I want to believe the Giants got it right this time. I really do. I want to believe the team found its head coach for the foreseeable future and didn’t strike out on the third swing-and-miss in four years. But it’s really, really, really hard to put any faith into a decision made by Giants ownership at this point, especially since Dave Gettleman is still part of the team and involved in decisions.
No one knows how Joe Judge is going to be as a head coach because he’s never done it before. This isn’t Ben McAdoo — a puzzling choice from the moment he was forced on to Tom Coughlin’s staff — showing up to his introductory press conference swimming in an oversized suit with zero career experience as a head coach anywhere. And this isn’t Pat Shurmur getting hired despite a 10-23 record in the league, simply because he worked wonders with Case Keenum, even if it was the Vikings defense which deserved credit for the team’s run to the NFC Championship Game. This is a 38-year-old wide receivers coach, who has never so much as been a coordinator in the NFL, let alone a head coach, being thrust into the biggest media market there is to run what is, or at least was, one of the most prestigious jobs in the sport, before ownership allowed its reputation to be ruined by McAdoo and Shurmur.
I have no idea if Judge is going to stop the Giants from fully becoming the Browns because no one does. Whenever someone is hired as a head coach without any head coaching experience, people think they know how it will turn out, but no one knows. No one has any clue what type of coach Judge will be. Being mentored by Nick Saban and Bill Belichick is meaningless given the track record of their coaching trees. It’s not Saban or Belichick coaching the Giants. It’s someone who worked for them and working for greatness doesn’t make someone great.
The best thing Judge has going to for him is that he doesn’t have a track record. He doesn’t have a ledger. He’s an unknown with a clean slate being asked to prevent the Giants from falling any farther than they have over the last seven years with one winning season, 42 wins in 112 regular-season games and one disastrous playoff game in that time. McAdoo failed to right the ship as it started to sink at the end of the Coughlin era, unable to last even two full seasons, and Shurmur failed to do anything other than cement himself as one of the worst head coaches in the history of the NFL with a now 19-46 record to his name.
If the Giants are right, they will find have found their guy, three tries after regrettably parting ways with Coughlin. If they’re wrong, I’ll be writing these same words about someone else two years from now.
I don’t have any confidence the Giants got this hire right given every personnel, roster, draft and trade decision they have made over the last seven years. But I want them to be right. I want to have a Giants season last past September. I need them to be right.