Bill Belichick’s coaching tree failed to yield fruit, but it sure knows how to produce coaches who behave so aloof and out-of-touch like the founder of the tree.
Eric Mangini, Charlie Weis, Josh McDaniels, Bill O’Brien, and Matt Patricia thought they can behave like their mentor and get results right away because they worked for him. Instead, they all flopped. The first four lost their jobs, and Patricia joined them Saturday when the Lions fired him along with general manager Bob Quinn, who worked in the Patriots front office.
Belichick can make a case for Brian Flores and Mike Vrabel (he played for him rather than coach with him). But it remains to be seen if both can sustain this. O’Brien and Mangini started well just to fizzle in the end.
The Giants hired Joe Judge at Belichick’s urging this offseason. Giants CEO John Mara sought to find his next Tom Coughlin, and Judge checked all the boxes when it comes to organization, passion, and intelligence. Mara did not seem to care about his coach’s interpersonal skills since he was more interested in his competence.
So far, the results have turned out to be horrific. Despite Art Stapleton, Mike Vaccaro, the Giants media cheerleaders, and Giants fans gushing about Judge, it does not change the fact he is 3-7 as Giants head coach.
The rest of the NFC teams stink, and that’s why the Giants are in the NFC East race. It will be a joke if a wild-card contender deserving of a playoff miss a playoff spot because there has to be an NFC East representation. After watching the Dallas Cowboys, Washington football team, Philadelphia Eagles, and Giants this season, neither four teams deserve to be playing in January.
This hasn’t stopped the Giants fans from being haughty. It’s comically amusing than being annoying. I guess they need something to be proud of after not winning a playoff game since they last won the Super Bowl.
Judge’s record and incompetence strike me as a guy who is overmatched as head coach. But that’s not my takeaway about him. His behavior concerns me. He handled Golden Tate like a guy who was on a power trip, and his incident with then-Giants offensive line head coach Marc Colombo turned out to be childish at best.
Yes, Tate came off like a child when he gestured about getting the ball after Daniel Jones struggled in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and his wife speaking out about the Giants quarterback on Instagram did not help his cause. Judge did the right thing sending his wide receiver home for a day.
It should have ended there. Instead, Judge made it worse by sending Tate to a practice squad the rest of the week and then made him not go to the team’s trip to Landover to play the Washington football team.
Why treat a grown adult like a kid by being passive-aggressive? What was that about forcing him to play with the practice squad and then make him practice with them just to not make him go to the game? This behavior sounds juvenile at best. It should have ended with the head coach reprimanding his player in his office.
This is no way to treat employers that way from a boss’ standpoint.
Judge’s behavior towards Colombo is a bad look for him and the Giants. Yes, Colombo came off as a jerk, but he had to be incited for him to react that way. The saying goes it takes two to tango.
Apparently, Judge being too involved with the offensive line bothered Colombo. No one can blame the Giants’ offensive line head coach since it would mean he was worried that the first-year head coach did not like the job he was doing with his players. No one can blame him when he hired Dave DeGuglielmo as a consultant to work with the offensive line.
Hard to understand why Judge had an issue with Colombo since the Giants’ offensive line turned out to be a strength this season. It may have a battle of two proud men who let pride get the best of them. But Judge should have been the bigger man here. He’s the head coach for Pete’s sake. His job is to be the mature adult being the position he is in. He came off small.
An NFL Network report came out this week that Judge and his assistants bragged to assistants such as Colombo and Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett that they know what they are doing from the Patriots’ way and the Patriots’ way is the right way. That’s interesting since Judge has the chutzpah to feel that way being that he has a losing record as a coach.
Maybe Judge grows up and learns from his mistakes. But then again we thought O’Brien, Patricia, McDaniels, Mangini, and Weis would, too, and they never got it. They behaved stubbornly for their own good, and considering how unapologetic Judge has been, I wonder if he will get it.
I never thought Judge should have been the Giants head coach being that Belichick tree never works. His pupils tend to think by behaving like Belichick that they would have success. One would think Judge would learn from it as soon as he got hired.
Apparently, he hasn’t.
If the Giants miss the playoffs, this could be the beginning of the end for Judge.