New York Giants: Saquon Barkley gives insight on infamous QB sneaks

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

There’s plays that stand out in every NFL season, but last season for the New York Giants, their most memorable plays were notable for the wrong reason. Those plays were the back to back quarterback sneaks that the offense ran against Washington, despite being backed up near their own end zone. Understandably, many were confused by what the Giants were doing and the moment was immediately mocked on social media.

Now, of course, the season is over and Joe Judge is out as head coach. These calls were just another thing that seemed to work against him when the time came to decide if he’d stay or go. They were an example of a coach trying not to lose, rather than doing something to win.

Now, we have a bit more on the reasoning behind those calls from someone that was in the huddle.

“So the week before, we played Chicago and we were in the same situation, and we couldn’t get out and we got a safety. So the idea was ‘quarterback sneak it’ just to give us space,” Saquon Barkley told Andy Nesbitt from For The Win.

Unlike some, Barkley doesn’t place all of the blame on the coaching staff. According to him, the players need to do more to make the staff comfortable with risk taking.

Last season, the Giants didn’t do that.

“A little bit on both sides to blame but I really hate pointing fingers at anyone. But, hey, we just gotta put on the pads and learn from it.”

Fortunately, there’s little chance of the Giants running the same plays next season. They have a new offensive coordinator, and unless something goes terribly wrong, things won’t get as desperate as last year.

Giants News, 2/9: Joe Judge lands a new job, Giants secure 2 new defensive coaches

rob ryan, giants

It didn’t take former New York Giants head coach Joe Judge long to secure a new job with his former team, the New England Patriots. After being fired from the Giants job recently, Judge decided that making his way back to the NFL despite a healthy paycheck from John Mara and Steve Tisch was the right move.

It is clear that Judge needs a bit more offensive knowledge after displaying an extremely conservative unit this past season that included a QB kneel on 3rd-and-9 during the Giants’ final game of the regular season. He would also routinely punt at the midfield mark, while other teams around the league would go for it on 4th-and-short to give the offense a chance to put points on the board.

Despite confident words throughout Judge’s tenure with the Giants, the team elected to go in a different direction entirely, hiring Joe Schoen as their new general manager and Brian Daboll to fill the vacant HC spot.

Nonetheless, the former New England special-teams coordinator will join the Patriots as an offensive assistant. In his final season with New England before joining Big Blue, Judge served as the wide receivers coach, gaining a bit of experience on the offensive side. With Josh McDaniels taking the head coaching job with the Las Vegas Raiders, plenty of openings provided opportunities.

Giants land two new defensive assistants:

Rob Ryan:

With the Giants hiring Don “Wink” Martindale as their new defensive coordinator, an assistant overhaul was expected. One of the new defensive coaches the Giants plan to bring in is Rob Ryan, according to Aaron Wilson of PFN.

Ryan has served as a defensive coordinator multiple times in his career, but he has settled as a position coach more recently. He has worked with the Raiders, Browns, Saints, Bills, and Cowboys, also coaching linebackers for Washington and Baltimore.

The ravens let Ryan walk alongside Martindale this off-season, so reuniting with his defensive coordinator makes perfect sense. The Giants benefit from the scenario, given both are extremely experienced with an offensive staff that has a first-year head coach and offensive coordinator (Daboll and Mike Kafka).

Bryan Cox:

Many recall Brian Cox’s days as a player, specifically his mentality and the anger he played with. At one point in his career, Cox nearly took on the entire Cincinnati Bengals bench in a tirade, and hopefully that boils over to his coaching capabilities, instilling toughness in his players.

Cox hasn’t been on an NFL staff since 2016 when he featured under Richard Smith with the Atlanta Falcons. Cox worked with Rob Ryan back in Cleveland during the 2009-10 season.

With plenty of experience as a player and coach, Cox is another respected assistant that will hopefully curate a disciplined unit under Martindale’s leadership.

