Who Is Joe Judge? Albert Breer Gives Insight Into Giants' Next Coach

The 38-Year-Old Has Worked Under Bill Belichick Since 2012

Moose & Maggie
January 07, 2020 - 2:03 pm

Joe Judge isn’t a household name yet, but he probably will be soon enough.

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According to multiple reports, the Giants are hiring Judge to be their next head coach. The 38-year-old is an up-and-comer in the NFL who has been working directly under Bill Belichick as the Patriots’ special teams coach since 2015.

On Tuesday, NFL Network’s Albert Breer joined Maggie Gray and Marc Malusis on WFAN to give Giants fans some background on the man who is apparently set to be their team’s new head coach.

Breer points to Judge’s experience learning under Belichick as a positive sign toward how he might fare in New York.

“He has seen different programs, that’s the other thing,” said Breer. “Organizationally, he’s seen the way Bill Belichick does it. He was also with Nick Saban at Alabama. I think having seen two championship programs, that certainly helps a young guy who is coming through the system. He’s got great presence, no question about it … who he hires as assistant coaches is going to be key to the whole thing … but he does have some very real head coaching qualities.”

Judge was initially considered to be a long shot for the job, but now it appears to be his. Mississippi State was also reportedly interested in hiring him, and Breer thought that interest from his alma mater forced the Giants to move quickly to hire Judge.

Baylor coach Matt Rhule was also a candidate for the job, but, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Giants declined to match Carolina’s offer to Rhule on Monday night.

Judge first joined the staff in Foxborough back in 2012. He was a special teams assistant then, but he gathered experience and was eventually promoted to special teams coordinator. In 2019, he took on the responsibility of being the wide receivers coach too.

 Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge and head coach Bill Belichick talk during a the AFC championship game against the Broncos in the AFC Championship football game on Jan 24, 2016, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.
Mark J. Rebilas/USA

Breer noted that this move to gain offensive experience was something Belichick did to help Judge’s future head-coaching prospects.

“Bill recognized that this guy is a head coach down the line, and he did for Joe Judge what Andy Reid did for John Harbaugh in 2007 … Belichick basically did that for Joe Judge. He said ‘okay, I know you need to get some experience … not just on special teams’ … he made him the wide receivers coach, and what do you know, all of a sudden now, a year later, he’s in the mix.”

Judge inherits a Giants roster with quite a few talented, young players. Improvement is needed on defense, but he is set up well on offense with the likes of Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and Darius Slayton.

Things soured relatively quickly for the last two Giants head coaches: Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur. Breer sees Judge as a hire that represents a much different approach than McAdoo and Shurmur did.

“If you look at the last couple of times, they hired a quarterbacks guy in Ben McAdoo, and then they hired a retread in Pat Shurmur. This is pulling in a totally different direction, where you’re projecting, not to work with any one position, but a guy who can kind of be a front of the room program builder, which I think is what Joe Judge projects to be.

Click on the audio player above to listen to the full interview with Albert Breer.