Joe Judge could play in a new role with the Patriots

Perhaps Joe Judge really wasn’t kidding when he locked himself in as an opportunity to take over offensive play-calling for the Giants after firing coordinator Jason Garrett midway through last season.

Seven months later, it’s the turn of the unexpectedly fired former Giants head coach to coach quarterbacks and possibly call games for the New England Patriots in his role as the unassuming offensive assistant. Mac Jones is entering his crucial sophomore year of development as a Patriots quarterback.

“In terms of who’s coaching each position, you’re going to see me on the field with the quarterbacks,” Judge said Thursday in his first interview since returning to the Patriots for a second stint (2012-19). “I work on the Mac, along with all the skill groups on offense. I would say we all work together as a coaching unit with the entire offense. We meet as a skill group and break up into individual meetings.”

Most of Judge’s coaching background is in specialty teams. He added receivers to his 2019 resume — his final season before he was hired to manage the Giants.

Joe Richter
Ex-Giants coach Joe Judge could call for games for the Patriots this season.

The Patriots did not hire an offensive coordinator to replace new Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels. The play favorites appear to be judge and former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia, whose background is in defense.

“Listen, I’m going to tell you straight and honest, nothing has been explained or decided or said to me,” Judge said. “To be honest who is calling the games is not the main focus at the moment. As a coach [Bill Belichick] wants to go on and explain such a role, he will tell us.

The irony is that the Giants’ incompetence of offense is arguably the primary reason for the judge’s dismissal. The Giants averaged 17.2 points per game in 26 games with Garrett as a play-caller, and Judge said that after the season’s change, “everything is on the table.”

The idea of ​​the judge calling plays seemed like an overstatement at the time – just a wrinkle that could force an opponent to prepare for more and create a competitive advantage. The Giants adopted a multi-staff approach similar to what the Patriots are attempting.

In hindsight, Judge probably should have tried, as the results hit rock bottom when Freddie Kitchens wore the headset and quarterback Daniel Jones was injured: The Giants failed to make it five times, the 10-point mark during a late-season losing streak to surpass.

“I’m very grateful for the players and the commitment they gave me over the two years there,” Judge said when asked to reflect on his time with the Giants. “I am very happy to be back here. That’s where my focus is. Anything backwards, to be honest, I’ve gotten past that.”

The judge highlighted Daniel Jones as he explained how his experience as a head coach provided a comprehensive view of how the pieces of the puzzle fit.

Joe Judge talks to Daniel Jones.

“I appreciate the work Daniel did for us while I was in New York,” Judge said. “I really enjoyed all the time I got to work with him. As a head coach, you work a lot with the quarterback to make sure he’s comfortable with the game plan and the game plan plays to his strengths so he can play aggressively.”

The judge said he rated Mac Jones during the 2021 draft even though the Giants weren’t in the market for the quarterback. Then the Giants and Patriots trained together at training camp.

“I liked the way he handled and commanded the Huddle and the team last year when we were training against them,” Judge said. “Not the completions, incompletions, whatever it may be. It was just seeing him interacting.

“I had a chance to listen to both huddles and as he stepped into the huddle you could hear a command and see the players’ eyes on him. That’s something I noticed when you left the field in terms of, ‘Okay, they’re going to be fine with this young guy.’ ” Joe Judge could play in a new role with the Patriots


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