New York Giants players were unhappy with Joe Judge’s practice methods

new york giants, joe judge

When the New York Giants signed Joe Judge as head coach, they were making an intentional choice to take some elements from the Patriots organization. At least, that was the intention. When it came to execution, Judge fell far short of installing the Patriots way in East Rutherford. His methods gained notoriety around the league for the wrong reasons, and by the end, his attempts to appear hard-nosed and tough made him look like someone who’d completely lost touch with the situation.

One of the things that Judge tried to bring over was New England’s style of practice. But from the results and from reports that are coming out now that his tenure is said and done, it doesn’t look like it was a very successful attempt.

According to Ryan Dunleavy, this tough style of practices was unpopular even among the players that did like Judge. And they definitely weren’t appreciated once injuries piled up.

The practices received attention this offseason when Judge made headlines for making players run laps for various mistakes. It wasn’t so unpopular back then, and it wasn’t hard to see why. On paper, it sounds like a good idea to focus on discipline and punish mistakes as a way to improve a losing team. But as the season went on, the results never improved and running laps became the source of many jokes about Judge’s coaching.

Part of being a good coach is knowing when to adapt, and apparently, Judge did a poor job of that. It’s hard to tell how much it ultimately played into his firing, but given the obvious low morale towards the end of the season, it’s hard to say it had no effect either.

New York Giants: More is revealed about the Joe Judge firing

New York Giants, Joe Judge

Now that the New York Giants have fired Joe Judge, more is coming out about why they made the decision. From the outside looking in, it was hard to get an idea of what the locker room was like late in the season. Players came out during the season in support of Judge on multiple occasions, but as the season ended, the narrative shifted to the players wanting to move on. Now, after Judge has officially been fired, word is coming out that Judge lost the players due to failing to improve the results.

According to Ryan Dunleavy, it wasn’t just the players that Judge lost. Dunleavy also claims that the coaching staff felt the need to walk on egg shells due to Judge, something that isn’t surprising given Judge’s record as a disciplinarian.

Of course, that style can work out well when the team is winning – we can see that clearly from the success of Judge’s mentor, Bill Belichick. However, things such as making players run laps get old quickly when losses are piling up.

When asking a lot of the players, it’s important for some kind of meaningful success to happen in return. That didn’t happen with the Giants, and it’s easy to see how players could have checked out down the stretch.

There’s been a lot of talk in press conferences about the team not giving up, but the results and the scorelines during the losing streak to end the season say otherwise. And ultimately, this latest report just helps to confirm that many of the statements towards the end of the year were more or less just coach-speak to save face.

Giants fire Joe Judge from head coaching position | Let the rebuild, commence!

new york giants, joe judge

The deed is done, the rebuild is on, the New York Giants have fired Joe Judge and “retired” Dave Gettleman.

The Giants officially announced that Judge was let go, including a message from co-owner John Mara:

“Steve (Tisch) and I both believe it is in the best interest of our franchise to move in another direction,” said team president John Mara. “We met with Joe yesterday afternoon to discuss the state of the team. I met again with Joe this afternoon, and it was during that conversation I informed Joe of our decision. We appreciate Joe’s efforts on behalf of the organization.

“I said before the season started that I wanted to feel good about the direction we were headed when we played our last game of the season. Unfortunately, I cannot make that statement, which is why we have made this decision.

“We will hire a general manager and that person will lead the effort to hire a new head coach.”

Fox Sport’s Jay Glazer stated after the Giants’ finale loss to Washington that people in the locker room wanted to see Judge gone:

“I’ve talked to people inside that locker room – they would like to see a move on from Joe Judge.”

Clearly, his reporting was right, as owner John Mara elected to move on from Judge on Tuesday evening, starting a new hunt for a general manager and head coach.

One of the most pained quotes from Judge’s tenure was:

“To disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything you can to help those players win, we will never do that as long as I’m the head coach of the Giants.”

Against Washington on Sunday, Judge had so little confidence in his offense he ran back-to-back QB sneaks just to get in a better spot to punt the ball. By all accounts, that’s a clear indication of giving up. Judge may sell it as he has faith in his defense, but at some point you need to score points to win games.

The hunt is on!

