It took one day before an announcement was made, but Joe Judge is now officially the new head coach of the New York Giants. After serving as the New England Patriots’ special teams coach from 2015 to 2019 and as wide receivers coach last season on top of it, Judge will now get his first shot at leading a whole organization. And when reading what Bill Belichick had to say about the hire, it sure sounds like the 38-year-old will be up to the task.
“Joe has done an outstanding job. He’s an excellent coach,” the Patriots’ head coach, who worked alongside Judge since he hired him to become New England’s assistant special teams coach in 2012, said in a statement released by the Giants on Wednesday. “He understands the game well, works extremely hard and is a very good teacher of fundamentals. Joe picks up concepts and coaching points quickly.”
“He is an exceptional leader and one of the best coaches I have been around. He has been responsible for coaching units comprised of nearly every player on the roster. That requires an ability to handle many moving parts, make constant adjustments and immediate decisions. I appreciate Joe’s many contributions to our staff and team and wish him well,” the statement by Belichick continued.
The contributions Belichick mentioned extend beyond being responsible for the kicking game operation and the wide receiver development in 2019 as well. They also include game planning as well as pre-draft and scouting work — Judge, for example, was regularly involved in the pro day process and furthermore also played a role in the team finding players such as undrafted rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler in 2014.
Belichick praising Judge for his work while also pointing out his qualities as a coach is nothing new, and something he did numerous times over the course of the 2019 season:
12/31/2019: “Joe’s done a great job. He’s done a great job with the kicking game, and as you said, he’s expanded the role a little bit and that’s kind of had a little bit of a ripple effect in the way we’ve organized the kicking game, but that’s all worked out pretty efficiently. Joe’s done a good job of organizing that, as well as taking care on some other things with the offense and particularly receivers. So, he’s done a good job. He’s an excellent coach.”
12/22/2019: “Our staff’s adjustable. We’ve had, especially with Joe Judge and Josh McDaniels, they’ve been through pretty much every scenario you can go through from a scheduling standpoint. They’ve done a great job in terms of having players prepared.”
11/26/2019: “Joe [Judge] and Troy [Brown] have done a great job of bringing [the young wide receivers] along.”
9/10/2019: “Joe’s done an outstanding job. He’s a very good coach. He understands the game well, works very hard, very good at fundamentals. Joe picks up things, concepts and coaching points quickly and he and Josh [McDaniels] have worked well together at that position. Troy [Brown]’s been a great addition, too, to help us with the receivers. I think all of those guys have done a good job.”
8/9/2019: “Joe does a good job. Joe has a lot of responsibilities, and he does them very well. There are things for all of us on the coaching staff that we need to work on, and we’ll just keep working on them. That’s what preseason games are for, and training camp and so forth. We’ll just keep working individually and collectively as a staff to be more efficient and do a better job.”
Needless to say that Belichick thinks highly of the Giants’ new head coach, which is also why he reportedly sang his praises during a phone call earlier in the week that helped New York come to a decision in Judge’s favor. Whether or not it works out for the ex-Patriot and his new team remains to be seen, but Belichick can certainly be counted among those admiring his skills as a coach in the NFL.