“So, we were in this big banquet type room in the stadium, and I guess they were testing the Zoom for the Eagles’ press conference over on the other side. It was just blasting in the background, so all I could hear was background noise. I looked at our PR guy a few minutes beforehand to check it out and it kept getting worse, so I just wanted to make sure it was taken care of so I could concentrate and answer questions.”
If you ever wanted Joe Judge’s no-nonsense attitude in a nutshell, that quote given to Boomer & Gio on Wednesday morning tells you all you need to know.
Of course, that was in response to the audio played at the top of his interview of Judge yelling at someone to “turn that down” during his post-game press conference on Sunday, but that laser-focus is one thing he’s taken from Bill Belichick, whom is maybe the biggest influence of all the influences he has had throughout his football life.
“I played for and worked for a number of great coaches and I take something from all of them, but Bill has been huge in my development as a coach,” Judge said. “There are a lot of things I didn’t even know I didn’t know before I started working for him. He gives you the perspective on how to take what’s important from each game and work it into the flow of the season, and then just weathering the storm and keeping guys focused on improving every single day.”
Oh, and there’s one other thing Belichick instilled in Judge: consistency, whether good or bad.
“The approach on every Monday is the same: show the tape, stress improvements we have to make and corrections we need to make, but also show what they’ve done well, and highlight the good things,” Judge said. “It’s important for the offense to see the defense in action and vice versa, to understand what we’re doing on each side of the ball. It’s important to me going in that everyone knows how the flow of the game has to go and what the plans are. We have to be accountable all around.”
That accountability and improvement is something he has seen from everyone on his team, which has overcome a 1-7 start to win two straight over Washington and Philadelphia heading into their bye week. The biggest improvement, though, has come from the one most maligned for not doing so: Daniel Jones.
“He continues to grow in the system, and I see him growing as a young quarterback, with his understanding of the whole big picture situation of games,” Judge said. “We’re trying to push this thing forward, and I see Daniel really embracing the big picture, and the guys respond to him. That’s the biggest thing. When he steps in the huddle, guys believe in him. He’s doing everything he can to help this team, and that gives us coaches a lot of confidence.”
Preparation is the key, and Judge may be rubbing off on Jones there, too.
“This is a guy who is in here for 14 hours every Tuesday watching tape, talking to coaches, and sharing his ideas on what he likes, what he’s seeing, what we’re seeing,” Judge said. “He prepares tirelessly, and when he gets in on Wednesday, he’s already a step ahead in his preparation. The commitment to what it takes, when people don’t see it, is what good quarterbacks have to have.”
The offensive line’s improvement has played a big role in Jones’ progression, and while Judge praised the whole group, he was asked specifically about No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas.
“Andrew is a mentally and physically tough dude. He got baptized by fire, but that’s the nature of the NFL – there are no weeks where you’re playing a Homecoming game against a northwest south directional school from Arkansas,” Judge joked. “For him, it’s just improvement in how he’s handled different moves and counters, and studying film to understand how people are going to attack and adjust. He gets on the field and competes, and he plays hard for 60 minutes. That’s all you can ask of players, and we have to keep putting him in the right position.”
Of course, Boomer & Gio had to bring up the Golden Tate incident, and Judge was succinct in his synopsis there, the same as ol’ Bill would be.
“I’m a big believer in handling things internally. It’s not my job to put people in the trial of public scrutiny,” Judge said. “We will handle things honestly and transparently inside, but protect people from the outside scrutiny. We’re keeping family business inside.”
That said, he doesn’t “hate” social media, but hopes his players understand its reach.
“Our guys have done a good job with it – we’re not trying to rob anyone of their id or make them robots, but we want them to understand that when you put something out there, it’s out there forever, and you’re going to take criticism for it,” Judge said. “When you hit send, make sure it’s something you’re never going to have to defend or explain. I’m a big believer of keeping Giants business in-house and not putting our dirty laundry out there, but to me, social media is a thing where…just don’t create distractions for yourself and give yourself a headache. It’s tough enough to win games in this league.”
And then, like Belichick, Judge’s response when Boomer & Gio asked him about the team’s chances to win the NFC East was about five steps short of the finish line.
“Our message is we have the Bengals next week, and have to go 1-0,” Judge said. “It has to stay process oriented. Once you look past the team in front of you, you’re probably already defeated in that game. We don’t have the luxury of looking past anybody. We’re using this bye week to get physically and mentally refreshed, and next week, work on the Bengals.”
Listen to Judge’s entire segment below!