The story goes, supposedly, like this…
1) Matt Rhule took his offer from Carolina and his people reached out to the Giants and told them they’d have to beat it for him to interview/to get him (and probably dump GM Dave Gettleman as part of it…my opinion). The Giants declined.
2) Josh McDaniels wanted too much control/didn’t want to work with Dave Gettleman.
3) Missing out on their #1 (McDaniels) and #2 (Rhule) options, and rumors flying that Patriots’ special teams coordinator Joe Judge was going to get a sweet offer from Mississippi State to be the new head coach (Judge’s alma mater)…the Giants panicked, Judge leveraged into his best deal and was willing to work with Gettleman (for enough money) – and Joe Judge becomes the Giants panic-option new head coach.
Josh McDaniels would have had plenty of coaches ready to go with him to his new destination, wherever it might be. Rhule had a group he was bringing, ready to follow him. Joe Judge, the panic choice, had no real staffing connections and was hired with finger’s crossed and the Giants then started adding a cavalcade of recently fired ex-head coaches (Garrett and Kitchens) to round out Judge’s key staff positions.
The hiring of Joe Judge was not well thought out, was not the best option available or the Giants Plan A or B…or probably C or D…but in typical NFL fashion – you panic after ex-Belichick anything and hope that some magic dust rubbed off on them. It hasn’t really worked all that well for years now, hiring ex-Belichickian assistants…but that didn’t stop the Giants, in their panic.
With that…New York Giants fans who have seen their franchise go straight down the toilet, a shell of its former glory – welcome your new, panic-grabbed head coach with no head coaching or offensive/defensive coordinator experience. How awful have the two New York football organizations become? How low have they stooped?
Now, all that ‘storyline’ doesn’t mean Joe Judge is a bad (or good) coaching hire. We’ll get into that…it’s just, it’s an inauspicious, non-exciting, non-detailed way it’s starting out.
Joe Judge was an SEC Academic all-star football player for Mississippi State. He leveraged that into becoming a grad assistant for Miss State 2005-2007, to begin his coaching journey. Eventually, he became a special team’s assistant with Alabama (2009-2011). The Alabama stint got him into a special team assistant job with New England in 2012, working his way to special team’s coordinator in 2015 for the Pats and he’s held that position ever since…but adding ‘WR coach’ to his responsibilities in 2019.
Matt Rhule has taken two down and out college programs and revived them to heights they never thought possible, so quickly, in the past decade. During that same time Joe Judge was coordinating special team’s for Bill Belichick. Do you think Judge was super critical to operations in New England?
The Giants had two choices with two very different resumes – Matt Rhule or Joe Judge. The Giants went with Joe Judge…99%+ of the football population would have gone with Rhule. Get those Giants season tickets while you can!!
My assumption, like many -- the Giants went with Joe Judge because it was a name GM Dave Gettleman felt he could control. Purposefully, hiring an empty resume with no real coaching tree to pick from – so, Gettleman was needed to help fill staff. This is The Dave Gettleman show and Joe Judge got a guest acting part in the production.
This has disaster written all over it.
But can Judge coach? Is he potentially a savior?
How can anyone know? Judge has no head of operations experience at all and has been given a staff of many cast-offs to work with. It’s not Judge’s team…it’s Gettleman’s. Judge has no track record to even lean on to predict his future here. Being in the same building as Belichick as the top qualification for the job has failed much more than it has succeeded in the NFL. All we can bet on is – this is set up to fail gloriously. The one saving grace is the NFC East is probably the weakest division in football…the Giants could get lucky and have a blip moment and give a head fake (a la Ben McAdoo being a savior for one season).
What impact will Judge have on the Giants from a fantasy perspective? Well, I’m sure the kick coverage team will be good…I guess? We don’t know what impact Judge will have.
What we do know…
I watched Judge’s intro press conference and saw a lot of the same new coaching hire nonsense talk…the ‘we’re going to be the most disciplined’, ‘playing tough, hard-nosed football’, and ‘not letting penalties beat us’. If I had a nickel every time that I heard all that recited in a new coach’s intro press conference…
Joe Judge feels like he's a re-do of the tough guy act of the Tom Coughlin style in New York, but Judge has none of the gravitas – and players mostly hated Coughlin in New York and recently in Jacksonville. What time players get to meetings will be paramount…using players creatively will be nonexistent.
Players, fans, and management quickly hated Josh McDaniels’ attitude as a rookie, ex-Patriots head coach in Denver. Detroit is experiencing some of the same with Matt Patricia. The Texans have nearly pulled the plug on Bill O’Brien a few times, and there has been fan unrest for a while. From that tree/style of ex-Patriot assistant coaches promoted too fast – comes Joe Judge, possessor of the least resume/coaching experience of all of them.
My gut feeling from Judge’s intro press conference and subsequent interviews – they are going to want to be a physical run team and tough defensive unit (like most every coach). Judge won’t be calling the plays or coaching the offense, by his own admission he’ll rely on his staff – and the O-C is the most ‘empty cup’ coach in the NFL, Jason Garrett. So, good luck with that.
The Giants will be what we all assume for fantasy – Saquon Barkley heavy, because it’s the obvious thing to do…and this team worries more about the media than building a real operation. But they’ll be short on talent surrounding Saquon, likely leading to disappointing results and limited upside. Why short on talent? No one sees the Giants as a place to want to go play for years now -- and Dave Gettleman is not attracting the top free agents and players are not looking at Joe Judge and Jason Garrett and thinking this is a great career move for them. The Giants will be in their recent, familiar position of overpaying mid-tier free agents to play for them.
The whole setup looks terrible…doomed before it even gets started.
The GM is a problem. The organization’s perception in the league is dying. The head coach is inexperienced. The staff was thrown together. The quarterback is not a stud/franchise guy and has a major/turnover fumble problem. The defense has holes…too old in the front seven, too young (but promising) in the secondary.
What will the 2020 Giants look like and produce for fantasy? About the general same activity and excitement as 2019…meaning ‘very little’.
Joe Judge may be a great coaching prospect, but he got thrown into a trash heap to get himself started.
2020 College Football Metrics Season Has Begun
Time to start the studies, scouting, grading, ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft class. CFM, as always, will have scouting reports on all the top prospects and small-school sleepers and everything in-between as we grade/rank over 600+ prospects by draft day. We’ll cover the East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and NFL Draft along the way and build to our weekly Top 200+ Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings (including IDPs).
We’ll also look back at the 2019 NFL Draft and 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings and re-do the 2019 Rookie Draft to see where we’re at and what items undervalued (now) to target in 2020. So much scouting to do – the Dynasty/Fantasy studies never end and are constantly fluid. It all starts again in early-mid January 2020.
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