Joe Judge makes desperate plea to save job with 11-minute postgame rant

Joe Judge came in breathing fire when he was introduced two years ago and everyone loved the heat and the intensity. It was as if he knocked on the door of every single Giants fan, walked into the living room, sat down on their couch and assured them before too long, they would get back their beloved team.

Judge sent out a different sort of message Sunday, this one at first aimed at the fans but more so directed at the team owners, John Mara and Steve Tisch. It took Abraham Lincoln two minutes in 1863 to deliver the Gettysburg Address. Judge, after Sunday’s 29-3 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago, used 11 minutes and 15 seconds to state his case why he should return for a third season as the head coach of a franchise that is losing with alarming frequency.

There was aplomb and an F-bomb in his wandering just under 2,700-word soliloquy that was triggered when Judge was asked why fans should have faith in his ability to turn the Giants around. Fair question. Judge is 10-22 heading into the last game of this season, 0-5 in the past five games, outscored 49-141.

“I don’t ever ask for patience from anybody,’’ Judge said, just warming up. “Let’s get that clear right now. All right? And the fans have every right to have an opinion. That’s why they’re fans. They have every right. You buy a ticket, come to the stadium, you have every right to boo me going out of the stadium. That’s what we sign up for, right? And it’s New York. It’s supposed to be a tough place to be. Certain cities in this country, they don’t even know if their team is playing today. All right? So you sign up for a job in a city like New York, you expect to have this.’’

Joe Judge's postgame rant sounded like a plea to owners John Mara (top right) and Steve Tisch (top left) to keep his job.
Joe Judge’s postgame rant sounded like a plea to owners John Mara (top right) and Steve Tisch (top left) to keep his job.
Screengrab, AP, Getty

It is like beating a worn drum by now assessing what happens next. General manager Dave Gettleman will lose his job and his replacement, in conjunction with Giants ownership, will determine if Judge stays or goes. Mara has no interest in getting rid of a third head coach in the past five years. He endured through most of this dreary season believing he wanted to keep Judge in 2022. How much ownership takes into account the loss of quarterback Daniel Jones with the team at 4-7 when it comes to laying the blame for the five-game nosedive remains to be seen. When a team loses the way the Giants have lost, everything gets opened up for discussion.

Clearly, Judge feels he was handed a much worse situation than outsiders can see. He was brought in after Pat Shurmur went 9-23 in two seasons and, without naming names, tore into what he inherited.

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“When I came here and I sat down with all the players, I wanted to know what it was like in here, what we had to change from their mouths,’’ Judge said. “To a man, every player looked me in the eye and said, ‘Joe, it’s not a team, they don’t play hard, we’re out of the playoffs, everybody quit, everybody tapped, they stopped showing up to captains meetings,’ all that stuff. Right? They tapped out. OK?

“I’ll tell you right now, if you’re in the damn building, you walk on through our locker room, you ain’t seeing that crap you saw before. All right? You ain’t seeing guys planning vacations, you ain’t seeing golf clubs in front of players’ locker. You ain’t seeing that stuff. OK? You ain’t seeing it. All right, and that’s not because of some high school program because we’re cracking the whip.”

Joe Judge reacts during the Giants' 29-3 loss to the Bears.
Joe Judge reacts during the Giants’ 29-3 loss to the Bears.

Judge said there are impending free agents on the roster who come into his office “begging to come back’’ and there are players who were with the Giants in 2020 “still calling me twice a week talking about how much they wish they were still here and they’re getting paid more somewhere else.’’

Unless someone can say this is false it is not delusional, but it sure sounds desperate.

Even after his team produced three points and minus-10 passing yards, Judge would not rip his players. He says that is because “we got the right culture in terms of teaching the players’’ and he refuses to tear down to build himself up.

“Which is why I don’t come up here and try to assassinate some player because I think it’s going to save my ass,’’ he said.

“I ain’t going to sit up here like some other cowards sitting behind the mic and put his players on blast. OK? That’s it. I signed up to be the head coach here. Whatever bull gets fired, they got fired for me. You got that? It’s got to go through me to get to them. And that’s the way it is.’’

No doubt, fed-up fans will not take kindly to any of this. It remains to be seen if Judge is as persuasive now with ownership as he was two years and 21 losses ago when he aced his interview and got the job.

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