With the Giants finalizing a deal to bring in Patriots special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Judge as their next head coach, many are wondering: who exactly is Joe Judge?
We know his coaching career began as a grad assistant at Mississippi State, he was a part of two National Championship teams at Alabama as a special teams coach, and he's been with the Patriots under Bill Belichick since 2012 -- where he's learned from a future Hall of Fame head coach.
But what his coaching style is and what players think of him is the real question. Thanks to Bleacher Report's Stick to Football Podcast, we know at least one ex-Patriots player is very high on Judge.
"I'm talking to a player who was under Joe Judge previously, and here is what he told me: This is the guy who when Bill Belichick couldn't be there, he ran the room," said Matt Miller, the podcast's host.
"He feels like Joe Judge was going to be a head coach, and it was just a matter of time."
Miller wouldn't reveal who the player was, but that good endorsement of Judge is a step in the right direction for Giants fans wondering who he is. Julian Edelman has already talked about Judge, telling NJ.com's Matt Lombardo that Judge is "very passionate" and "works very hard at his craft." More accounts of Judge from a player's perspective will likely surface soon, and more positive thoughts like these is a great sign.
The Giants also received a glowing recommendation from Belichick when they called to ask about Judge. Of course, Belichick's former assistants moving on to head coaching positions have been up-and-down thus far. But hearing him say "he's an excellent coach" among other things must be taken into account.
What Judge had to do on Monday when he interviewed with the Giants was blow them away, and according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, he did just that. A source used those exact words, adding it was a "tremendous" interview.
But, like any job interview, the person that you hire could always turn out to be the wrong man for the job when the work begins. That's why hearing from players how Judge leads and commands a room helps ease the shock that Tuesday's news of his hiring brought to many, especially after Matt Rhule took the Panthers' head coach position.
There's still more to learn about Judge -- his character traits and philosophies about coaching will soon reveal themselves when he's introduced officially as the 19th head coach in franchise history.