Giants players show support for Joe Judge: ‘Can command a room’

Giants players went to bat for head coach Joe Judge one more time.

While cleaning out lockers one day after the season ended, 10 players stopped by the podium, looked into a Zoom camera at reporters and offered support Monday for the embattled Judge. It wasn’t insignificant as Judge goes through meetings with Giants ownership to determine his fate, but it is the norm in these situations. Some of the same players pledged allegiance to head coach Pat Shurmur right up until he was fired in 2019.

“I love Coach Judge,” said linebacker Blake Martinez, who missed the last 13 games. “He can coach everyone from long snapper to quarterback. You can’t put it all on one guy or one coach. We have to build each other up.”

Safety Logan Ryan has known Judge longer than any other Giants player, back to his 2013 rookie year with the Patriots when Judge was a special teams coach.

Logan Ryan and Blake Martinez both showed support for Joe Judge.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“It’s well-documented Joe is a very honest man and transparent with his players,” Ryan said. “Respecting your head coach goes a long way. He can command a room really well and lead us as players, in my opinion, and that’s part of a head coach’s job.

“There’s a lot of coaches I’ve worked with that are great strategists or great this or that, but they could never get in front of a room. They don’t have that type of moxie about them. With the results not going the way he wanted this year, the locker room has stuck together for the most part, and that’s because of Joe being consistent with us, respectful to us and listening to us.”

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The Giants were beset by injuries and “retired” general manager Dave Gettleman’s personnel failures en route to a 4-13 record.

“He does a really good job when it comes to holding everyone accountable and getting everybody on the right page,” said center Nick Gates, who missed the last 14 games. “Judge puts us in a good position to succeed, and we just have to execute as players.”

There was a “business as usual” approach to Judge’s meetings Monday with assistant coaches — many of whom will not return regardless of Judge’s status — and the players.

“He just talked about next year and how he’s going to construct things,” defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence said, “and try to improve us as a team and him as a coach.”

Tight end Evan Engram has been with the Giants through five straight losing seasons under three head coaches.

“I definitely believe that things here are heading in the right direction,” Engram said. “There are things that can be fixed and I hope will be.”

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