While many fans and analysts mocked the New York Giants for hiring Joe Judge as their new head coach, two of the game’s greatest minds went out of their way to heap praise on New York’s new coach.
As part of the team’s announcement, which hilariously came at the same time as Mike McCarthy’s introductory press conference with the Dallas Cowboys, the Giants shared perspective from Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Judge.
Judge joined Saban’s staff at Alabama in 2009 as special teams assistant. In their three seasons together, Saban saw Judge’s work ethic and attention to detail, traits that he believes will make him a great coach.
“Joe did a fantastic job for our program early on in our tenure in Tuscaloosa,” Saban said. “He went on to have a lot of success on Bill’s staff in New England. Joe is one of the brightest young coaches in our profession, and I think he will do a tremendous job as the head coach of the New York Giants,” Saban said, via Giants.com. “They are getting an extremely smart football coach who is very loyal, organized and diligent about getting the job done. We wish Joe and his entire family the best of luck with the Giants.”
After working under Saban for three seasons, Judge made his move to the NFL to work with another coaching legend.
He joined Belichick’s staff in 2012 as a special teams assistant, a role he held for three seasons. After watching Belichick work for several years and impressing the future Hall of Famer, Belichick promoted Judge to special teams coordinator in 2015.
After witnessing the 38-year-old’s attention to detail and ability to work with a variety of players and make them better, Belichick believes the Giants made an outstanding hire and their players will benefit from Judge’s skills.
“Joe has done an outstanding job,” Belichick said, via Giants.com. “He’s an excellent coach. 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.”
While some might still be questioning New York’s decision to hire a relatively unknown coach, it’s rare to find a candidate with ringing endorsements from two of the greatest coaches in the history of football. Now we’ll have to see if Judge becomes the next great hire from Saban and Belichick’s coaching trees.