There is no doubt the Giants believed they hired the right head coach even after Joe Judge went 6-10 in 2020, his first year on the job. Giants ownership loved Judge’s tough-but-fair style, his embracing of what it takes to win in the New York/New Jersey area and the way the team fought through most games. Also, the Giants went 5-3 in the second half of last season, showing outward signs of improvement.
There is also no doubt the Giants do not feel quite as confident Judge is the answer as his second season approaches its end. The Giants were 4-10 heading into Sunday’s game against the Eagles in Philadelphia and ownership is extremely disappointed in another season spent out of playoff contention.
Still, there has never been any groundswell that Judge’s job security was tenuous in any way, which is why an ESPN report that the Giants are planning to bring back Judge in 2022 comes as unsurprising on many levels. That the team is also planning on bringing back Daniel Jones — who is under contract in 2022 — at quarterback is also the expected course of action.
The fallout of another brutal season will be felt high in the football operation, as the Giants are strongly expected to dismiss general manager Dave Gettleman. The Giants are 19-43 since Gettleman, 70, took over and he will either head into retirement or be outright fired. Either way, the Giants will be looking for someone new to pair with Judge to get the franchise out of a decade-long rut.
Lest we forget, co-owner John Mara on the day the Giants introduced Judge as the head coach said, “It’s up to us to show a little more patience with this coach than perhaps we have over the last few years because he is a first-time head coach.” The Giants fired Ben McAdoo before his second season was complete and fired Pat Shurmur after two full seasons. Mara detests the idea that the Giants were becoming a fly-by-night operation that cycles through head coaches, realizing that the most successful franchises stress continuity.
Judge, 10-20 as a head coach, privately has been concentrating on finishing out this season but also planning for 2022 and beyond, and those around him have seen no indication that he was worried about his job security. After the Giants were defeated by the Dolphins, Judge made sure to mention that the Dolphins were in Year 3 under Brian Flores — like Judge, a former Bill Belichick assistant with the Patriots. Judge continuously talks of building something with the Giants the right way and this is what ownership wants to hear, although ownership would have preferred the building process include a few more victories this season.
Jones will miss the final three games this season with a sprained neck. The Giants are 0-3 without him and there was not much confidence in the building there would be much success with Mike Glennon taking over at quarterback. The Giants will give Jake Fromm his first NFL start against the Eagles. Jones’ absence does not give Judge a pass for a second-half swoon but it has been included in the evaluation process of his body of work.