The case for Joe Judge keeping his job is getting a bit more ambiguous.
The Giants are spiraling toward another crash landing in another lost season, and Judge knows it. Following an embarrassing 29-3 loss to the Bears on Sunday, the Giants’ second-year head coach delivered an 11-minute rant (or impassioned speech, depending where you fall on the football cliché appreciation spectrum) defending the team, his process, the players and more.
Judge offered a defense of the team’s culture — and even fired strays at “cowards behind microphones” who take shots at their players — but one point of emphasis was particularly strange: He said some former players call him “twice a week” saying they wish they’d have re-signed with the Giants even though they’re “getting paid more somewhere else.”
Joe Judge says that players who were on the team last year still call him twice a week to say how much they wish they were still with the Giants, even though they’re getting paid more elsewhere:
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) January 3, 2022
In terms of the next step to take, I can tell you right now, I know we’re a whole lot closer to where we’re going than we are further away. I can tell you that right now. I can tell you we got more players here, who are gonna be free agents next year, who are in my office every day, begging to come back. I know that. I know that. Or players that we coached last year, who call me twice a week, who tell me that, how much they wish they were still here, even though they’re getting paid more somewhere else.
It’s very unclear who Judge is referring to: The list of noteworthy Giants who left in free agency for big-money deals is very, very slim. In fact, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson is one of the few Giants free agents who left for a bigger contract, leaving questions about who, exactly, Judge is talking about.
(If you really want to watch the whole rant, you can check it out here.)
Judge has been under scrutiny for weeks with the team drastically underperforming playoff-or-bust expectations. Sunday’s loss was the worst yet, with the team mustering just 24 yards of passing offense (minus-10 net) against another of the league’s worst teams, which has head coaching questions of its own.
General manager Dave Gettleman is expected to lose his job, while recent reports indicate that Giants brass may stick with Judge (10-22 in two seasons) and choose a new GM who has familiarity with the coach.
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For now, five consecutive losses by double digits put Judge a little more over the fire. It certainly sounds as if the coach knows it, too.