Bill Belichick reportedly gave Joe Judge a big endorsement when the former New England Patriots’ special teams coach was plucked to be the New York Giants’ head coach last year.
Giants co-owner John Mara consulted with Belichick, who was formerly on New York’s coaching staff under Bill Parcells, on Judge before making the decision, the New York Post reported Sunday, citing a Patriots source.
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“He’s better than the last two guys you hired,” Belichick reportedly told Mara.
Mara declined to comment to the New York Post on the remark.
New York’s last two coaches were Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur. McAdoo was the last Giants coach to lead the team to the playoffs, which came in his first season in 2016.
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However, McAdoo didn’t last through the 2017 and was canned. He was 13-15 as Giants head coach. Shurmur replaced McAdoo for the 2018 and 2019 seasons but only won nine games.
Judge won six games in his first season and appeared to win over fans in the process. New York finished second in the NFC East and was a win or two away from making the playoffs after a down year in the division.
Mara expressed confidence in Judge to the New York Post.
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“You always know where Joe is on the practice field, just like you did with Bill and Tom [Brady],” Mara said. “His attention to detail is very impressive to me, and those are characteristics Tom and Bill had as well. … He’s made believers out of the players, as far as his program is concerned, in what he’s trying to teach them and the culture he’s trying to build. I’ve been around a number of situations in my years where I didn’t have that sense that the players believed in the head coach, but [co-owner Steve Tisch] and I do feel that way now.”