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Giants Hire Patriots WR/ST Coordinator Joe Judge as Head Coach

The Giants have hired Joe Judge to be their new head coach.  Judge has been with the Patriots since 2012, was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2015 and then wide receivers coach in 2019.  The 38-year-old Judge could gain some veteran experience on his staff with the Giants also asking to interview former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett for offensive coordinator.

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49 comments, Last at 12 Jan 2020, 7:47pm

2 Obviously special teams…

Obviously special teams coaches rarely get the top job. I admittedly know very little about Judge, but it's a little disappointing that when one finally gets hired, it's yet another Belichick guy. Never made sense to me why we should assume that working in proximity to someone not able to be replicated is supposed to turn that person into another version.

Also surprised it wasn't Toub or Fassel to get hired among current ST coaches.

3 In thinking about it, it's…

In thinking about it, it's hard to pan this move when we don't know what traits make a good NFL head coach. The checkered history of hiring successful coordinators suggests it's a weak factor. And how do we know a coach is successful or because he happens to oversee a talented roster.

Take Jon Harbaugh. Is he a good coach? He would seem to be given his success, although I'd argue prior to this season, his tenure was pretty much the same as his predecessor... someone no one has considered for a head coach. If he went to the Giants, would we assume he'd be successful there?

10 He's won 62% of his regular…

He's won 62% of his regular season games and 63% of his playoff games, plus a Super Bowl, in perhaps the NFL's most consistently difficult division.

If that doesn't reach your bar for good coaching, the problem is with you, not him.

11 Brian Billick has a 56%…

Brian Billick has a 56% regular season win percentage and a 62.5% in the playoffs, including a sb. He has been unemployed for over 10 years.


His qbs in that time were Tony Banks, Trent Dilfer, Grbac, Anthony Smith, Kyle Boller, and Steve McNair.


Which resume sounds more impressive?



13 There are three…

There are three possibilities as I see it, I just don't know which of the three it is


A) The ravens got lucky and have had two good coaches


B) The coaches are lucky and the ravens organization is the reason for the success.


C) The coaches and the organization are both good and each deserve 50 percent of the credit pie


I can understand someone buying into any one of the three, but for me, when I see replacements do the same as the incumbents, I tend to be suspicious. Whats more, when I see defensive coordinators keep leaving and the defense remains the same, that smells of choice B.

14 Hiring staff is perhaps the…

Hiring staff is perhaps the most important job of a head coach, and head coaches who hire staff well on the other side of the ball from their orientation are not the norm. Billick hired Marvin Lewis, Mike Nolan, and  Rex Ryan as his defensive coordinators, and his other defensive coaches were quite good as well. Billick's biggest failure was probably not realizing that Elvis Grbac didn't really like being a starting qb in the NFL, once he had a few million in the bank. I also suspect the reason Billick never worked again was mostly his choice. My best guess is that Billick was pretty good.

26 as a Patriots' fan

I knew that the Patriots could always beat Billick's team.  Not so with Harbaugh.  Belicihck was 3-0 vs. Billick and is 6-4 vs. Harbaugh.

Should note, however, that Billick gave the 2007 Patriots their toughest regular-season test.  

16 It's C. Of course it's C…

It's C. Of course it's C. Successful franchises are good at identifying players *and* identifying coaches. Regardless of what Jerry Jones thinks, getting a bunch of guys who rate well on Madden doesn't get you a Super Bowl.

Billick definitely deserved another shot, but the Ravens fired him because they weren't getting the production they believed they should be getting out of the players they had. Plus I think it was Marty Schottenheimer who said after 10 years, a coach's message just starts wearing thin, or something like that.

The Cowboys, Browns, and Redskins are three organizations that are "average-to-good" at identifying talent (Dorsey's really good), but they can't find good coaches (or won't let good coaches *be* good coaches), and so they don't succeed long-term.

18 "It's C. Of course it's C. "…

"It's C. Of course it's C. "


How do you know it's C. What evidence tells you that its unquestionably not B or A? Are you convinced if they had hired Rex Ryan for example, the results would be dramatically different? What about Marvin Lewis or John Fox?

