The New York Giants hired their new head coach this morning and it’s an under the radar hire in Joe Judge. While he might not inspire excitement, he very well could end up being the best hire of this off-season. Judge had been with the New England Patriots since 2012. He started as a special teams assistant, eventually became the coordinator and this past season was also the wide receivers coach. Prior to 2012, Judge worked for Alabama under head coach Nick Saban.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who got his big break as an assistant coach with the New York Giants spent the early parts of his career as a special teams coach. Additionally, Judge, as the special teams coordinator, spent a lot more time with Belichick than other coaches do, as the other coaches need to install the offense or defense.
One complaint against former head coach Pat Shurmur was that he was calling plays and it affected his abilities to be a head coach. With Judge, that will not be an issue as he is not a play-caller and Judge already has a more global view of a team as he’s been a special team coordinator for so long.
A concern is who will be his coordinators. There have been reports that the Giants want to interview former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator. Garrett did an excellent job getting the best out of Tony Romo and Dak Prescott, both of whom were not highly regarded when they entered the NFL. With the Giants, he’d have the opportunity to work with a quarterback in Daniel Jones who was a high draft pick. Obviously, Garrett does not run the Patriots-style offense, which may lead to Judge and the Giants looking in a different direction.
Finally, the Patriots often have great special teams units. Special team standout Matthew Slater is an eight-time Pro Bowler, seven of those times coming with Judge on the Patriots staff. Additionally, Nate Ebner and Joe Cardona are amongst the best at their special teams positions.