BY LESLIE MONTEIRO
(Photo credit: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
This came out of left field.
The Giants fired Joe Judge on Tuesday rather than let the new general manager determine his fate. In a sense, this was surprising.
Obviously, John Mara could not deal with any more criticism about his head coach or his operation. The fans sent their message loud and clear about not wanting him retained just so the team can hire someone outside the organization to oversee the Giants football operation.
If the Giants want to lure Buffalo Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen or Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles or Baltimore Ravens director of player personnel Joe Horitz, there’s no way they would take the job if they inherit Judge as head coach to start building the team back on track. Understandably so since both would be on different wavelengths with the head coach coaching for his job by winning and a general manager wanting to start all over. This arranged marriage would be a waste of everyone’s time.
It was more important to hire a general manager than retain Judge.
Besides, it’s not like Judge earned the right to coach next season. Not with a 10-23 record in two seasons. Not when his team quit on him by being outscored 163-56 during the six-game losing streak to finish an uninspired 4-13 season.
Judge showed he was not an NFL head coach material in his two seasons here. He never developed players. He always came off with excuses after losses for whatever reason. He never was accountable after a loss. His whining about the Philadelphia Eagles mailing it in in the final game of the season that aided Washington to beat them and win the NFC East while costing the Giants a playoff spot was pathetic. His 11-minute diatribe of why he should be the Giants coach next year after a 29-3 loss to the Bears two weeks ago was self-serving.
He was the wrong guy from the start. He was never going to be the solution. There was no way a new general manager wanted to inherit Judge. He knew that, too, which is why he was lobbying for Kevin Abrams to be the general manager, which probably was a sign for Mara that a clean change was needed.
Judge coming from the Bill Belichick tree raised alarms since not one head coach that worked for the future Hall of Fame coach had success once they left him. He learned from his boss to act like he was the smartest man in the room. Not surprisingly, it turned off his players and some of the coaches on his coaching staff. Basically, he was Josh McDaniels lite.
He never showed he could master the Xs and Os of the game on game day. He couldn’t figure out how to outsmart his counterparts. He had no clue how to lead. Most importantly, he could never earn the respect of his players.
He lost his job because he failed to show Mara and Steve Tisch that he would improve at his job. He never offered a plan on what he can do to work well with the staff and players. Most importantly, he failed to inspire their confidence.
Judge wasn’t the answer then. He was never going to be the answer. Everyone knew it except him.
It’s hard to feel bad that he never had much to work with and that he lost his quarterback to a neck injury that had him out for the season. He had some talent on his roster to be at least mediocre. If the Giants won five to eight games, not only he stay, but Dave Gettleman stays.
For those that say the Giants did not give Judge the luxury of time, just stop. Staying on to the job has to be earned after two seasons. Either he is the guy or he is not from there. After two seasons, he failed to show he was, and that’s why he deserved his pink slip.
He should have been fired on Monday. It was a joke he stayed a day too long. Better late than never.
In the end, let’s remember Judge as the worst coach in Giants history.
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