Bill Belchick is arguably the greatest football coach ever. No one can debate that his mind for the game down to the tiniest of details have helped him build a dynasty in Foxboro. However, when it comes to his coaching tree of assistants that have landed head coaching careers of their own, the results have been a mixed bag ranging from guys there are no doubts about (Nick Saban) to coaches like Josh McDaniels, Charlie Weis, Eric Mangini and (more recently) Matt Patricia.
The most recent of those assistants to get a shot at a head coaching opportunity was Joe Judge, who was named head coach of the Giants after eight seasons under Belichick in New England.
We've done a few pieces on Judge's unique approach with some old school methods at practice that include coaches and players running at practices for making mistakes, and taping tennis balls to the hands of defensive backs.
With questions about how Belichick assistants have fared as NFL head coaches as consistent conversation pieces in football circles, questions about what makes Judge different than other coaches under Belichick who have gotten their own opportunity but try too hard to be more like Belichick instead of forging their own always seem to pop up early in the new head coach's tenure.
On the radio yesterday, that type of question came from Keyshawn Johnson, who asked Judge what he would say to his naysayers out there that think that Judge may be heading down the same road of the coaches from the Belichick tree before him.
"I've learned a tremendous amount from coach Belichick, but I've learned a lot from all the guys I've coached under and played under," Judge starts by saying. "I've taken things from everyone I've worked under and implemented the things that I believe in and things that I think are important to building a winning culture and sustaining it over time."
"I'm doing everything in my own personality Keyshawn. I'm not trying to imitate anybody. It has got to be genuine and it has to be sincere. You know how it is with the players, if you're not honest with them you'll lose them forever because they can see right through that."
"I'm me, and I think that players have a pretty good idea of who I am. I'm pretty straightforward with those guys and I don't try to mix fluff and make everything sunshine and rainbows. It's my responsibility to tell them the straight truth so we can improve as a team."
See Judge's full comments below.