Time might be running short for New York Giants head coach Joe Judge to gain more popular support. After a promising first season, many have lowered their opinion of the Giants head coach this year due to the team’s poor performance and Judge’s own lackluster responses that show no sign of righting the ship soon. The response from Judge to the Giants’ loss in Miami on Sunday is one of the best examples of that dynamic.
“There was a lot of things that I saw today in the way we played, a lot of things that are moving in the right direction, a lot of things Iâ€™m very pleased with in terms of how we competed,” Judge said, among other things, following the loss. That’s despite the offense only putting up 9 points and failing to find the end zone.
There’s few positives to take away from the recent loss, and some are tired of hearing the same responses from Judge regardless of what happens on the field. The statement brought criticism from Mike Francesa, who called Judge a babbling fool for his comments.
Giants lose 20-9, can't find the end zone and Joe Judge is "pleased". At the podium he looks and sounds like a babbling fool.
— Mike Francesa (@MikeFrancesa) December 5, 2021
Like Francesa or not, his criticism sums up how a lot of people feel right now. And barring a dramatic shift, there won’t be much popular support for the Giants to bring back Judge for another year come the offseason.
With that being said, Judge has come out with a defense of himself and claims his actual speeches to the team aren’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Joe Judge talks about differences in addressing team and media
“Look, I approach my comments publicly very differently than when I talk to the team behind closed doors. Iâ€™m someone whoâ€™s very big on honesty and being very transparent with the team,” Judge told reporters on Monday. “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 everyoneâ€™s on the same page.”
Of course, that response is somewhat expected. No NFL coach gives the same answers to the media and their own team.
But in Judge’s case, the difference stands out because of just how far from reality Judge’s statements to the media seem. It often feels like the result on the field has no effect on the statement we hear from Judge afterwards, and that the same positive statements are given no matter what.
Coaches generally want to avoid throwing players under the bus in public, but there is a balance to reach and a point where not doing so comes off as tolerating the poor play. The Giants seem to be past that point already.
What can we learn from this? Don’t take Judge’s press conferences too seriously, apparently. Judge has basically admitted that his responses to the media, for better or worse, don’t reflect much about his actual message to the team.
He’s made it clear that he’s the kind of coach that will avoid going after his players too specifically in public for mistakes, but at this point, it has to be asked whether the players deserve such restraint.