Joe Judge Fired: Three candidates to replace former Giants head coach

Joe Judge has been fired as the Giants head coach. New York has now been through five HCs since 2016. Can they buck this ugly trend in 2022?

Just weeks after anonymous NFL sources claimed Joe Judge was safe because John Mara felt he’d found his Belichick or Parcells, the New York Giants have fired their head coach.

The Giants made many mistakes with hiring Judge and the decisions made immediately after. Jason Garrett was always a horrific choice for the offensive coordinator job. And when the Giants’ inept offense lost QB Daniel Jones to injury, it became a laughing stock. Now, they’ll start over with a new general manager and head coach.

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Joe Judge fired in New York

Judge went 10-23 in his two seasons with New York. His quarterback and offense failed to progress in 2021. Even before the injury, they were a bottom-tier offense. He should have been firmly on the hot seat all season.

The Giants’ now-former head coach had gotten awkwardly defensive over the culture and environment surrounding him in New York. He went on an 11-minute monologue about why the Giants should have faith in him as a leader.

In doing so, he thoroughly embarrassed himself with an anecdote about how players who’d left the Giants for more money elsewhere would call him like an ex-girlfriend, claiming they wished they were back in his arms.

In the end, Dave Gettleman’s departure might have sealed Judge’s fate. The Giants would have hamstrung their GM search if they had only considered candidates willing to keep Judge employed.

John Mara, Giants Team President, releases statement

“Steve (Tisch) and I both believe it is in the best interest of our franchise to move in another direction,” said Giants Team President John Mara. “We met with Joe yesterday afternoon to discuss the state of the team. I met again with Joe this afternoon, and it was during that conversation I informed Joe of our decision. We appreciate Joe’s efforts on behalf of the organization.

“I said before the season started that I wanted to feel good about the direction we were headed when we played our last game of the season. Unfortunately, I cannot make that statement, which is why we have made this decision.

“We will hire a general manager and that person will lead the effort to hire a new head coach.”

Three Giants head coach replacements

The Giants’ head coaching gig hasn’t been a revolving door. That does not grasp the violence associated with the position. It’s been more akin to saloon doors made from steel and with a trap inside that drops a man down a few feet. As they stand there bewildered, the doors swing back, smacking the coach in the head before the bouncer drags them out.

After 12 seasons of Tom Coughlin, the Giants have had five coaches since 2016. Who can buck that trend?

Nathaniel Hackett, Packers Offensive Coordinator

Calling plays is only one part of coaching, and it’s not a prerequisite for being a great head coach. In fact, very few can handle the responsibility of gameday coaching and calling a side of the ball.

However, Nathaniel Hackett has experience calling plays and creating an offensive game plan tailor-made for success.

Hackett also gets a ringing endorsement from Aaron Rodgers, a man who doesn’t even like his own flesh and blood. Relationships are often undervalued by front offices and fans alike. Building a strong relationship with a franchise quarterback is imperative.

Getting Daniel Jones to that point is a longshot, but the Giants will be in a position to draft one of the best in the 2023 draft class because this roster probably won’t improve drastically in 2022.

Marcus Brady, Colts Offensive Coordinator

Marcus Brady and Colts head coach Frank Reich held onto the bucking bronco that is the Carson Wentz experience for as long as humanly possible. In the end, Wentz folded during a win-and-in situation. But 2021 showed that Brady might be able to get through to problematic playmakers, at least for a while.

That could be precisely what Jones needs. He’s shown flashes of playmaking ability as a runner and passer. His issues have stemmed from fumbles and, at times, interceptions.

Brady cut his teeth coaching in the CFL. Although he’s only been a coordinator for one season, he’s highly regarded as one of the brightest offensive minds in the game. After seeing this Giants offense for the better part of three seasons, they could definitely use his expertise.

Patrick Graham, Giants Defensive Coordinator

The Patrick Graham elevation would require the assistance of a legitimately outstanding offensive coordinator hire to go along with it. However, what Graham has shown schematically as the Giants defensive coordinator has been a treat to watch. And the players on his unit always speak glowingly of him as a coach and a man.

Graham didn’t hit the fast track like we’ve seen so many offensive coordinators that know Sean McVay hit. He’s been an assistant in the NFL since 2009 in New England. His coaching career began in 2002 with Wagner College.

Like many minority candidates, he’s had a long road to get to the pinnacle of the profession, but he’s made it known that’s exactly where he wants to be. And with only 32 of them in the world, it’s not likely he declines simply because the situation is not conducive to success in its current state.

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