EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Joe Judge seemingly came out of nowhere to land the Giants head coaching job.
But on day one at MetLife Stadium, he preached a coaching philosophy that Big Blue fans will gladly get on board with.
“I want the people that pay their hard earned money in the neighborhoods of New York, North Jersey and South Jersey to come to our games and know that the players on the field play with the same attitude they wake up with every morning,” Judge said. “That is blue-collar, it’s hard work, it’s in your face.”
Judge comes to New York after working under two of the greatest coaches in football history. From 2009 to 2011 he worked as a special teams coach at the University of Alabama under Nick Sagan. He spent the last 8 years working under Bill Belichick with the New England Patriots.
“I knew fully everyday that there were coaches out there who would pay thousands of dollars to sit in a staff meeting and just hear the wisdom they were saying on a daily basis,” Judge said. “I’d like to think I wasn’t foolish enough to squander that.”
But Judge says the best advice he got from coach Belichick was to be himself as he takes over the Giants. He says he believes in teaching, transparency, and old school football.
“Bottom line is he is foundationally sound,” said Giants General Manager David Gettleman. “He’s got a great a philosophy. He understands about teaching.
"It’s all that stuff, that he gets, that has me excited.”
Judge takes over for Pat Shurmur who was just 9 and 23 in two seasons with the Giants. When he found out he landed the position, Judge says his wife and kids were so thrilled they started making plans about the move and the team right away.
“I’ve got a 14-year-old who stays as current as can on everything. So he’s already looking to make GM moves and stuff. Sorry Mr. Gettleman," he joked.
"He’s telling me about the roster when I come home and things we can do and stuff.”
“He’s got a big task, he’s 38 years old, he’s never been a head coach, so it is going to be a daunting task,” Giants Owner John Mara said. “But everything we know about him and everything he showed in our interview with him tells us that he’s ready for it.”
Judge says he knows he’ll have to rely on the other members of the organization and the coaching staff he’s yet to hire to prepare him for the new role. But he says his previous experience gives him a head start.
“On special teams, one thing you have to manage is time, another thing you have to manage is people. As a head coach, those are the two main things you have to manage, time and people. So I’ve had experience to prepare me for that."
"I don’t have all the answers. I’m not preparing to sit here and tell you a lie like I have all the answers. But I am telling you I’ll find out the ones I don’t know and make sure by the time we give them to the players, they’re the right ones.”
“He knows it’s day one, we all know it’s day one, but day one was pretty impressive,” said Giants Owner Steve Tisch.
Now Judge says his first priority is evaluating the roster. But he made one thing clear, it doesn’t matter how anyone ended up on the Giants, they’re going to compete for a position everyday if they want to stay here.