Giants’ Joe Judge defends 11-minute answer: ‘Dose of the truth’

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A day later, Joe Judge described his 11-minute answer on why Giants fans should still have faith that the franchise will turn its losing ways around “a dose of the truth.” 

It certainly caught the attention of many, if not his players, but they insist there is in fact truth to his message that the Giants are still fighting and a foundation is being built amid the 4-12 season. 

“I think a lot of our players are buying into what coach Judge preaches,” left tackle Andrew Thomas said Monday, adding that he did not see Judge’s postgame press conference. “We come in every day regardless of what happens on Sunday. We come in and we work to get better and to put a product on the field that we’re proud of.” 

There wasn’t a whole lot to be proud of in Sunday’s 29-3 loss to the Bears — the Giants’ fifth straight loss, all by double digits — after which Judge went down a rabbit hole while answering a question about his message to the fans. 

Joe Judge defended his 11-minute postgame answer following the Giants’ loss to the Bears.
Corey Sipkin

Judge reiterated on Monday that his comments were directed toward the fans, “but obviously, the response can apply to a number of different areas.” It remains to be seen whether Judge will have to make a similar case to ownership after Sunday’s season finale against the Washington Football Team in order to secure a third year with the Giants. 

The second-year head coach’s rambling answer raised some eyebrows along the way. His tangents included thinking he and the Patriots staff were going to be fired halfway through the 2018 season (at worst they were 1-2, 7-3 or 9-5 before going on to win the Super Bowl); relaying that players on the team he took over in 2020 said the Giants had quit on the 2019 season, despite Pat Shurmur’s group winning two of its last three games; and claiming that players on last year’s team who are now making more money on other teams call him “twice a week” saying they wished they were still with the Giants. 

Only a handful of players who were on last year’s roster are making more money elsewhere this season, led by Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and Ravens guard Kevin Zeitler. But Judge defended his claim on Monday when asked whether he indirectly singled out Tomlinson and Zeitler. 

“I wouldn’t want to try to identify names and I think that would be pure speculation,” Judge said. “It’s a small league, I keep in touch with a lot of players I’ve coached elsewhere because, obviously, there are things that we’re very careful with tampering and we never try to get anything in that mix. But, everyone supports each other. 

“I just know that we have a strong culture, as players from other teams that I know reach out to our players currently and have reached out to me as well through different avenues. Nothing that needs to be looked into or anything of that nature, but I know this is a place that players want to play. I know this is a place that players want to play. It’s a place that a lot of players are going to want to play for a long time. I’m going to leave it at that.” 

In the meantime, it is a place that will miss the playoffs for a fifth straight year. And until Judge sees his promises of a turnaround through, the Giants can only hang their hat on the intangibles. 

“It’s definitely been different, but we all had the same results,” said running back Devontae Booker, a veteran of six non-playoff teams in his six years in the NFL. “It can be frustrating and stuff at times, but when you know the season is going like this, you only revert back to one way, and that’s just trying to finish the thing out strong.”

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