New Giants coach Joe Judge has clear mission 'to win'

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Amid myriad introductions and first impressions on an eventful Wednesday afternoon in the NFL world, the New York Giants officially announced Joe Judge as the 19th head coach in the storied chronicle of the franchise.

While he's No. 19 in Giants history, this will be the 38-year-old Judge's first job as a head coach following eight seasons as an assistant under the Bill Belichick learning tree in New England.

Storied as the franchise may be, New York hasn't produced a winning season since 2016 -- which stands as an aberration as six of the last seven Giants seasons have been losing campaigns.

Hence, Judge was transparent on what he expects and what's expected of him.

"Over the past couple of days we had great conversations about where this team is and where it is headed and how we are going to get there," Judge said, via the team website. "My job is to lead our players and coaches. The mission is clear; to win games. There is a process to reaching that objective, and we will implement that process and work that process starting today."

And just like that, the Judge era is under way -- though a formal introductory press conference is scheduled for Thursday.

Amid a flurry of hiring news on Tuesday, word of Judge's hiring came not long after news of the Carolina Panthers hiring Matt Rhule. Rhule's introduction came earlier Wednesday and was followed by a long presser in which the Cowboys and new coach Mike McCarthy held court. The Giants' official announcement of Judge being their next head coach came as their NFC East rivals' near-hour-long conference carried on.

Judge was the fifth candidate interviewed by the Giants, who previously spoke with Cowboys assistant Kris Richard, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale and McCarthy. Rhule was also on their list, but he chose the Panthers before he sat down with the Giants.

"This was the deepest group of quality candidates I can recall, and Joe is as impressive a candidate as I have interviewed," Giants president and chief executive officer John Mara said in a statement. "We met with Joe on Monday. We did have some other candidates lined up to speak with, but Joe had established the threshold at that point. He knows what winning looks like and should look like. His exposure and experience in New England and Alabama have helped shape his philosophy of building a winning program and culture. We are thankful that he has accepted the responsibility to lead our team."

Though this is Judge's first job as a head coach, he has risen in the ranks under coaches regarded as perhaps the greatest in NFL and college lore in Belichick and Alabama's Nick Saban, respectively.

Most recently, Judge was the Patriots special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach. His tenure with the Patriots and Belichick began in 2012 after a stay in Alabama under Saban as special teams assistant from 2009-2012.

"Joe did a fantastic job for our program early on in our tenure in Tuscaloosa," Saban said, via the Giants' website. "He went on to have a lot of success on Bill's staff in New England. Joe is one of the brightest young coaches in our profession, and I think he will do a tremendous job as the head coach of the New York Giants. They are getting an extremely smart football coach who is very loyal, organized and diligent about getting the job done.

Judge will follow the two-year tenure of Pat Shurmur as Giants head coach. Shurmur was dismissed after back-to-back losing campaigns. Thus, Judge and the Giants are hoping, though he's following Shurmur, he'll be following in the footsteps of those he learned from and worked under.

"Joe has prepared for this moment and is ready for the challenge of leading our team," said Dave Gettleman, the Giants' general manager. "His beliefs and principles are all about the team. Because of his background with special teams working under Bill Belichick, he has had the experience of evaluating and managing the entire roster. Can't wait to work with him."

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