Joe Judge is a promising young coach
The start of the last season didn’t look good at all for the New York Giants. But they were able to finish strong while being led by head coach Joe Judge in his first season at the helm.
Despite a good finish, Patrick Daugherty of NBC Sports has Judge ranked at number 23 out of 25 NFL head coaches.
Joe Judge began his Giants career with bits. No names on jerseys, etc. It made him an easy punchline for a slumping organization. Things started off equally poorly during the regular season, where Judge’s squad produced 0-5 and 1-7 records. The second half was much better, with the G-Men closing 5-3 and coming within a Nate Sudfeld cameo of winning their pathetic division. With offense exploding league wide, the Giants were a rare bulwark for the other side of the ball, surrendering 94 fewer points than the year prior. That was the ninth best mark in football after three seasons of finishing 23rd or worse. The problem was Judge’s offense, which showed zero second-year improvement under erratic starter Daniel Jones. The front office is throwing weapons at the issue, but it will fall to Judge to make lemonade out of Jones’ lemons. Judge can sometimes feel like a “football guy” parody — he took the Sudfeld thing just a little too personally — though he has successfully toed the line of instilling a hard-nosed attitude while keeping his players’ respect. There’s a chance 2020 was Judge’s ceiling. The fact it wasn’t the floor campaign so many were expecting was a surprising, encouraging development.
Daugherty has some valid points, but should Mike McCarthy, Jon Gruden and Kliff Kingsbury be ranked higher than Judge? Probably not with all of the talent they have to work with and how much they’ve underachieved.
After a 6-10 record last season, I don’t think Judge is one of the best coaches in the league, but he got a lot out of a bad roster in 2020.
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