With Joe Judge finalizing a deal to become the 19th head coach in Giants history, he becomes another disciple of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to take the reins for a different organization.
There have been 10 former assistants and one former player of Belichick's that moved on to become a head coach before Judge. He is the first, however, to do so after spending time as a special teams coordinator.
Belichick's championship pedigree is why so many focus heavily on these assistants. When Belichick gives a coach a stamp of approval, which he did for the Giants in Judge's case, it becomes a pretty big asset when looking at their resume.
But how exactly did they fare once they were free to make their own coaching decisions instead of aiding Belichick?
Let's first take a look at Romeo Crennel. After spending time as the Pats defensive coordinator for three seasons, he went on to coach the Browns from 2005-08 and followed that with a one-year stint in Kansas City leading the Chiefs. Totaling his wins and losses, you get a 28-55 record.
Matt Patricia was the latest coordinator to leave the Pats when he took the Lions job two seasons ago. Much like Judge, Patricia worked his way up the Patriots' ranks, starting as an offensive assistant in 2004, and holding his last role for five seasons before leaving. It hasn't been the smoothest transition for him, though, with a 9-22-1 record following a 3-12-1 mark this past year.
Others have been mediocre like Eric Mangini (33-47 record with only playoff appearance in '06 with the Jets), while someone like Nick Saban (15-17 with the Dolphins) has moved back to college and clearly found his niche with Alabama.
But there has been some success as well. Bill O'Brien is a prime example with the Texans.
He spent five seasons with the Pats in multiple roles before heading to Penn State to become their head coach. After two seasons in State College, he took over in Houston and has led his team to four playoff berths in six seasons, including this year. Overall, he owns a 52-44 record with back-to-back, double-digit winning seasons in 2018 and 2019.
Judge will obviously look to emulate O'Brien's success, but O'Brien had head coaching experience before taking on the NFL in that role. Maybe he'll want to be better than another Patriots colleague in Josh McDaniels, who went 11-17 with the Broncos before returning to the Pats to be their offensive coordinator.
Or he could look at Mike Vrabel, the lone player under Belichick to become a head coach, for some inspiration. Vrabel's Titans just knocked the Pats out of the playoffs this past weekend, and he owns an 18-14 overall record thus far.
In the end, Judge will begin his head coaching career in the category of Brian Flores and Kliff Kingsbury, who just had their first seasons as NFL head coaches. Flores should get some credit for going 5-11 with a Dolphins squad that had slivers of talent on their roster. Kingsbury, coming back to the NFL after leading Texas Tech, went 5-10-1 this season.
The Giants are desperate to rebuild their team fast and return to the playoffs, but the Belichick connection doesn't necessarily translate to success.