The best way to describe the New York Giants the past four weeks is transformative, thanks to new head coach Joe Judge and a stellar coaching staff that has put together a team capable of more than previously anticipated. Entering the season, the Giantsâ€™ defense was expected to be lackluster, but Patrick Graham has turned them into a top-10 if not top-5 unit in the NFL.
Offensively, the New York Giants have struggled, and without quarterback Daniel Jones the past week and a half still managed to secure a victory against one of the best teams in the league, the Seattle Seahawks. Scoring 17 points were all they needed as the defense limited them to just 12, showcasing a fantastic game plan by the coaches and in-game adjustments.
There are many players who reference Judgeâ€™s time in New England. As a special-teams coordinator, he was forced to work with players on both sides of the ball, which allowed him to understand the nature of different positions and what theyâ€™re capable of doing. With Pat Shurmur, we saw him focus primarily on offense, which left the defense to falter under James Bettcher.
One former Giant had nothing but great things to say about Judge and his transition to being a head coach.
Jonathan Casillas appeared on MSG Networksâ€™ new weekday morning show (airs every M-F, 8-9 am). He had nothing but great things to say about Joe Judge, the former Special Teams Assistant with New England.
â€œHe was a special teams assistant, he wasnâ€™t even a special teams coordinator [when Casillas played for the Patriots]. But to be honest with you, I worked with him a lot. Because when I got traded, I was behind the eight ball with learning and they had to catch me up real quick. So I worked directly with Joe Judge. And for me, my brief experience with him, number one he was a straight shooter. He was a real guy, he was authentic. And you can feel that when you speak to somebody. You can feel the authenticity. And I felt that with him right away.â€
â€œTaking a page out of Bill Belichickâ€™s book â€“ as a great special teams coordinator, you know the whole roster. You know the defensive guys. You know the offensive guys. You know what offensive lineman can move that can play special teams and can do certain things for you. So when you come over and you get the head coach job as a special teams guy, youâ€™re not locked in on offense or defense. You know everybody on the roster. So I think that was very advantageous for him when he came over to the Giants. And heâ€™s just a tough dude. Heâ€™s a badass. And thatâ€™s what youâ€™re seeing from him.â€
The New York Giants have their answer at HC:
That is the perfect way to put it, Judge is simply a badass. He holds everybody accountable, even the coaches, an example he set with Marc Colombo. Disciplinary tactics and an authoritarian style has seemed to translate to wins, and players have stated that if you like winning, you like Judgeâ€™s mentality and style.
Clearly, as the Giants are in first place in the NFC East and have been experiencing one of the most impressive turnarounds in recent history, it seems as if the process is working.