Big Blue will now begin a comprehensive search for a new GM, including multiple candidates, one of them being Joe Schoen of the Buffalo Bills. Schoen is considered the be the candidate “to beat” moving forward and will have his first interview with Giants brass on Wednesday morning.

The Giants would like to find a top candidate to take over ASAP, given the flurry of head coaching job openings around the league.

Reacting to the Giants reportedly retaining Joe Judge as head coach

new york giants, joe judge

There may not be a more embarrassing organization in the NFL currently than the New York Giants. After being blown out in their last six games consecutively, ownership seems to remain committed to Joe Judge as their head coach, despite calls from the fan base and media to move on.

In the two seasons, Judge has been the HC for Big Blue, he’s endured 15 losses of 10 points or more. He’s enjoyed two wins of 10 points or more in that time frame, detailing a storyline of misery and failure.

In fact, in the Giants’ season finale against Washington, Judge called for two QB sneaks inside his own 5-yard-line to offer his team a better punt position, after claiming he would never stop competing for 60 minutes just one year prior. It’s unfortunate to see him laying down in front of the home crowd as a result of a lack of confidence in his offense.

“To disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything you can to help those players win, we will never do that as long as I’m the head coach of the Giants.”

The media is exposing Judge but ownership doesn’t care:

Fox Sport’s Jay Glazer stated after the Giants’ finale loss to Washington that people in the locker room wanted to see Judge gone:

“I’ve talked to people inside that locker room – they would like to see a move on from Joe Judge.”

When you have such a large base calling for the replacement of Judge and ownership is committed to deep-rooted ego and fear, you find yourself in a revolving door of disappointment. Interestingly, the front office is trying to avoid a “revolving door” of coaches, but one who’s just finished a season in one of the most embarrassing ways in team history doesn’t deserve the opportunity. Neither Pat Shurmur nor Ben McAdoo left the team in a state worse than this.

The reality is simple, Judge is set up to fail either way, and a new general manager doesn’t change anything. Unless the GM has the power to move on from Judge and hit the restart button, we are staring at the same situation all over again. With no cap space, regressing talent, coaching turnover, lack of trust within the building, and a hostile fan-base, ownership is avoiding the inevitable, firing Judge for the team’s demise.

At this point, I’m numb to the pain of losing. I’ve been optimistic, positive, given them the benefit of the doubt, but no longer. The Giants don’t deserve any sort of positivity until they PROVE things are changing. Judge has done nothing but speaks empty words and promises that have failed to come to fruition. Most on social media refer to him as a “used car salesman” or a seller of “snake oil.” They’re right, his actions don’t back up his words, and that’s all that matters.

The retirement of Dave Gettleman feels like a weight off my shoulders, but a lot must change before I feel hopeful once again. Oddly, I still find myself trusting Judge as a college scout and draft specialist. The past two drafts for the Giants have been solid — MUCH better than the previous two under Gettleman. Judge may be a solid drafter but he’s an awful head coach that plays far too conservative and weak.

For a coach that talks a big game; “punch you in the mouth for 60 minutes,” he makes decisions like he’s scared to lose and not excited to win. When the team had nothing to lose, he still laid down like a wimp, and if you’re a true and tried New Yorker, we don’t take that shit lightly.

At this point in time, objectivity is the only answer to the team’s moves and decisions until they regain our trust.

New York Giants: Bizarre QB sneak play sums up the past weeks for Joe Judge

daniel jones, giants, joe judge

En route to finishing the season with 13 losses, the New York Giants found another way to embarrass themselves in front of the rest of the league. This time, the reason was one of the most bizarre play calls in recent memory – the decision to use the QB sneak in an almost victory formation while driving from their own goal line.

The Giants, in fact, ran back to back quarterback sneaks. The second one came on third and nine, and predictably, didn’t come up with a first down.

The play essentially sums up how the past few weeks have gone for Joe Judge. Headed into the last games of the season, reports indicated that the team’s ownership was willing to give Judge another year. But after a few heavily criticized press conferences where Judge said far too much, and after putting the Giants in the spotlight for the wrong reason again with these play calls that give the appearance of giving up, that might not be the case now.

