The New York Giants got the head coach they wanted in Joe Judge, but getting him to New York wasn’t easy. In a surprising confession by owner John Mara, the Giants had to act quickly if they wanted to hire Judge … a move that’s commonplace with multiple NFL head coaching vacancies.
“He was under some pressure to make a decision for Mississippi State,” Mara said of Judge to WFAN Friday. “They were putting some pressure on him to come to an agreement quickly.”
Mississippi State made an offer to Judge to become their next head coach. Judge played there from 2000 to 2004, and his first coaching job was as a graduate assistant at Mississippi State. Judge spent the last eight years with the New England Patriots, the past five as special teams coach.
The Giants lost a candidate — Matt Rhule — to the Carolina Panthers earlier that morning, so they had to strike quickly in order to get Judge. New York inked Judge to a five-year deal in which he will receive slightly over $5 million per year, likely a higher offer than what he would have received at Mississippi State.
“He’s coming in, he’s 38 years old, he comes from a completely different organization,” Mara said. “He was not a safe, comfortable pick. One of the things we were looking for quite frankly was somebody who was going to come in here and maybe make some people a little bit uncomfortable. What’s gone on the last few years is not acceptable anymore. We have to try a new way of doing things, and he’s got some unique ideas about dealing with players and how you practice and the discipline factor and the leadership factor.”