Coaching search results to bad optics for Giants

The Giants decided to hire a head coach they can control rather than hire the right guy for the job.

The New York Football Giants hired 38-year-old Joe Judge as their 19th coach in franchise history on Tuesday, and they introduced him to the media and their fans on Thursday afternoon.

Apparently, Little Giants head coach Danny O’Shea and Ramapo head coach Drew Gibbs weren’t available for an interview.

Judge said all the right things that one would expect out of a press conference, though his suit left so much to be desired in a sense the suit did not fit him. Bad omen? Hardly. Just like him saying what fans want to hear shouldn’t be an omen to how good he can be as a coach. We won’t know what Judge is until he coaches this season.

Press conferences turn out to be nothing more than public relations. If a head coach sounds good and wins, he is great. If a head coach sounds awful and lose, he stinks. We make way too much out of winning the introductory press conference every time a new coach is introduced. Failed Giants head coach Pat Shurmur knocked it out of the park in his introductory presser, and he turned out to be a horrible head coach who had no answers to why the Giants lost after every game.

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The Giants seeked a head coach who would inspire and present a clean-cut image, and Judge turned out to be what Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch and Giants general manager Dave Gettleman want instead of the qualified Eric Bieniemy. They also seeked a head coach who would take orders, and Judge decided to do just that while coaches such as Ron Rivera, Mike McCarthy and Matt Rhule had self-respect for themselves to play along.

No one knows what Judge will do. He may be either the next Bill Parcells or Ray Handley. He could be Dan Reeves or Pat Shurmur. He might be Tom Coughlin or Ben McAdoo.

The Giants deserve criticism for the way they went about this coaching search. Gettleman clearly did not want to hire a coach who would think for himself. He hired a coach who he can control, and he got that in Judge. There was no way McCarthy would work for a general manager that would tell him how to coach. Rhule seeked more power than the Giants would willingly give. Mara and Tisch wanted to hire a head coach they can control rather than have them tell what to do. Apparently, the Giants co-owners think they know more about football than anyone never mind their franchise resembles more like the Detroit Lions these days than your model football franchise.

Here’s also the cold, hard, ugly truth: The Giants were never hiring an African-American head coach. It was evident with Judge being hired over Bieniemy. The Chiefs offensive coordinator paid his dues working around the league as assistant coaches in his career while Judge served as nothing more than an errand boy for Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. How else can anyone explain how Judge won the job over Bieniemy?
It’s no secret the Giants want to present an image of a head coach that would look pretty and presentable to the media. Mara and Tisch value that often. Bieniemy does not present that, and neither does McCarthy. They hired a coach that is a great public speaker since public relations matter. It’s why Coughlin, McAdoo and Shurmur were hired.

That’s a terrible message to send. The Giants should hire a head coach that will win games first and foremost. They should hire the right guy, not who they want to hire. That’s why there are so many questions about the Judge hiring.

Just because the new Giants head coach worked for Belichick and Saban means nothing. No one heard of Judge until the minute he was announced as the new coach. It’s not like the Patriots special teams was anything special in recent years. Also, Belichick’s coaching tree does not produce much fruit. Guys such as Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini and Josh McDaniels failed to pan out, and Bill O’Brien and Matt Patricia struggled to distinguished themselves as NFL head coaches so far. It shows that anyone can look good next to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Belichick.

Only reason Mara knew of Judge was because Belichick sent him a letter of recommendation unsolicited over the summer. Apparently, that letter came to his mind when Rhule said no to them about their job.

Judge sounded good. He made quite an impression. He said all the right things. Apparently Giants fans are satisfied, but being the lemmings they are, it does not take much.

He sounded like a salesman, and that does not seem like an endorsement. A coach who sounds like a salesman tends to fail more often than not. See Rex Ryan in his time as a Jets head coach.

Only way we will figure out how good Judge is when he coaches the next two months. That’s how he will make an impression, not his introductory presser.

Either way, this hire does not make the Giants look good here. What they needed was a head coach that knows about winning, not a head coach learning on the job again. What they needed was a head coach who knows what he is doing, not a head coach taking advice from his bosses on how to do his job. What they needed was a head coach that would just be a head coach, not be a head coach who would present an image.

Here’s another why we should cast doubt on this hire: What have Mara, Tisch and Gettleman done to earn the benefit of the doubt?

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