Why things look worse for Joe Judge

Judge, after all, has cited the team not quitting as being one of the main strengths of his tenure. But after watching the Giants make calls like this, obviously playing to minimize risk rather than playing to win, there’s an argument to be made for whether or not the coaching staff is the one that has given up.

The Giants tend to be more patient than other franchises when it comes to hiring and firing. Judge would have had a much better chance of keeping his job if he managed to avoid attention for the last few weeks of the season.

Unfortunately for Judge, that ended up being an impossible task as even the playcalling in the final game has received scrutiny. And the recent press conferences have been the opposite of avoiding attention. If anything, Judge’s comments before the Washington game may be the worst sin in the eyes of John Mara, who cares about professionalism more than many other owners.

If even star players such as Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t get a long leash when making a stir, it’s doubtful that the embattled Judge will simply get away with what looked like an attack on another team – another team that is currently more successful, at that.

We may find out on Monday whether the Giants are keeping Judge or not, assuming the decision is already made and the team is simply waiting to announce it. But after today, and the last weeks, the odds of Judge coming back seem far lower than they were even a short time ago.

New York Giants finish season 4-13 losing season finale against Washington

giants, joe judge

The New York Giants‘ 2021 season is officially over. The Giants were eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago. Today, they played the last game on their regular-season schedule against the Washington Football Team. Washington came out on top of this contest, as they did in Week Two. The Giants have ended their season getting swept by Washington and falling to a putrid 4-13 record.

In this regular-season finale, the Giants hosted the Washington Football Team and lost with a final score of 22-7. New York did manage to score a touchdown this week, something they have failed to accomplish in recent weeks. However, the one measly meeting in the end zone was not enough to get the win against a competitive Washington Football Team that was playing with a chip on its shoulder.

Key stats

New York Giants

  • QB Jake Fromm: 15/31, 103 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT
  • WR Darius Slayton: 2 REC, 29 YDS, 1 TD
  • LB Lorenzo Carter: 10 TAK, 1 SACK, 1 TFL, 1 PD

Washington Football Team

  • RB Antonio Gibson: 21 CAR, 146 YDS, 1 TD
  • WR Terry McLaurin: 4 REC, 93 YDS
  • S Bobby McCain: 3 PD, 1 INT, 1 TD

Going forward for the Giants

Much is still up in the air regarding the future of the New York Giants. According to most reports, General Manager Dave Gettleman will no longer hold his position with the team starting tomorrow. However, Head Coach Joe Judge’s status is now also in question. Some reports were indicating that Judge had a 50/50 chance of keeping his job entering Sunday’s matchup.

Tomorrow is “Black Monday” in the NFL. This is the day in which teams make their final decisions regarding head coaches, general managers, and others, and many lose their jobs. The Giants are certain to make a change in the front office. The question is, will Joe Judge also get his key card swiped on Monday?

New York Giants: Pat Shurmur catches wind of Joe Judge’s comments

New York Giants, Pat Shurmur

The New York Giants are nearing the end of their disappointing 2021 season. With one game left on the schedule, the Giants are in danger of finishing the season with the highest loss total they’ve ever had. New York is 4-12 and a loss on Sunday would drop them to 4-13, tying 2017 for their most losses in a season. Joe Judge would be the first head coach in New York Giants history to lose 13 games in a season if the team loses to Washington on Sunday.

Giants fans are fed up. They are ready to see General Manager Dave Gettleman fired and many of them would like to see Head Coach Joe Judge get the boot, too. Especially after Judge’s infamous post-game rant after the team’s loss to the Bears this past Sunday.

After the Giants were blown out by the Chicago Bears 29-3 in Week 17, Joe Judge went on a rant for the ages. The Giants’ head coach spoke uninterrupted for nearly eleven minutes. In this long-winded introduction to members of the media, Joe Judge took shots at former New York Giants players, coaches, and players/coaches of other teams. Joe Judge commented on the state of the Giants’ locker room before he arrived last offseason, seemingly taking a shot at former Head Coach Pat Shurmur. Today, Pat Shurmur caught wind of Joe Judge’s comments.