45 "Are you convinced if they…

"Are you convinced if they had hired Rex Ryan for example, the results would be dramatically different? What about Marvin Lewis or John Fox?"

Yes on Ryan and Lewis, less so on Fox. Rex Ryan's only had success at the Jets at this point, and it wasn't sustained, and Marvin Lewis... not sure much needs to be said there. Fox is somewhere in between there. He might've had good success in Baltimore. Probably not as good as Harbaugh, but that's just my opinion, since Harbaugh's only been a coach with the Ravens.

The entire NFC East's been basically a testing ground for this idea for 25 years. Jerry Jones fires Jimmy Johnson because he thinks he's getting too much credit, and they haven't had any success since. I mean, it's not like Jimmy Johnson had huge success elsewhere either, but you can't just plug in "random coach X" into a good team and get top-end results for a decade. The rest of the league adapts to you, and the difference between a good coach and a bad one is adaptability.

You can then look at the Eagles, for instance, where it's clearly *both* the coach *and* the organization. Andy Reid leaves (for extenuating circumstances, not because he's a bad coach), goes to KC and immediately turns them around. They make a bad hire in Chip Kelly, and quickly realize it, fire him, and identify and bring in Doug Pederson, who's definitely not "random coach X," just looking at his overall decision-making.

I mean, I think you're getting cause and effect reversed here. Places like Philly, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Kansas City - all of those places are "good organizations" *because* they allow the coach to succeed. I mean, I'd say "New England" too, but picking up 3 Super Bowls in your first few years goes a long way to keeping an owner happy.

28 The difference between…

The difference between winning 62% of your games and wining 56% of your games sounds small, but it's pretty significant. Billick went 80-64 with the Ravens, while Harbaugh has gone 118-74. If Billick came back for three years and went 12-4, 12-4, and 14-2, they'd be even.

32 On the face of it, yeah. But…

On the face of it, yeah. But we also know that Baltimore had a consistently stellar defense, with multiple Hall of Famer players throughout that period, and which continued once he departed. Baltimore's offensive DVOA rankings throughout his tenure were 26, 23, 25, 22, 27, 15, 22, 12, 25. Yes the QB talent was generally bad, but it doesn't appear Billick did much to help matters.

37 Sure, but that's baked into…

Sure, but that's baked into my basic point. The profile of the Ravens has stayed the same over this entire run(until Lamar arrived). The difference between the Harbaugh years and the Billick years seems to me about qb and the skill talent. 



47 Objective, perhaps not. But…

Objective, perhaps not. But there are many indicators that Harbaugh is a very good coach. The fact he always played the Patriots tough when other more talented teams couldn't, speaks volumes to me. The fact that he's been consistently successful with mediocre talent at QB is something not seen much -and if Billick did, too, I don't see how that's a counterargument. Two good coaches in a row is hardly unprecedented. A third thing is Lamar Jackson. I don't know about you, but I'm very confident Lamar wouldn't be the Lamar we know if he'd landed in most other teams. Many NFL coaches are notoriously stubborn and will only use one certain system even while they're failing spectacularly. The embrace of analytics is a yet another factor. The fact that the Ravens are rarely flat or seem unprepared (unlike, say, the Steelers, who never seem ready for bad teams).

I agree that we can't know for sure or come up with definite stats for coaching, but with coaches that coach long enough you usually get a pretty solid notion of how good they are.

31 ". . .we don't know what…

". . .we don't know what traits make a good NFL head coach."

Well, yes we mostly do. The problem I think is twofold:

1) The traits that make one a great coordinator aren't those that make for a great head coach.

2) Owners and hirers being able to identify those traits prior to offering the job (whether in the interview process or somewhere else).

In most organizations, the CEO knows the business & product as well as anyone. In pro football, that couldn't be further from the truth.

4 I don't understand people…

I don't understand people thinking Jon Harbaugh isn't a good coach. If anything, the Ravens' problems before the last two years were based on a mediocre quarterback taking up too much cap room. Even then, the Ravens never cratered.
The list of special teams coordinators hired to be head coaches is small; only Harbaugh and Cowher come to mind. That both were successes makes me think that special teams coordinators should be hired more often. I definitely think Toub would make a good head coach, at the least.

