BOSTON (CBS) — When Joe Judge got the Giants’ head coaching job, it was a bit of a surprise, considering that Judge only had one year of experience as a specific position coach. Apparently, that one year didn’t go too well.
In an appearance on the “Pats Interference” podcast, NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran reported that he has heard that some Patriots receivers had some issues with Judge when he was coaching them in the 2019 season.
“He coached wide receivers and during that season, I was told that there were wide receivers who were unhappy with the coaching they were getting, to the point where they felt as if Joe Judge didn’t know more than them,” Curran said. “And there were blow-ups at practice — or at least one that I know of — in which a receiver said, ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about.'”
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The 2019 Patriots certainly lacked an explosive offense, ranking 15th in the NFL. Tom Brady’s 88.0 passer rating was his lowest since 2013 and second-lowest since the pre-2007 days; he’s since posted passer ratings of 102.2 and 102.1 in two years following the 2019 season. Personnel certainly played a role in that, with the Patriots’ offense lacking a reliable receiver behind Julian Edelman, who led the team with a whopping 153 targets. Among wide receivers, Philip Dorsett ranked second with 54 targets, followed by trade acquisition Mohamed Sanu (47), undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers (41), six-game-eligible Josh Gordon (36), and underwhelming rookie N’Keal Harry (24).
Still, the bottom line is that the 2019 Patriots’ offense did not perform at the level that had long been established in New England to that point, and it coincided with Judge’s lone season coaching on the offensive side of the ball.
That matters now, because Judge — the team’s former special teams coordinator — is now back in New England as an offensive assistant, expected to work closely with quarterback Mac Jones.
Judge was hired as the Giants’ head coach after that 2019 season, thanks in part to a major recommendation from Bill Belichick. The Giants went 10-23 — ranking 31st in offense — during Judge’s two seasons before he was fired in January.