Message Received: Joe Judge Is Running the New York Giants

Joe Judge

On the bye week, the New York Giants made news with the unexpected firing of offensive line coach Marc Colombo. If you were looking for a quote on the matter, then all of your online searches showed only comments from Giants head coach Joe Judge. The radio silence from ownership and the front office confirmed that Judge is running the franchise.

Yes, Dave Gettleman is still the general manager of the Giants, but we haven’t heard a peep out of him in months. However, when any team-related issue needed further clarification, you ask Judge. Who would replace Saquon Barkley after he injured his knee? Ask Judge. Is Daniel Jones endangered of losing his job? Ask Judge. You get the point. Every question pertaining to the Giants must go through the head coach’s office. Judge wants to be the franchise’s lone voice.

Message Received: Joe Judge Is Running the New York Giants

Pandemic Didn’t Stop Judge From Changing the Culture of the Franchise

For a first-year head coach, Judge has done an excellent job of changing the culture inside the Giants locker room. All of this has been done without the benefit of OTAs, minicamp, or a preseason schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, Judge accomplished this difficult task by holding virtual meetings with his players.

The sessions were part-learning the playbook and part-building a relationship with the new head coach. And despite being labeled “a hardass,” Judge has developed a deep connection with his players. You cannot deny the fact after witnessing the excitement taking place on the sidelines after each win this season. It seems like an “Us against Them” mentality.

Who isn’t encouraged by the improvement as the Giants desperately needed leadership at the top? This once-proud franchise had only won 12 games over the last three seasons and made one playoff appearance since winning their fourth Super Bowl title in February 2012. The Giants had become the laughingstock of the NFL. It was time for John Mara and Steve Tisch to change the narrative.

Players and Assistants Have Tested Judge’s Authority

Judge had to put out some fires along the way that could be construed as testing (rookie Andrew Thomas missing a team meeting and Golden Tate voiced his displeasure with the lack of targets in games) his authority. Both players were benched for their actions, but no lingering after-effects after serving their penance. However, that cannot be said following the Colombo incident.

According to media reports, Colombo had a verbal exchange with Judge after he was told that Dave DeGuglielmo was joining the Giants coaching staff as a consultant. There is no denying that the offensive line has improved their play over the last several weeks. But the unit’s overall performance wasn’t up to Judge’s standards.

Did the former Pro Bowler feel the heat? Absolutely, DeGuglielmo wasn’t brought in to break down game tape or clap his hands during practice. Instead, his voice was expected to be heard in all positional meetings moving forward. Colombo balked and was immediately replaced by DeGuglielmo during the bye week. Case closed.

Judge showed who is running the show. He has too much on his plate to be surprised by having one of his assistants going rogue. Colombo was naive to believe that Judge wouldn’t expect an explanation on why a key component of the gameplan wasn’t executed.

In the week prior to the Washington Football Team game, Judge put a premium on implementing a rotation at the tackle and guard position. Failure to execute your boss’s wishes is grounds for dismissal.

Judge’s Personality Can Handle Pressures of Coaching in New York

Critics love to label Judge as a Bill Belichick-clone, but he appears to be trying to create his own style as a head coach. Yes, he yells. Yes, he curses. But don’t the majority of all football coaches have the same characteristics.

Judge is the perfect head coach for the Giants. He understands how to operate in a high-pressure environment. Judge has the thick skin needed to disregard the constant second-guessing and criticism from the media. Still, it will come down to wins and losses if he is going to retain his job.

All Judge expects is his team to play mistake-free football each week. And the players have bought into his approach. You cannot argue with success as Judge has a roster short on NFL experience contending for a divisional title late into November.

Time will tell if Joe Judge is successful, but it seems like the 38-year old head coach is here to stay. He has risen the level of expectations for all Giants fans. The franchise seems to be on track in becoming the New York Football Giants once again.

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