The Giants went with an out-of-the-box hire by choosing Patriots special teams coordinator Joe Judge as their next head coach, but one endorsement appeared to help make their decision.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick called the Giants and recommended Judge for the position, telling New York that Judge is "qualified to be a head coach," according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
"The Giants from what I understand got a phone call from Bill Belichick basically selling them that Judge was someone who is, in fact, qualified to be a head coach," Rapoport said on Tuesday. "He had not one job, but two jobs on Bill Belichick's staff. He was the special teams coordinator, one of the most respected positions on Belichick's staff, then he was the receivers coach."
Judge, 38, who has worked with the Patriots since 2012, earned a promotion to special teams coordinator in 2015. He previously spent three seasons as a special teams assistant under Nick Saban at Alabama. Belichick reportedly met with Judge "on a regular basis" to tutor him in advance of a potential coaching opportunity, per Rapoport.
The Giants fired Pat Shurmur on Dec. 30 after two seasons with the franchise. New York is 12–36 since 2017, the worst mark in the NFL.