Bill Parcells' advice to rookie Giants coach Joe Judge: 'Be yourself'

As Joe Judge prepares for his rookie season as the head coach of the New York Giants, he's garnered his fair share of notice and questions for his practices – those of a traditionalist and a disciplinarian.

From the all-time great old-school Giants coach to the newest, Bill Parcels offered some plain advice to Judge: "Be yourself."

That was the sage wisdom Parcels put forth, via the New York Post’s Steve Serby.  

Judge has drawn attention and some critics for his approach, one that's seen him punish players by making them run, some tirades and the practice of having no names on jerseys, just numbers. It's an effort to show that mistakes come with consequences and that no individual is bigger than the team.

It's an approach more often seen when Parcels was manning sidelines during a Hall of Fame coaching career that included two Super Bowl triumphs with the Giants. But as Parcels turned 79 on Saturday, questions abound as to whether such a stern style can guide a winner in 2020.

For Parcells, though, the advice comes easy as he reflected upon his first season as a head coach with Big Blue in 1983. It ended with a miserable 3-12-1 record, which stood as the worst season of his 19-year career.

"I was just trying to be a head coach instead of being Bill Parcells," he said.

There are many who believe Judge is trying too much to follow the ways of Bill Belichick, who he assisted before becoming a head coach for the first time with the Giants. So, the questions and side-eyed looks will likely linger until the results come.

While Parcels' advice and Judge's approach may be perceived as old-school, being a rookie head coach during a COVID-19 pandemic is as new as it gets.

There are no preseason games to work out the kinks for the new regime. There are protocols and precautions they're being introduced to right along with playbooks and schedules.

"We had 24 practices before our first preseason game," Parcells said. "And 50 before our first regular-season game. And these guys are gonna have 14 padded practices before your first regular-season game. I used to have that in 10 days."

It's a brave new world. Whether Parcells' advice and Judge's approach can lead to success in 2020 remains to be seen.

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