Joe Judge came from behind to win the race to become the nextÂ head coach of the New York Giants – in perhaps a quicker resolution than many expected. There was a lot of talk about how the Giants should interview Matt Rhule and consider him as one of the top options for their head coaching job, but that didn’t materialize according to what Rhule has said about taking the Carolina job.
He’s said that Carolina was the only team that he spoke to – they would, of course, win the competition to make Rhule their head coach.
Matt Rhule says when the Panthers went to seven years, it spoke to him about their commitment. He didn't want to get into his dealings with Giants b/c didn't want it to come across like he was talking poorly of them. Says his agent had the conversations w/ Giants.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) January 8, 2020
His agent handled the talks with the Giants, who were set to interview Rhule in addition to the Panthers… But the Giants chose not to fight for Rhule and instead went with Joe Judge, who had impressed the front office in his own interview.
Was it the right move to let Rhule go to the Panthers without as much as pushing for an interview, especially with Rhule reportedly having a somewhat favorable stance towards joining the Giants?
That depends on how you look at it, mostly. There is a chance that the Giants will stay in their current spot while the Panthers turn around under the leadership of Rhule, who himself was a popular candidate because of his history turning programs around at the college level, but on the other hand Rhule might not have been what the Giants were looking for in the first place.
It’s important to remember that Rhule still only has a few of experience as the head coach at a major college, and the jump between mid-major colleges and the NFL is huge. In all likelihood, the Giants just preferred the head coaching candidate with a vision that impressed them and more NFL experience to back it up.
That’s not to say that Judge has the best credentials of any candidate himself, coming from the background of a special teams coordinator and transitioning right into being a head coach without coordinating the offense or the defense first, but Judge has earned high praise from two of the greatest head coaches of all time and that’s definitely worth something.
“Joe can probably coach any position on the field. He does an excellent job of teaching players. He thinks quickly and the game comes easy to him. He understands concepts, adjustments and fundamental technique,” Bill Belichick told Patriots Wire.
Nick Saban, the legendary head coach at Alabama, also had similar sentiments. “Joe is one of the brightest young coaches in our profession, and I think he will do a tremendous job as the head coach of the New York Giants. They are getting an extremely smart football coach who is very loyal, organized and diligent about getting the job done,” Saban said.
Will the Giants regret not meeting with Rhule face to face and only handling negotiations through his agent? Possibly, but it’s still too early to tell, and there’s no reason to believe right now that the Giants don’t have a bright future ahead of them with Judge. We can only see how both head coaches perform before determining if the Giants “missed out” this offseason.