Former New York Giants’ LB Jonathan Casillas raves about Joe Judge in New England

New York Giants, Joe Judge

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 Giants’ 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 Judge’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 they’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 Networks’ 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.

“He was a special teams assistant, he wasn’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.”

“Taking a page out of Bill Belichick’s book – 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, you’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 he’s just a tough dude. He’s a badass. And that’s what you’re seeing from him.”

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 Judge’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.

New York Giants news 6/13: Jon Halapio recovery update, Patrick Graham receives praise from former Giant

New York Giants, John Halapio, Eli Manning

The New York Giants are taking a different approach their defense in 2020 with former Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. They want to utilize a mesh of different schemes and sets, determined to brew a sense of unpredictability and versatility on a weekly basis.

Former Giants, Jonathan Casillas, gave an excellent review of Graham:

“I feel like Pat Graham, he’s learned so much,” Casillas told “He’s a guy that has been so versatile. He was a linebackers coach, a d-line coach, DB (coach) and defensive coordinator, and has kind of been all over the place. But I think that versatility has given him a lot of education in different parts of the game, and that’s going to translate over to him being a great defensive coordinator.”

“It’s not just the x’s and o’s,” he said. “It’s identifying with the players that you have in the locker room. A lot of great coaches sometimes aren’t great player-coaches. You know, not player-friendly… It’s a little bigger than the x’s and o’s. It’s about culture and having the players’ trust and believing in you.

“I think Pat Graham has risen to that to where he’s gotten the defensive coordinator job. The players will believe in him because I feel like he’s a coach who believes in his players. Not the scheme, not that he makes all the good ideas, but the guys that he put in certain positions because of his education and everything that he’s learned. But also, his studying, his due diligence on those guys, that they’ll be put in the right place to win. That’s what the Giants needed.”

The ability to adapt to your players and identify with them is a major factor for coaches in the NFL. Success depends on your ability to reach them on a personal level and convince them to buy into your system. If they feel like they are on the outside looking in, failure is just around the corner. Graham seemingly has the ability to maximize his relationships with players to bring the best out of them.

How is Jon Halapio recovering?

Halapio is 23 weeks post-Achilles surgery. He previously returned from a broken leg in 2019, and while he did struggle at the center position, he will remain a competitor with the Giants during training camp. The expectation is they will develop a position battle at center, consisting of Halapio, Spencer Pulley, Shane Lemieux, and Nick Gates.

Ultimately, Halapio is in serious danger of losing his starting job, but he has the experience to remain on the roster as a depth piece. His return to the field as a positive sign in his recovery, but he still has a long way to go before he can be considered a reliable starter at center in the NFL.


Fomer Giant Casillas in Best Role Yet: Fatherhood

New York Giants, Jonathan Casillas

They say behind every great daughter is a truly amazing dad, and two time Super Bowl champ Jonathan Casillas and his beautiful daughter Jade, exemplify this to the fullest. Looking at Casillas’ Instagram handle alone @jade_52, you can see that the most important thing to him is his daughter. Casillas and Jade are genuinely best friends. They have a bond like no other- doing everything together from having dance parties to going to the movies, coloring and designing eggs for Easter, to building PlayDoh creatures and Leggo houses-they have an extremely close relationship that can only deepen as she grows.  

Their relationship is one that is full of support.  When Casillas was playing football, Jade was always there to cheer her father on, decked out in fan gear and whenever the game may not have gone well, Jade was there to cheer him up and lift his spirits through her sweet messages left on wipe-off boards or through just her mere presence. 

Casillas is always beaming with pride with every accomplishment Jade has, no matter how little or big. Every Judo meet/competition, every musical or performance or class party or school activity, he is there, full of pure happiness and joy. He encourages her and makes sure that she knows she can be anything she wants and be anything she wants, a word of wisdom that she will carry with her forever.

Jade is wise beyond her years and is always so full of life.  She is kind, sweet, and determined. It is clear to see that not only is she the spitting image of her father, but she also has her father’s drive and determination.  Casillas is currently pursuing his MBA in Business. There is no stopping these two from achieving their goals and reaching success, all while living life to the fullest and being amazing people. 

A father should be the standard against which she judges all men, and Jade has the best role model in her dad.  Casillas leads by example. With his Forward Progress Camp, which has been going strong for six years, he teaches young boys and girls not only skills needed for the field but life lessons as well, arming them with the information necessary to tackle life itself. 

Casillas is always ready to lend a helping hand in any way he can, from donating shoes as part of podiatric health awareness to reading to kids for the “Read Across America” initiative, to countless other philanthropic endeavors. Casillas shows Jade what giving back and being a good person really means.  

Casillas is her hero, her rock, her pal, her confidante, her best friend, and more importantly, she is all those things to him.  For Casillas, Jade is a very precious gem!  She is his everything. If you want to see nothing but smiles and put a smile on your face as well, look no further than Casillas and Jade. 

New York Giants Likely Preparing To Release Veteran Linebacker

As the New York Giants begin to address the mess of a team Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo left behind, several players are fearing for their jobs in the wake of the staff overhaul.

Veteran linebacker Jonathan Casillas was known as a leader on the team, but after injuring his neck and wrist in 2017, his durability is in question.

According to, Casillas thinks his time in New York might be coming to an end:

“I’ve spoken to (the Giants) briefly. I didn’t have a formal conversation with them about any contract or getting me back there or anything like that,” Casillas said, via Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. “It doesn’t seem like they love me as much as the old staff did.”

There’s no doubt that Casillas brings a sense of professionalism and leadership to the team and locker room, but after last season’s melt-down, the new regime seems keen on gutting the team of aging veterans.

Finding young players that are obsessed with winning is the new standard for the Giants (OBJ anyone?), meaning Casillas might catch the short end of the stick this time around.

Casillas was allocated $3.6 million in 2017, but could find his way back onto the roster if he takes a steep pay-cut. The Giants are in dire need of linebackers and signing Casillas to a team-friendly deal ($1.5-2 million) might be a solid option. His leadership and wisdom could go a long way in helping to develop young players Gettleman may select in the NFL Draft.

“I’ve been around enough to understand the game,” Casillas said. “I might not be as hot a commodity as I used to be. But whoever gets me, if it’s somebody else and not the Giants, they’re going to get a great player and a great leader in the locker room.”

Essentially, teams would be paying for his presence in the locker room and leadership on the field, because his talent has surely seen a drop-off since his days in New England.