I wrote about the future of the Giants three most important men back in September, and wrote how the future of Joe Judge is very murky. Well, heading into week 14, his future still remains murky, except one thing has changed: The fan base is beginning to turn on Judge. This doesn’t spell well for Joe Judge’s future, but there is still very much a chance he returns in 2021. Now, the question is, does he deserve to be fired, and did he even get a fair shake at being the Head Coach?
Joe Judge was the Patriots Special Teams Coordinator prior to be hired as the Giants Head Coach. The rarity of special teams coordinators being hired as head coach’s led to the fan base questioning this decision…but then Joe Judge spoke. In perhaps the greatest opening press conference of all time, Joe Judge had the fan base’s attention. He sounded firm, intelligent, and lit a fire to this fan base. His rookie season as a head coach led to a 6-10 season, while simultaneously coming within one game of a playoff birth. The near playoff birth, combined with the fact that the Giants played hard for Judge led to the fan base embracing him as their Head Coach. Fast forward to December 7, 2021, and things have changed. Joe Judge’s cliché responses to the media are growing old, his ultra conservative play calling is maddening at times, and his use of timeouts is unbelievably poor. Judge still has players largely playing hard for him, but the team is 4-8 and a playoff birth is a long shot at this point. Despite his shortcomings, the main reason Joe Judge may be fired, is out of his control, which leads to the question of:
Would it be fair to fire Joe Judge?
Joe Judge’s future may be murky, but Dave Gettleman’s is not. Whether he is fired or retires, Dave Gettleman will not be the Giant’s General Manager in 2022. This is infuriating because it never made sense to keep him after 2019. The Giants cleaned house in 2017, hired Dave Gettleman, who in turn hired Pat Shurmur. After two years, Shurmur was dismissed following the 2019 season, but Gettleman was kept. He then helped hire Joe Judge. The Dave Gettleman era has led to a bissmal 19-41 record to this point. It’s time for new leadership at the GM spot. The problem is that Joe Judge hasn’t been here the whole time that Gettleman has. He has been here for two years, and the team hasn’t been great, but if not for Gettleman, I’m not sure that Joe Judge being fired would be as likely as it is right now. Combined with this, a report from Jason La Canfora came out two weeks ago that could possibly show how Joe Judge was forced to do something, that he never wanted to do.
Jason La Canfora released a report stating that Joe Judge wanted Jason Garrett out as Offensive Coordinator after 2020. It states that ownership was very fond of Garrett, and Judge kept him after a, “thorough review.” To me, that means that ownership may have strongly expressed their liking of Jason Garrett further leading to Judge keeping him. It has long been assumed by fans that the initial hiring of Jason Garrett was also a move that ownership may have forced upon Judge. Although there is no proof of any of this, Judge’s other hires have been greatly different compared to Garrett. Most of Judge’s other hires have had some sort of connection to Judge in the past, including Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham (who has been a success). Judge also tried to interview Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll prior to hiring Garrett as OC, but was blocked by Buffalo. This combined with the fact that the Giants requested permission to interview Garrett as their Head Coach before hiring Judge, has given this theory that Garrett was an ownership hire even more steam, not to mention that Judge got rid of two former Jason Garrett assistants, in Marc Colombo and Stephen Brown. I haven’t made it a secret that I think Jason Garrett greatly hurt the Giants over the last two years. Obviously, he wasn’t the only problem with the offense, but he had a very large part. Although Garrett was a huge issue, Judge isn’t innocent in any of this as he is the Head Coach, and has input on what this offense should look like. But if he wasn’t given the opportunity to hire his own Offensive Coordinator, well then wouldn’t it be fair to see what the offense could look like if Judge gets a shot to hire his own guy? Then again, nothing in the NFL is fair.
Joe Judge’s time with the Giants is looking very bleak these days. He hasn’t been great, but his possible removal as Head Coach would also be a product of the General Manager who hired him. They say history repeats itself, well the Giant’s should learn from this.
When (yes WHEN) a new General Manager is brought in, he/she should be able to pick their own Head Coach, whether that is Joe Judge or not, and whether that is fair to Joe Judge or not.
(Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)