Joe Judge can officially take his place in the graveyard of former New England Patriots assistants who failed as head coaches in the NFL. Judge, who ended 2021 by losing seven of his last eight games, was fired after winning just 10 games in two seasons as the leader of the New York Giants.
On top of the fact that he would often punctuate his pressers with bizarre rambling anecdotes that went nowhere, he came under fire for his handling of Daniel Jones. The former No. 6 overall pick saw his numbers regress across the board after an impressive rookie season.
Judge going back to New England as a special teams coach, which is how he made his bones in this occupation, was something that made sense. After all, the Patriots were unusually poor in that area in 2021. However, Bill Belichick decided to bring Judge back in a new role that might confuse some Pats fans.
The Patriots officially hired Judge as an offensive assistant, a role he’s never occupied in his coaching career. With Mac Jones facing a pivotal sophomore season after Josh McDaniels’ departure to the Raiders, is Judge really the guy to hitch your wagon to?
Will Joe Judge help the New England Patriots on offense?
Judge has only one year of experience coaching offensive football, as he was New England’s wide receivers coach in 2019. You might remember that as the year when New England has the worst WR corps in the league and struggled to generate any sort of consistent passing game, eventually leading to Tom Brady’s departure.
While Judge’s offenses were hampered by both coaches (Jason Garrett and Freddie Kitchens at offensive coordinator), Jones’ inconsistency and terrible offensive lines, the fact that the Giants ranked 31st in the league in yards and points in consecutive seasons is extremely concerning. Is this guy going to get the most out of Mac?
While the Patriots have not named an offensive coordinator, perhaps due to their desire to land Bill O’Brien, Judge will appear to have a significant role in getting this offense on the right track. Belichick must’ve seen Judge try a quarterback sneak on 3rd and 9 from his own goal line in a 3-0 game and decided he was a brilliant offensive mind.
Judge appears to be taking the Matt Patricia route after the Giants fired him. Landing back in New England with a nebulous job title that pays him nicely and allows him to help develop Jones without the title and responsibility of a coordinator is a pretty cushy gig. Time will tell if Jones improves as a result of this hiring, but we’re not bullish on it whatsoever.