Perspectives: Why Joe Judge's Introductory Press Conference Was a Homerun
Joe Judge was well dressed, well-prepared, and simply dynamic in his introductory press conference as he officially took on the reigns as the franchise's 19th head coach in its history.
Evoking memories of Tom Coughlin with comments made about the fundamentals, dressing properly for practice, and being accountable, all that was missing from Judge's monologue were the jumping jacks that probably would have had the already excited crowd run through the nearest wall.
For Judge, though, all that was the easy part. The hard part--getting the players into the building and gaining their buy-in to do the little things that maybe weren't required of them under the previous regime--is going to take time.
But that's what the off-season is for, and if the Giants players are smart, they'll be there just as soon as the CBA permits to begin building Judge's promising vision of what Giants football could be with a little hard work and a lot of personal sacrifices.
Here are a few other thoughts regarding Judge and the Giants.
1. I've long believed that first-time head coaches have a distinct advantage over their contemporaries fo one primary reason: lack of film.
Now don't get me wrong--the other elements such as coaching staff and talent and yes, even a degree of luck is of utmost importance in how a team fares.
But in the case of Judge, I believe he might have a more significant advantage over the other head coaches hired (including Matt Rhule) for the simple reason is that little is known at the micro-levels about his preferred philosophies on offense and defense.
It's easy to go back and research what Ron Rivera (Washington), Mike McCarthy (Dallas), and yes, even Matt Rhule (Carolina) have preferred during their tenures as head coach. But no such history exists for Judge, who has primarily been a special teams coordinator for the majority of his career.
When you add to that the fact that he plans to be like a chameleon instead of married to a scheme, that's a significant promising development because it will hopefully thwart those who try to figure out trends using analytics and the like from figuring out what fresh hell the Giants plan to spring on them.
2. Speaking of not being married to the scheme, Judge kept talking about the fundamentals, an area where the Giants have sorely lacked for years.
Before anyone dismisses the idea to argue that scheme is more important, it won't matter if guys are missing tackles (the GIants had over 100 missed tackles last year per Pro Football Focus), or taking bad angles, or not firing out with their correct foot.
I once had a former player from years ago whom the "experts" described as not being overly talented in any one area tell me his secret to his longevity.
"I work like hell on my fundamentals," he said. Further, he believed that by being consistent and detailed in his technique, very few players could beat him mano a mano.
He was right, just as I suspect that Judge will be right if he can get these players to buy into not taking shortcuts and dotting every I and crossing every T before stepping out on that field.
3. When Judge said he would be looking for teachers to make up his assistant coaching staff, that was pure music to my ears.
If you've read and followed me, you know that I've had some serious questions about how the Giants players were taught in the classroom.
When I saw the same mistakes and breakdowns happening in Week 17 that occurred in Week 1--and it didn't matter if it was a rookie or a veteran committing the gaffes--it didn't take an insider to figure out that something was lacking in the classroom.
4. There were a lot of things Judge said that impressed me Thursday, but the most significant thing was something he didn't say.
Judge didn't once voluntarily mention and Giants players by name.
Why is this a big deal? First, he admitted that he wasn't as familiar with the Giants personnel.
Rather than issue any opinions that could come back to bite him just for the sake of being polite, Judge was honest in saying his objective was to sit down and study every single player on the roster to begin learning what he has.
But more importantly, Judge's remark also should send a message to the players that this isn't a man who's about making shallow statements. Whatever is going to come from his mouth is going to be the real deal and not be some attempt to make nice-nice among a room where the testosterone levels can soar.
5. Here's the bottom line. Yes, Judge's statements were uplifting to an organization that hasn't had much to smile about the last three seasons. But let's remember that they're words and words don't mean anything unless they're put into action.
Judge might very well turn out to be Tom Coughlin 2.0, or he might end up being the second coming of any of the Giants forgettable head coaches.
Only time will tell, of course, but if Judge follows through with all that he preached--and like his predecessors, he deserves the benefit of the doubt--brighter days are indeed ahead for a Giants organization and its fan base.