5 Let me first start by saying…

Let me first start by saying I think John Harbaugh is a good coach. He's embraced analytics and seems to have the best understanding of the risk-reward nature of fourth-down aggression.


Here's my counter-argument of sorts. If you look at the Ravens pre harbaugh, they were either a slightly below-average team or a good team with one great year. They were a consistently good defensive team with good offensive line play but a weak quarterback and weak set of receivers. and this somehow stayed a true even after coordinator after coordinator left to become a head coach.


What I've described in the pre harbaugh years is pretty much what happened with harbaugh. It's almost exactly what happened, except Flacco was a better player than Boller, Anthony Smith, or broken down Steve McNair.

8 I don't know much about him…

I don't know much about him. NE special teams have been good over the last 5 years (ranked by FO as 16th, 11th, 3rd, 8th & 5th). The NE WR`s were not so good this year, hard to gauge effect of talent/coaching/QB. A quote from NY Times "Judge has a reputation for having a fiery personality. “It’s definitely a different vibe,” Patriots receiver Julian Edelman told The Providence Journal this season after Judge took over the wide receivers coaching job. “Joe Judge is a very passionate guy"." If his personality is positively fiery (encouraging, excited about football) and not negatively fiery (denigrating, insulting) then that would certainly help.

9 I see the Patriots have…

I see the Patriots have managed to ruin another franchise.

It's remarkable, really.

The rule is simple -- Belichick or Scarnecchia. No one else is worth a handful of beans.

19 It's not at all clear that's…

It's not at all clear that's true, though. Bill O'Brien seems to get a huge amount of hate, but he goes to the playoffs pretty much every year. Brian Flores looks good, although of course it's been just one year.

25 I predict a total disaster…

I predict a total disaster. The results with the NE wide receivers this year were not impressive. Since Belichick specifically focuses on special team players, their special teams should at a minimum be in the top half just by default.
So there is nothing about his coaching that would predict success.
His 'fiery' personality has been reported to be at least partially being a jerk. One can get away with that coaching up players trying to make the Patriots regular roster. Not so much players on a losing Giants team.
Gettleman is famous for being a jerk that players dislike. Add a coach with the same personality and I would imagine that players will only play there is they are being paid exrtra, and even then, only until they can get out.

36 "Fiery" and "passionate" is NFL speak for "raging sociopath."

"Fiery" and "passionate" is generally NFL speak for "raging sociopath" when it isn't just boilerplate drivel. Odell got described exactly that way when he cheap-shotted Josh Norman. I'm sure Richie Incognito and Vontaze Burfict are very fiery as well.

I worry the reason Gettleman liked Judge was a shared interest in old-school dumb-guy football, ie running the ball up the middle for minimal gain and the fact that Judge likely won't be in a position to question the dubious personnel Gettleman is going to make going forward.  

49 I'm not sure how this isn't…

I'm not sure how this isn't obvious by now, but the Giants are a family business first, NFL organization trying to win games second.  Nearly every decision they've made in the past 20+ years has been more about familiarity than winning.  Judge got hired because he had the BB (former Giants DC) stamp of approval. Gettleman got hired because he used to be in the building.  Reese lasted there about 5 years longer than he should have because of loyalty.  Coughlin was a former Giants WR coach and got a very long leash there.  The team has tried to rebuild despite continuing to play Eli, pay him a lot of money, and firing a coach who wanted to bench him.  Apparently Accorsi (the GM 3 regimes ago) still has significant input on key decisions.  From his comments, it seems that Gettleman was forced to build some semblance of an analytics function.

Put it this way, would the Giants have emulated the Steelers' behavior from awhile back and hired a guy like Tomlin?  I don't think so.

38 Is anyone else surprised…

Is anyone else surprised Roman isn't slated as a top HC candidate? He's almost like Fangio - lots and lots of success in the league.

48 It goes in cycles

This seems to me to go in cycles. The league goes back and forth between "let's wait and decide after the Super Bowl because those coaches are the best candidates" and "gotta get somebody before they're all gone and we need to start team building NOW!". Interestingly, it doesn't seem to matter in the end as teams just end up making bad choices anyway.

I wonder if Roman would have gotten more consideration if they knew that the Ravens would be out of the playoffs by now.