Nearly a week ago Adam Schefter tweeted that the New York Giants had requested to interview Patriots special teams coordinator Joe Judge.
Outside of Boston, Bill Belichick's and Nick Saban's circles, few people probably had any idea at that time who Joe Judge was. At just 37 years old, Judge has quietly become one of Bill Belichick's most trusted and respected lieutenants. Allow us to share some insight gained from within the profession.
Judge, who grew up in Pennsylvania, played ball at Mississippi State beginning in 2000. When his playing days were over, he immediately joined the staff as a graduate assistant. A few years down the road he accepted the linebackers job at Birmingham-Southern where he served for one season before getting on at Alabama with Nick Saban, where he assisted with special teams. This was the break that changed everything for Judge. Saban saw Judge's work ethic and his acumen, we are told, and lo and behold a few seasons later, Judge was offered a position on Saban's friend Bill Belichick's staff in New England. Initially, Judge served as special teams assistant for three seasons before ascending to the coordinator role after the 2014 campaign. This season, on top of serving as special teams coordinator, Judge also coached the Patriots' receivers.
In addition to earning Belichick's trust and praise, Judge has also earned the trust and friendship of Josh McDaniels. In fact, sources tell FootballScoop whenever McDaniels leaves Belichick there will have to be a grown man conversation about who gets Judge.
Thus, to hear that the Giants had caught on to this and wanted to see it for themselves is completely logical. If they had reached out to either Nick Saban or Bill Belichick for suggestions they probably heard Judge from one or both.
With the Patriots scheduled to play Saturday of Wild Card weekend, the Giants sought and the Patriots approved Judge to interview today.
During the same week, Judge's alma mater Mississippi State fired Joe Moorhead. This is where things get interesting. Both Judge and his wife loved their time at Mississippi State, sources tell FootballScoop. We were told if the Patriots beat the Titans, the Patriots organization was not enthused by the idea of Judge interviewing for a college job on top of the Giants interview. Sources told FootballScoop an interview with Mississippi State was unlikely had the Patriots won.
However, the Patriots lost last night. Presumably, Judge will now take that interview with his alma mater.
Judge is a made man in the NFL. Nick Saban and Bill Belichick are believers and supporters. The New York Giants have requested to interview him for their head coaching position. Belichick might promote him to offensive coordinator if McDaniels leaves. McDaniels would like to make him one of his coordinators if he gets a job.
Would Joe Judge walk away from all of that to become head coach at his alma mater? We'll all find out in the next 24-48 hours. Stay tuned...
As always, head directly to The Scoop for the latest coaching job information.
Monday morning update> Source tells FootballScoop Mississippi State officials met with Judge yesterday. He is slated to meet with the New York Giants today. Source adds that Mississippi State believes they have a very strong chance at landing Judge as their next head coach.