There are numerous ways to perceive the hiring of New York Giants head coach Joe Judge, but it’s ultimately a wait-and-see situation.
Joe Judge? Who is Joe Judge?
That’s the question everyone asked when it was reported that the New York Giants were interviewing him for their head-coaching job. It’s the same question fans are asking now, after Big Blue has already given him the position.
It’s also the very same question the man himself brought up during his introductory press conference on Thursday afternoon.
“Who am I?,” he asked.
Judge understands that most people didn’t or still don’t know who he is or what he’s about. Special teams coordinators don’t usually receive substantial amounts of attention. When’s the last time you turned on a football game and the camera showed the special teams coordinator?
Despite residing in a big-time position with big-time responsibility, a ton of these guys are unknown. Judge is no stranger to that notion.
Thus, when the announcement was made that Judge would be the Giants’ next head coach, many fans were outraged. It’s okay to be. It’s normal to want a big-name candidate like Mike McCarthy, Matt Rhule, or even Josh McDaniels, and then be disappointed when you don’t receive one.
The Andrew Luck retirement was the same concept. Fans portrayed their rage the second it occurred, actually booing him off the field in a preseason game. But when you sit down and think about it, you start to process it a bit more and realize what the decision truly means.
That’s what’s going to happen with Judge. At the end of the day, it’s a wait-and-see type of situation.
Here’s the thing: you can initially look at this hire anyway you want, just like you can with any hire.
Let’s introduce a hypothetical and say the Giants hired McCarthy before the division rival-Dallas Cowboys swooped in and signed him. You can make the argument that it’s a good move. The man did indeed make it to the playoffs nine times with the Green Bay Packers, which included one Super Bowl win. You could also make the argument that it’s a below-average hire. McCarthy went 4-7-1 in his final year with arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time under center in Aaron Rodgers.
Another hypothetical: the Giants interviewed and hired Rhule (arguably their original top candidate) prior to the Carolina Panthers offering him a seven-year deal. A good move? Yes, he essentially turned the Baylor football program around, going from 1-11 in his first season to 11-3 in his third and final season. A bad move? Sure, he’s only coached for one year at the pro level, serving as the assistant offensive line coach for the Giants in 2012.
Not a hypothetical, but reality: the Giants hire Judge to be their new head coach. The pro is that he’s worked with massive names in the coaching industry, like Bill Belichick in New England and Nick Saban at Alabama. The con, on the other hand, is that he has no head-coaching experience at any level. None whatsoever; his only jobs have been graduate assistant, linebackers coach, special teams assistant, and special teams coordinator.
The point is this: every coaching hire has both benefits and detriments. But, there’s a difference between Judge and the other two aforementioned names.
McCarthy and Rhule have both won and lost games as head coaches. McDaniels is also someone who’s experienced both wins and losses from that same spot. What’s Judge’s record as an NFL head coach? That’s right, 0-0. A clean slate.
You have a sense of what you would receive out of McCarthy, Rhule, McDaniels, Eric Bieniemy, or Don Martindale. They’ve all been offensive coordinators, defensive coordinators, or head coaches. Thus, you’ve seen how they operate and you’ve witnessed when they’ve succeeded and when they haven’t.
How much recognition or attention does a special teams coordinator usually receive? Again, little-to-none. Therefore, you essentially don’t know what you’re going to see out of Judge. It’s impossible to really determine at this point.
A 0-0 coaching record doesn’t bring confidence nor discouragement. It brings curiosity. It brings excitement and anticipation over what this hire could eventually mean.
Overall, the hire of Judge is purely a wait-and-see type of situation, and “wait” is just what these fans will need to do.