With Joe Judge at the helm of the Giants, the team cannot fail.
Judge, a former Patriots special teams coordinator and Mississippi State grad, has set the Giants up for success in the future. A year ago, the team went through a painful season under the leadership of Pat Shurmur, a head coach that struggled to get through to Giants players. When the team was conducting interviews to replace Shurmur, many great football minds interviewed for the position, including Mike McCarthy, Eric Bienemy, and Don Martindale. John Mara and the Giants eventually settled on the young and unproven Joe Judge.
Fans were skeptical as Judge was not well known within the football realm. However, those thoughts changed when Giants fans heard Judge’s introductory press conference. Judge stated, “We’re going to put a product on the field that the people of this city and region are going to be proud of.” That kind of confidence was never there from previous coaches like Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur. Judge continued, “We will play fast, we will play downhill, we will play aggressive, we will punch you in the nose for 60 minutes. We will play every play like it has a history and a life of its own with a relentless competitive attitude.”
For once, it felt like the Giants were passionate again. That same hard-nosed mentality that powered the 2008 and 2012 Super Bowl wins was back.
To support himself, Judge brought in former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and former Dolphins assistant Patrick Graham to serve as his coordinators. Garrett would serve as an experienced mentor and play-caller, while Graham’s ivy league smarts would completely transform the Giants’ defense.
The new regime’s offseason and draft acquisitions have also been very impressive. Franchise tagging Leonard Williams and signing James Bradbury, Blake Martinez, and Logan Ryan gave the Giants relief at some of their weakest positions while not sacrificing so much in cap space.
Drafting Andrew Thomas, Carter Coughlin, Shane Lemieux, Darnay Holmes, and Tae Crowder gave this team so much more depth and hope for the future.
And after 13 weeks of football, It’s evident that Judge’s message has gotten through to his players. The Giants are currently 5-7 and lead the miserable NFC East with only the Washington football team to worry about. After starting the season a dismal 1-7 with awful play from quarterback Daniel Jones, the Giants season seemed to be over. However, the team put together four straight wins against Washington, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Seattle. Jones has improved and is turning the ball over less, and Wayne Gallman Jr. has filled in remarkably for the injured Saquon Barkley.
Whether or not the Giants can turn this season into a playoff berth, Judge’s mentality, old school methods, and personnel decisions have catapulted this team from perennial losers to a team that instills fear in its opponents.
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