Skip to main content

Giants John Mara Explains Why Team Had to Move On from Head Coach Joe Judge

Despite watching the team slide down the tubes in the final six weeks of the season, Giants co-owner John Mara believes Joe Judge can still become a very good NFL head coach.

When Joe Judge came in for his interview two years ago, his youthful energy and ideas ended up sweeping John Mara and Steve Tisch off their feet, offering a renewed sense of hope that they had finally found a head coach to lead them for the next decade-plus.

Instead, thanks to a mixture of circumstances, including Judge's handling of the team during its final six games of the season in which at times the team didn't look competitive, the Giants are right back to square one.

"It was just a culmination of things," Mara said in response to a question as to whether there was one final breaking point that led to Judge's dismissal after just two seasons.

"We, we just got to a point where I, I, where I thought we had dug ourselves a hole so deep that I didn't see a clear path to getting out of it, unless we completely blew it up and, and started all over again with a new general manager and a new head coach."

Mara admitted that perhaps there might have been some haste to rush into a union with Judge following his strong interview without taking the time necessary to digest what had been discussed. And that's a mistake that Mara said the team wouldn't look to make again this time around.

"Sometimes, some people interview, well, some people don't, but you have to do more research than that," he said. "I thought our process at that time was pretty thorough. We had spoken to a number of people about Joe.


August 19, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers vice president of player personnel Adam Peters before the game against the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium. The Broncos defeated the 49ers 33-14.

Giants GM Search Update: Schoen, Poles, Peters Get Second Interviews

The Giants could have a new general manager in place in the coming days.

2020 NFL Combine Logo

Scouting Primer for New York Giants' Top Offseason Needs: Part 3–Interior Defensive Line and Running Back

In this next installment of what to look for in college prospects, Tom Rudawsky takes a look at the top characteristics the Giants may be looking for in defensive linemen and running backs.

Giants Special Teams Coordinator, Thomas McGaughey, is shown at practice, Thursday, July 25, 2019.

Giants Special Teams Units Earn a Surprising Final Ranking in Annual Evaluation

Long-time NFL writer Rick Gosselin is out with his annual NFL special teams rankings and you might be surprised where the Giants finished as a whole.

"But I just felt like given where we are at the moment--and certainly that is not all due to him--I felt like we needed a clean sweep."

Mara reiterated what was stated in the team's press release announcing Judge's termination, that the next general manager will lead the way in finding the next head coach, but that ultimately, ownership must sign off on the candidate.

"I still think that there is a really good head coach inside of Joe Judge," Mara said. "I just felt like given where we are right now, on the verge of bringing in a new general manager, we have to give that person the flexibility to bring in the head coach that he wants."

That thinking, Mara said, is what ultimately contributed to the decision to move on from Judge.

"I think that was a large part of the decision here in making a change," he said. "I just felt like we needed to just start from the ground up again."

Join the Giants Country Community