Giants HC Joe Judge is already stealing schemes from Patriots boss Bill Belichick.
The New York Giants’ decision to appoint Joe Judge as their next head coach was met with mixed reviews among the fanbase, and understandably so, as he only boasted experience in special teams throughout his career.
Before an eight-year stint serving on Bill Belichick’s coaching staff in New England, Judge spent three seasons at Alabama alongside five-time champion Nick Saban. Despite his glaring lack of experience running a program/team, you’d have to think the 38-year-old will take the lessons he learned from those two legends into his first year at the helm in East Rutherford, right?
Well, if the Giants’ opening game of the season against Pittsburgh told us anything, it’s that Judge is already stealing schemes from Belichick.
ESPN analyst Mike Clay cleverly pointed out that Giants cornerback Logan Ryan played close to 60% of his snaps as the team’s third safety. Belichick obviously has a ton of tricks up his sleeves when it comes to defensive blueprints, and one of his favorites is running a three-safety package.
Belichick should honestly take zero offense to judge mimicking his schemes. After all, they greatly contributed to the Patriots capturing six championships and appearing in a whopping nine Super Bowls over the last two decades.
Judge became the 10th former Patriots assistant during the Belichick era to land a head coaching gig. He wasn’t the first to take a page out of the 68-year-old legend’s playbook, and he most likely won’t be the last. But will this one stick, after so many failures?
It isn’t even surprising that the Giants opted to deploy Logan Ryan, who signed a one-year deal just before the start of the regular season, as their third safety. The former third-round pick, of course, spent the first four years of his career with the Patriots, across which he won two rings.
Though he played the majority of his snaps at CB, it goes without saying that Ryan is familiar with lining up at safety in obvious passing situations. However, the strategy didn’t exactly work out for the Giants, as Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger established an unbreakable rhythm after shaking off the rust in the first quarter.
For the game, he finished 21-of-32 for 229 yards and three touchdowns compared to zero interceptions in what ultimately proved to be a comfortable win for Pittsburgh.
It didn’t result in a win this time around for Judge and the Giants, but you’d better believe we’ll be keeping close tabs on their defensive schemes and packages moving forward. If Week 1 was any indiction, the former Patriots staffer will continue to mirror Belichick’s blueprints.
Bo-ring. Been there, done that.