By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Former Patriots special teams coordinator Joe Judge is now the head coach of the New York Giants. And he got there in part because of an apparent glowing recommendation from Bill Belichick.
With the Patriots, Judge flashed qualities that could make him head coach material. He’s a demanding, no-nonsense type and has knowledge of every player on the roster. Good special teams is a sign of good coaching, so the Giants may have found themselves a gem by prying Judge away from the Pats.
In his introductory press conference on Thursday, Judge explained the biggest lesson that Belichick taught him in New England (watch above via Joe Giza of WBZ). It’s a coaching skill that has been a hallmark of Belichick’s tenure: make the system fit the players, not the other way around. Figure out what your guys do well and put them in positions to succeed. It’s what Belichick has done by far the best of any coach in the league, and it appears he’s passed that mindset on to Judge in New York.
“What I learned from coach Belichick was real simple: be flexible within your personnel,” said Judge. “Don’t try to shove round pegs into square holes. Figure out what you have. Let them play to their strengths. Don’t sit in a meeting and tell me what you don’t have in a player. Don’t tell me they can’t do a certain thing. Tell me what they can do and we’ll figure out as coaches – because that’s our job – how we can use that. That’s our responsibility.
“Everybody has something they can do. How many castoffs do you see around the league that end up on another team and everyone says, ‘Wow, how’d they get that out of them?’ Maye they just were closing their eyes to what they could do. We have to, as a coaching staff when we get assembled, make sure we’re sitting down, we’re patient with our players, we fully evaluate them, we find out what they can do to be an asset, and that we’re not foolish enough to not use that.”
Judge obviously has a lot to prove when it comes to making the jump from relative obscurity to head coach of one of the NFL’s most high-profile teams. We’ll see how he handles situational stuff, manages the clock, handles all of the personalities and egos in the locker room, delegates to his assistants, etc. But it sure seems like Belichick has groomed him well.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.