When the New York Giants hired Joe Judge to be their new head coach, many were disappointed that the team did not go in the direction of a proven big-name, high-profile candidate. Instead, they hired a guy that was a relative unknown.
But from Judge’s opening press conference as Giants coach and beyond, he quickly won over the hearts of fans. Now, just one season into his role, many believe that the Giants have found their long-term answer at head coach.
However, 2020 was just a small sample size and the Giants still finished 6-10 and missed the playoffs. In Sports Illustrated’s recent head coach rankings, that was reflected for Judge, who was listed in the bottom half of the league.
20. Joe Judge, Giants
Staff strength: 9
In a perfect world, we put Judge much higher on the list with the idea that he’s ascending with a young team in a winnable division and could easily win a coach of the year award this year. (While this isn’t gambling advice, seeing him at 25/1 over at William Hill is noteworthy considering he was an outside candidate just a year ago.) Judge did some heavy lifting last year and brought with him star-in-the-making defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who will soon be a head coach. This offseason, following the additions of Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney along with the return of Saquon Barkley, there seems to be more optimism surrounding the Giants than most of the NFC East, which bottomed out last year in a gruesome slog.
These rankings could change a lot next year if the Giants turn the corner as some expect they might. With most of the high-achieving defense returning from last season and the reload of offensive weapons to put around quarterback Daniel Jones, the Giants have the tools in place to make a jump into a contender this year.
At the end of the day, Judge likely cares very little about where he ranks on this list. If anything, he will use this as fuel to continue to improve in Year 2 and lead the Giants to their first division title in quite some time.
Headed into the 2021 season, for the first time since the Tom Coughlin era, the Giants’ fanbase feels confident in their head coach and the direction of the team.
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