The Giants introduced Joe Judge as the 19th head coach in franchise history Thursday afternoon. After his introductory press conference at MetLife Stadium, one thing was very clear -- Judge made a strong first impression.
Here are some of the big headlines on Friday, January 10.
Judge wows in introductory presser
Judge may not have been a widely-known name as recently as a week ago, but everyone surely knows who he is now. The 38-year-old stepped in front of the media on Thursday and put on a show, leaving the team's beat reporters impressed with the first-time head coach.
"Joe Judge had a commanding presence and poise, a no-nonsense aura, and the look and sound of an old-school football coach more fearless than you could have expected from a novice asked to carry the New York Football Giants on his shoulders back to the future," New York Post reporter Steve Serby wrote. "You could close your eyes and imagine Judge as one of Bear Bryant's Junction Boys. You could almost hear a voice in the distance wailing, "Fatigue makes cowards of us all." The Giants were looking for a leader. They just may have found him."
"It was as if Joe Judge were looking out far beyond the crowd, past the co-owners of the Giants and the front office members and the assembled media and speaking directly to fans who are so distraught by what their team has become," wrote Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. "He is a newcomer on the scene, admittedly owning 'an outsider's view of this team.' Yet the new head coach of the Giants might as well have been talking to every single season-ticket holder and devout Giants fan with his introductory message and vision of the team he is entrusted to turn into a winner."
Judge gives off Coughlin vibes
While listening to Judge speak Thursday, it was hard not to have some flashbacks of a certain two-time Super Bowl winning Giants head coach. Judge may have learned under Belichick and Saban, but when the new Giants coach spoke during his press conference, many reporters and fans saw flashes of Tom Coughlin.
"While Judge learned from Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, his early arrival conjured memories of a former Giants coach who won two Super Bowls and was notoriously fastidious about punctuality. The similarities to Tom Coughlin only grew stronger when Judge shared his core beliefs," The Athletic’s Dan Duggan wrote. "Longtime head of public relations Pat Hanlon cracked that Judge's comments caused flashbacks for the group of former players in attendance, which included Justin Tuck, Amani Toomer, Jeff Feagles, Carl Banks, Rich Seubert and David Diehl. Judge's old-school style will play well with a fan base he described as "blue collar," one that is desperate for a return to the winning ways of the Coughlin era."
"Sure, new Giants head coach Joe Judge arrived at his introductory press conference Thursday with glowing endorsements from Bill Belichick and Nick Saban," Schwartz wrote. "But, for two former Giants who own Super Bowl rings, hearing Judge for the first time made them hearken back to their former coach, Tom Coughlin, who captured the two most recent Lombardi Trophies for the glass-enclosed case in the team facility."
"'He was talking about warmups, talking about attire, he started talking about being on time, pads, being physical, being downhill, representing the city and I'm like, 'Oh my God,'" Toomer, the Giants' career receptions leader, told Schwartz. 'It was a lot like what you heard from TC. I didn't know much about [Judge] before, but learning his story and hearing him talk about his experience as a teacher, I think he's bringing in a lot of accountability into the locker room. That's kind of what you can get behind.'"
"'A lot of familiar tones,' Tuck added."
Judge learned from the best
While this opportunity will be his first chance to serve as a head coach, Judge has plenty of coaching experience under his belt. For the last 11 years, Judge has worked under two of the greatest coaches of this era in Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. While he made it clear that he will bring his own style to the head coaching job, Judge did acknowledge the vast amount of information he absorbed from the two all-time great coaches.
"Judge brings with him many of the same beliefs that have made Belichick and Saban so successful," wrote ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. "He specifically noted a desire to work around the strengths of his players rather than be married to scheme. This is something that has made Belichick so unique. One week he'll have a run-heavy team and then flip the next. Judge appears likely to do the same with the Giants."
"A leader who comes to the Giants with the highest of recommendations from a pair of mentors considered the best coach at their respective levels: Bill Belichick and Nick Saban," Stapleton wrote. "Judge, 38, won two national titles as an assistant with Saban, who handed him off to Belichick, with whom he won three Super Bowls on the Patriots' staff… Judge has learned at the hip of Belichick, who clearly identified him as a coach worth teaching. So seemingly everywhere Belichick went with regard to the entire team, there was Judge: sitting, watching, learning and eventually, stepping up and speaking up, too."
Former players and colleagues praise Judge
While Belichick and Saban had nothing but high praise for their former assistant coach, they were far from the only ones to commend the new Giants head coach. Following Thursday's introductory press conference, several of the team's beat reporters reached out to former players and colleagues of Judge. It should come as a surprise to no one that they all had great things to say about Judge.
"'Oh, Joe will command the room,' former Patriots wide receiver and special teamer Chris Hogan told Art Stapleton just hours before the Giants made their hiring of Judge official. 'He's comfortable being out in front of the team, and his attention to detail is off the charts. He doesn't just get your attention, he keeps your attention, and that's how leaders lead. Joe's a leader… Every situational meeting that we had - offense, defense and special teams - Joe was there, and he had some role to play. He was constantly communicating with Bill and going over situations, and he was always involved in every single part of our game. He was very much respected in that locker room.'"
"'Joe Judge was at the building at like 4:30 in the morning every day,' NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms, who was a Patriots assistant when Judge first started under Belichick, told Serby, 'and there all night long.'"
View photos of new head coach Joe Judge as he arrives with his family and tours the Giants facility