The fictitious Arthur Fonzarelli from the classic television show Happy Days never thought it was cool to lose his cool in public, even when it was warranted.
Giants head coach Joe Judge apparently feels the same way, as he has rarely shown any anger or disappointment over his players' performance when speaking publicly.
"Look, I approach my comments publicly very differently than when I talk to the team behind closed doors," Judge said on Monday.
"I’m someone who’s very big on honesty and being very transparent with the team. I talk all the time about the truth is on the tape, so when we talk as a team, we talk every week, regardless of what the result of the previous game was, of things we did well that we can build on and things we have to correct. We go through that very, very bluntly and openly as a team and make sure everyone’s on the same page."
While Judge's refusal to call out a player individually is admirable--no one wants to be singled out for having had a bad day at the office--his tactic of trying to make chicken salad out of you-know-what is wearing thin on a frustrated fan base.
Judge's standing before the media and saying that he saw anything good from a team that lost 20-9 to the Miami Dolphins showed how out of touch he is with the pulse of the very same fan base he pledged to represent with a tough, smart, and fundamentally sound football team.
Even if there were bright spots, if Judge thought highlighting them would comfort the fan base, he grossly misjudged the situation.
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"Look, I’m not going to be a guy who’s going to sit out there and single out players. That’s just not my style. I’m just not going to do that and that’s something I’ve believed in from being a player and working under other coaches, so in terms of just coming out publicly and going after guys, I’m not going to do that," Judge said.
Okay, fine. But where is the harm in playing the role of Captain Obvious and agreeing that the offensive line as a group needed to do a better job, or that the receivers as a group needed to get open more, or that the defensive secondary as a group needed to improve its communication?
Judge isn't stupid--far from it. He sees what we all see, and he knows full well that the injuries have wrecked the team's makeup and that the offensive line is not very good right now.
And no, this is not a case of him burying his head in the sand so much as it appears to be a ploy not to lose the locker room by airing any of the team's dirty laundry in public.
"In terms of are there a lot of things we have to do better to take advantage of opportunities in front of us? Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely," Judge said. "Were there things that I saw that I say, ‘Okay, this is on the right track, as far as getting the ball down the field to our players and giving them an opportunity to make plays? Yeah.
"But look, there are other opportunities in the game we have to take advantage of. The difference in winning or losing in this league, it’s such a fine line. There’s not a lot of margins for error, so you’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to make sure that when those opportunities come up to be able to make a play, we’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to be in a position to do it."
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