With the New England Patriots’ 2019 season coming to a disappointing end on wild card weekend, the focus quickly shifts to an offseason that might bring considerable change to the organization — from quarterback Tom Brady’s uncertain future, to a long and star-studded list of soon-to-be free agents, to numerous front office members and assistant coaches potentially leaving town to pursue opportunities elsewhere.
Among the latter group is wide receivers/special teams coach Joe Judge, who will visit the New York Giants later today for a head coaching interview. While it seems unlikely the Giants eventually end up hiring Judge given his lack of experience as a head coach or even a coordinator in the NFL, the interest still reflects how highly he is viewed around the NFL — and not just: a new challenger for his services might have just emerged, after all.
Last week, Mississippi State fired head coach Joe Moorhead after going 14-12 over his two seasons with a 7-9 record in the SEC and two unsuccessful bowl game appearances. Louisiana’s Billy Napier was seen as the leading candidate to take over, but with him announcing on Sunday that he would not be a candidate for the opening the focus quickly shifts to other options. One of them might just be Judge.
Both AL.com’s John Talty and The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman have mentioned Judge as a possibility to fill Moorhead’s shoes, and it is not hard to see why. After all, the 38-year-old spent his college career at Mississippi State and stayed with his alma mater as a coaching assistant in 2005. Since then, Judge has had close ties to the school and according to sources might be interested in the job if the opportunity presented itself.
Judge’s lack of experience as a head coach or coordinator might again hurt his chances, but the situation is certainly one worth keeping an eye on — especially considering the potential fallout for the Patriots. While the special teams units would likely go to his assistant, Cameron Achord, there is no clear line of succession at the wide receiver position (all while offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels also might leave the organization).