It is that time of the year, the NFL coaching carousel is up and running once again. Black Monday has offered several surprising firings that should become very enticing job opportunities moving forward in the off-season. However, one of those openings will not be the New York Giants head coaching position.
At the start of the 2021 season, the talk centered on how Joe Judge was the present and future voice of the Giants. But that notion fell into serious doubt after another disappointing campaign.
The evidence was overwhelming. They need a change at the head coaching position. Judge’s job status went up in the air as the Giants ended the season on a six-game losing streak. Offensive play-calling or the lack of was the point of contention. The G-Men were outscored 163-56 in those six losses.
Despite the embarrassing play, no word on if Judge has been told to clean out his office.
Are the New York Giants Owners Retaining Judge for 2022?
Nothing official, but the Giants owners, John Mara, and Steve Tisch, are expected to retain Judge for a third season as head coach. Mara and his coach were scheduled to meet later on Monday. So, there has not been any confirmation of the results of their meeting. It would not surprise anyone if the Giants decided to clean house and begin the search for a new hire.
One aspect working to Judge’s advantage is the shape of the team’s roster. It has been poorly constructed for far too long. The lack of talent has more to do with former Giants general manager Dave Gettleman‘s player selection process than Judge’s coaching style. The offense had troubled fielding the same starting lineup in consecutive weeks to make an impact in games.
Both Mara and Tisch feel Judge has laid a foundation in place. But it has not been easy to devise a game plan with the number of injuries sustained this season. Too often, the Giants coaching staff had to revise or remove what was working the previous week because of personnel availability. Lack of depth on the roster eliminated any chance of continuity on the football field.
Injuries Derailed Giants Offense
The Giants injury list is a who’s who of the NFL. Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, and rookie sensation Kadarius Toney all have missed significant playing time due to an assortment of injuries. And the “heart and soul” of the Giants receiving corp, Sterling Shepard, may have played his last game with the franchise after tearing his Achilles tendon in a Week 15 21-6 loss to a divisional rival, the Dallas Cowboys.
Plus, Daniel Jones (neck injury) has not played since Week 12, and three-fifths of the projected starting offensive line has missed the majority of the 2022 season. Despite all of the despair, Judge never complained about the Giants predicament.
Instead, he preached to his team to worry only about what they can control. And to be their best in film sessions, on the practice field, and in games. Granted, the Giants have not been very competitive in games this season. But if this franchise is going to win at a high level once again, then the physical part of their game must be elevated as well.
What Changes to Expect For The Giants?
Changes will take place this off-season. The most obvious question that must be answered is who the quarterback will be in 2022. They wasted another season. The Giants failed to get a definitive answer on Jones’ ability to play the position. He rarely received any time in the pocket to make plays. And those available playmakers were ineffective in complimenting him in crucial down situations. The decision to retain Jones or trade for an established quarterback will determine the size of the rebuild to be undertaken by the Giants.
One of the concessions that Judge may have to agree to is replacing the majority of his offensive coaching staff. Yes, the results have been that poor to force such a change. However, if Judge offers any pushback, it might be the final nail in his coffin.
Gettleman did announce his retirement from the Giants on Black Monday. The next GM could be hired with a stipulation that Judge remains on board. But that does not stop them from starting a running clock on the embattled coach.
Judge might be given another season to turn this mess around. If he fails, then the new GM will be able to move on from him and coronate their choice as the next coach. You have to believe that person in charge has a list of possible head coaching candidates readily available.
It will be interesting to see if this stipulation limits the number of candidates that interview with the Giants. It may come down to a precious few who are comfortable working in a collaborative effort with a head coach already in place.
A breakthrough must take place in his third season at the helm or Judge will likely be out of a job.
Judge’s Future Unsettled
The bar has been set by the accomplishments of two former Giants head coaches. Bill Parcells and Tom Coughlin each led the franchise to two Super Bowl titles during their tenure. Mara and Tisch must decide if Judge is the right choice to continue in their footsteps as the Giants head coach.
Right now, they’re the only two individuals who know the job status of Joe Judge.
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