Joe Judge is furious and firing off shots following his latest embarrassment, this time a 29-3 shellacking at the hands of the Chicago Bears in Week 17, and there were several other head coaches and organizations caught in his crossfire. As the New York Giants — 4-12 on the season and owners of a five-game losing streak — crawl into the regular season finale against the Washington Football Team, there are plenty of questions regarding the future (or lack thereof) of Judge with Big Blue.
His answer to those questions was to fire off a tirade that came equipped with everything, including profanity and not-so-veiled shots aimed at other teams and other head coaches as well, both former and current.
“I don’t ever ask for patience from anybody,” Judge began, via the New York Post. “Let’s get that clear right now. Alright? And the fans have every right to have an opinion. That’s why they’re fans.
“They have every right. You buy a ticket, come to the stadium, you have every right to boo me going out of the stadium. That’s what we sign up for, right? … And it’s New York. It’s supposed to be a tough place to be. Certain cities in this country, they don’t even know if their team is playing today. Alright?
“So you sign up for a job in a city like New York, you expect to have this.”
That was just the warm-up for what happened next.
“This ain’t a team that’s having fistfights on the sidelines,” Judge added. “This ain’t some clown show organization or something else, okay?”
That’s a very obvious jab at Ron Rivera and WFT, who witnessed defensive linemen Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen in an altercation at AT&T Stadium in their humiliation at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys — one in which Payne put his finger in Allen’s temple and pushed before Allen jumped up and took a swing that could’ve sent Payne home early if it connected. That’s sure to go over well when the Giants face off against Washington on Sunday (insert sarcasm here), but Judge wasn’t done there.
There was enough ammunition for his predecessor in New York as well, namely Pat Shurmur, who currently operates as the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos after having been dismissed by the Giants following the 2019 season.
“When I came here and I sat down with all the players, I wanted to know what it was like in here, what we had to change from their mouths,” Judge said. “To a man, every player looked me in the eye and said, ‘Joe, it’s not a team, they don’t play hard, we’re out of the playoffs, everybody quit, everybody tapped, they stopped showing up to captains meetings,’ all that stuff. Right? They tapped out. OK?’
“I’ll tell you right now, if you’re in the damn building, you walk on through our locker room, you ain’t seeing that crap you saw before [I arrived]. Alright? You ain’t seeing guys planning vacations. You ain’t seeing golf clubs in front of players’ locker. You ain’t seeing that stuff.
“OK? You ain’t seeing it. Alright, and that’s not because of some high school program because we’re cracking the whip.”
But wait, there’s more, as the desperation in his words took hold. Having already fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett weeks ago, the Giants offense has been even more abysmal with Judge and Freddie Kitchens calling the plays as a collective and, yes, the absence of Daniel Jones helped fuel that tailspin but the utter lack of adjustments and preparedness (is Mike Glennon really the best they could muster at quarterback, to the point they believe he’s the best they have on the roster??) puts the blame squarely on Judge, his staff and general manager Dave Gettleman.
Owner John Mara made it clear in the offseason that he was growing impatient and while he didn’t put a playoff mandate on Judge and Co., he also noted he “fears” the team falling into a rut that makes the fanbase turn their backs on the organization.
“The toughest thing to change in a team, the toughest thing to change in a club is the way people think,” Judge said. “You understand that? You can get new players … you got to change how they f—-ing — pardon my — how they believe in what you’re doing. Which is why I don’t come up here and try to assassinate some player because I think it’s going to save my ass.
“You lose credibility with them,” Mara said in March.
Mara then gave the green light to Gettleman to add major weapons in free agency, such as wideout Kenny Golladay and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, but it’s all been an exercise in futility. The Giants will now finish with a fifth consecutive losing season, the last two being with Judge at the helm, and currently rank second-worst in the NFL in offense. On Sunday against the Bears, Glennon and the Giants ended the day with -10 passing yards (yes, negative).
In the end, it sounds as if Judge is pleading publicly for more time, and making no friends around the league in the process, but that’s clearly not his concern.
Keeping his job is, but time will tell if Mara’s patience has officially run out already.