts” poster reinforces is not close to Judge’s entirety as a person and as a head coach.
He didn’t tear up his players in public. Do you think he had some thoughts on the state of his offensive line that he was eager to share after one of those ridiculously poor offensive performances? There was a fiery word from the judge, and these angels knew they had their backs.
Judge Bill Belichick was not a facsimile. He invited a small group of members of the media who covered The Giants to an after-dinner meet in his hotel suite in Cleveland during joint practices with the Browns. The judge, while at the team facility, conducting briefings for “chalk talk,” went over the board to explain the intricacies of his attack and defense. He hosted a media dinner in Tucson when the Giants were training at the University of Arizona in December. That was far from Belichick Ian.
It wasn’t the judge’s fault that he arrived when Gettleman was in his third year of a decision-making process that greatly weakened the roster. Some inside The Giants will hint that Judge worked so hard for his players that his team couldn’t be healthy, which is why he eventually only had to do one tough training a week. What is undeniable and must be investigated is why it takes longer than the expected recovery time for injured players to return.
Co-owner Jon Mara promised patience. The judge told him that this was not a quick fix. Sure, it was hard to take some of the judge’s repeated assurances that progress is being made behind the scenes. Certainly his motto “a lot of things are going right” after the 20-9 loss in Miami sounded bogus. But, remember, the judge was told he would have time to build from the ground up, and he was surely led to believe the time would not be limited to a two-year deadline or otherwise.
It wasn’t fair to let go of the judge after only two seasons, but it wasn’t really fair for the general manager’s search to retain the judge and make that decision pending on the new man in charge of football operations. As usual, the good of the team outweighed the good of the individual, and the judge was the collateral damage.
Mara, with all this recent experience, has had to deal with a proper gait for every two years of his routine of walking down the hallway to dismiss his coach. He said it was “painful” to tell the judge that he had been expelled. It probably didn’t hurt, though, as the judge had to tell his wife, and especially their four children, that their two-year stay in New Jersey, after making new friends, adjusting to new schools and turning their Patriot gear into all things gigantic, was over and done. .
The judge grinds his coaching staff and players down, and he can wear that. When the offense tripped, he tried to keep things afloat by carefully managing that side of the ball, but there were plenty of holes to plug in. The roster was bleeding and in need of reinforcements, but the Giants were so tight-lipped against the salary cap that they couldn’t offer any help, which led to desperation among the coaching staff.
“Joe is a good friend,” said one of the assistant coaches. “He handled it as best he could.”
Joe Judge was flawed, but he wasn’t as flawed as what he was about. He was 38 when he was hired and 40 when he was asked to leave. The Giants said they knew there would be growing pains, but they didn’t give him enough time to grow.