Patriots Special Team Leader Joe Judge.
The upcoming offseason for the New England Patriots may see more than just some big-name players leaving. With Tom Brady’s future in doubt featuring a core group of free agents who could leave town, there are also questions about the removal of assistant coaches.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is probably the most sought after NFL player on teams looking for a new coach next season. He was asked to interview the Cleveland, Carolina, and New York Giants for openings in all three areas.
But the Giants also appear to be looking at another Patriots assistant coach: Special Teams Coordinator Joe Judge. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Giants formally requested to interview Judge for the position with McDaniels.
The Giants have asked permission to interview Special Judge Joe Judge’s team for their vacant head-coaching, per source. Other special teams coaches made the jump to HC; The next judge may be next.
– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2019
During Judge’s coaching career, he started college with Nick Saban in Alabama before making the leap to the NFL to work on Bill Belichick’s staff. He has succeeded as a Special Teams Coordinator, collecting one of the league’s most favorite units including role players like Matthew Slater, Nate Ebner, and adding Justin Bethel this year.
His biggest plus is the addition of wide receiver duties to his role this season, a move that Baltimore coach John Harbaugh made before he was hired there.
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Recognition Did Not Finish Overnight
Adding wide receivers to his superb repertoire, Judge seems to have dismissed himself as a prime candidate for a head coaching position down the road. Given that the Patriots have a rotating door position in his first year on paper, this is not an easy task for Judge.
But in doing so, he helped a banged-up Julian Edelman record a career high while ripping Gunner Olszewski, Jakobi Meyers, and N’Keal Harry into shape. In a May article for USA Today, Henry McKenna challenged the Judge’s future head coach placement given his multi-faceted capabilities.
Here’s a quote from Judge on the story about taking on many responsibilities:
“I think No. 1, you have to be a good teacher,” Judge said. “That’s what players need before anything else: to find out and get the information that allows them to do their job aggressively and effectively (…)
“We talked a lot between offense, defense, and special teams to make sure I was on the same page, so there has been some bearing on my past seven seasons here. Any chance I can learn the ball to outside of what I was directing, I always took that, “Judge said. “… There is so much to learn.”
Not the First Time
Earlier this season, Judge was tabbed as a potential coaching candidate for the Washington Redskins after the team fired Jay Gruden. The judge was given the ninth-best odds to get to that coaching job, a list made before Ron Rivera fired in Carolina and subsequently rented in Washington.
It is also not the first time the Judge has been reported to leave New England. When McDaniels was named head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Judge was ready to follow his colleague before the whole deal fell through. The same event could play again, however, if McDaniels leaves for real this year.
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