Pat Shurmur catches wind of Joe Judge’s comments

During his post-game rant on Sunday, Joe Judge referenced the state of the New York Giants when he arrived last offseason. According to Judge, the players of the Giants “tapped out” toward the end of the season under former Head Coach Pat Shurmur’s leadership:

“To a man, every player looked me in the eye and said, Joe, it’s not a team, they don’t play hard, we’re out of the playoffs, everybody quit, everybody tapped … They tapped out. OK?”

Pat Shurmur, currently working as the Offensive Coordinator of the Denver Broncos, was asked about Judge’s comments today:

“I obviously – that’s not an accurate assessment. But beyond that, I have no comment.” – Pat Shurmur on Joe Judge’s recent comments stating that “everybody quit,” and “everybody tapped” and “stopped showing up to captain’s meetings” in 2019 (via Ryan O’Halloran).

Joe Judge stooped to a low level when he decided to take shots at former coaches and players. Pat Shurmur was wise not to stoop to the same level. Some current Giants players might be supporting Joe Judge and backing up his comments, but the fans are not. And in New York, you can only go so far without the support of the devoted Giants fans behind you. Joe Judge was seemingly safe to remain the Giants’ head coach next season. But after this fiasco, it seems more and more likely that ownership will rethink their plans going into 2022.

New York Giants: Joe Judge doubles down on defending current roster

new york giants, joe judge

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge doesn’t throw his players under the bus. That’s been a running theme throughout his time as head coach, for better or worse. Arguably, it’s one of the reasons why the team has avoided checking out completely even towards the end of a lost season. With that being said, this quality can also be a negative when the results on the field aren’t improving and Judge insists on standing by a losing roster.

Judge was confronted with the question of whether this roster needs more talent on Monday, and chose to double down on his usual policy.

“I’m not going to make any statements right now that’s going to put any one of my players under the bus,” Judge said when asked if talent was the missing piece for the Giants. This, of course, is because Judge has repeatedly claimed that coaching and culture are already present.

“I think you understand how I’m answering that question based on how it was phrased. I appreciate the job you have to do and the things you have to look for, but I’m going to tell you right now, if you’re looking for someone to go ahead and find a scapegoat and point a finger at someone, I’m not the guy who’s going to be the one to give you that answer you’re looking for, but I appreciate the question,” Judge continued.

This, perhaps, would have been a more understandable response earlier in Judge’s tenure. But with this little performance in year two compared to year one, answers like this one are starting to fall on deaf ears. And it may not help anyone in the long run.

Is Joe Judge right to stand by players?

On one hand, there’s an argument to be made that the players are loyal to Judge because of Judge standing by them in public. Judge appears to have retained the locker room for longer than his predecessor, and that is one of the few positives to take away from his otherwise rough second season in charge. If the Giants do retain Judge for a third year, this ability to hold the respect of the players will probably be one of the main reasons why.

However, it’s debatable whether sticking with the players really helps right now.

The fact of the matter is that this current roster doesn’t win. The Giants have been a rebuilding team since Judge arrived, and that rebuild has no end in sight. Even if Judge is a popular coach with the current group of players, it looks likelier than not that many of them will be on different teams or out of the league in a couple of years.

In today’s NFL, it’s more popular to be a players’ coach. But that formula works far better for winning teams, and the Giants are far from being that right now. It looks like the current roster needs a teardown before it can get better, not public backing that avoids ruffling feathers but doesn’t push for better.

Will Judge’s popularity in the locker room help him retain his job?

Judge right now is a players’ coach on a losing team, and attempting to protect that reputation instead of giving a harsher dose of reality isn’t going to win Judge any favors with a fanbase that expects results. It’s hard to say whether it will help him out when ownership makes a decision on his job status in the offseason. But it’s hard to imagine that publicly defending the current status quo in the name of not throwing players under the bus would help, if the Giants are serious about making a change.

Regardless, we’ll know fairly soon whether this strategy is paying off for Judge. With only one game left this season, the focus for the Giants organization will soon shift to the offseason and matters such as which staff members will come back.