After the New York Giants got smoked by the Chicago Bears 29-3 on Sunday, Joe Judge was in quite a mood. The Giants head coach went on a protracted, expletive-filled rant during his postgame press conference.
Judge was asked if he thinks the 4-12 Giants can turn things around and his answer lasted 11 minutes, seven seconds and, according to NJ.com, it consisted of 2,614 words. But it was the content, not the length that was most intriguing.
Judge also claimed former Giants players who were on new teams this year were contacting him to say they wished they were still with the franchise:
We're going to put the entire rant below because it was impressive:
We talk inside a lot. I don’t ever ask for patience from anybody, let’s get that clear right now. And the fans have every right to have an opinion. That’s why they’re fans. They have every right. You buy a ticket to come in the stadium, you have every right to boo me going into the stadium. That’s the way it is. That’s what we sign up for, right? And it’s New York. It’s supposed to be a tough place to be. Certain cities in this country, they don’t even know if their team is playing today, alright?
So you sign up for a job, you say you like New York, you expect to have this. I don’t shy away from that. I don’t worry about that at all. But when you talk internally, you look at a lot of things moving in the right direction. And you know the targets for what you have to improve going forward. The important thing is you need direct targets of what you have to improve on. I’m not going to go individually into these today. Alright, but you know the direct targets of what you have to hit, alright? You look at what you’ve got to make short term to make it a quick turnaround, to build on things you’ve done well. I say it all the time: There’s things we’ve done well that we’ve gotta build on, right?
So when we look overall at what we’re doing, there’s a number of things going in the right direction and we know there are foundational things, things you have to put in place for a team to have success on and off the field. The important thing is when you have those direct targets, you’ve gotta find a way to minimize the things that you struggle with. You work your hardest to make sure you go ahead and make sure you give yourself and your team a chance for success and try to take certain aspects away from the game so it can’t expose you as a weakness, OK? Then you want to play to your strengths as much as possible, alright?
There’s certain aspects to things you see on tape from around the league. I talk to the guys all the time. Look, this is about being a team and making sure you don’t waste any opportunities. I’m not sitting here being preachy but I’m going to tell you point blank what I tell them. You guys always want to know what we talk about, I’ll tell you point blank: When the guys come to work on Wednesday, OK, and they bust their butt for you, and they turn around on Thursday and they’re all committed to doing extras in position drills, extras individually to get their body right. They’re doing everything going forward, OK? They go out there and they practice with good energy, good enthusiasm and you know you’re in the right position right there. You know you’ve got that aspect going right there.
I talk to the players all the time guys. I talk to them very openly and transparently, alright? We don’t have captain meetings anymore because the majority of our captains are no longer playing this late in the season. So we do a leadership meeting now, alright? I looked at the guys the other day in the eye and said listen: This is your time to talk to me. You speak for the team. You tell me what’s going on. You tell me: How’s the beat of the team? What do I gotta do and where? What’s something I don’t know? Because everyone always tells me what I want to hear, right? So when I ask someone individually, I ask a player, they’re going to tell me whatever I want to hear. I ask a coach, the same type of thing. I have a group of players that are going to look me in the eye and they know: I can tell Joe exactly what the hell is going on. I’ve got that core group of guys right there, alright?
You look them in the eye, you ask one guy the other day and he’s the first one to speak up. I’m not going into individuals, they can tell you themselves later on, but we have one guy who said I’ve never been out of playoff contention, never knew what it was like to be in a position where you’re actually playing games not to be in the playoffs or improve seeding or whatever it may be to get in playoffs. I didn’t know what to expect and then when we were officially eliminated it was almost an expectation of that player: How is everyone else going to react? How he’s going to come in himself and try to get everyone going and rally the team little bit, OK?
Then another player spoke up and said they’ve never been in playoff contention period. They weren’t present with us last year for the remainder of the season for a certain reason to be in it last year and play down the stretch. Both guys had the same response: Every guy in the team and in the locker room, everybody on the team comes in to work. Everybody comes in every week and is committed to doing what they have to do and doing it the right way and playing together as a team. There’s a lot of teams right now that are out of playoff contention, OK? Whether it’s golf clubs in the locker room or people planning vacations outside of it, alright, where there’s a lot of finger pointing and blaming and shouting, all that stuff. You know what we don’t have in our building? Any of that. We don’t have any of that. Any of that.
Our guys know we have one more week this year to be this team. We have one more week this year to be this team. They expect me to show up and give every ounce of football I have in me this next week, you got that? You’ll get everything out of me. But I expect to see it in return. I just told them a second ago, that’s what I expect. The expectation here is I expect every ounce of football you’ve got inside of you, OK? There’s things we have aligned right now, there’s things we have in place where certain units are playing and certain players are playing, and we’ve got some foundational core guys, and we know the culture is strong. Alright?
I’m going to tell you right now: You guys always ask me about that off the field stuff and why the hell is so important to have culture? I’ll tell you right now. A few years ago before I came here, when I came here and sat down with all the players and I wanted to know what it was like in here, what we had to change, I wanted to hear it from their mouths, alright? To a man every player looked me in the eye and said: Joe, it’s not a team, they don't play hard, we’re out of the playoffs, everybody quit, everybody tapped out, not showing up to captains meetings, all that stuff, alright? They tapped out, OK? I’ve been parts of teams at other places, I’m not trying to make this place anywhere else I’ve been.
Lessons I’ve learned, I'll tell you right now alright? In 2018 I was part of a team who halfway through the season we were all pretty convinced we were getting fired. We didn’t think we were going to make the playoffs. Had no concept of anything that was coming. We just knew we were going to keep showing up and improving week after week. And on the outside, we were all terrible. We didn’t care about any of that noise on the outside. We didn’t care about it at all. What did we care about on the inside? What were we doing? Guys showed up, they worked, they fought, they worked. We improved enough as a team, put things together, make a run and end up winning the championship. But the things I really learned that year was the importance of the culture inside. How important and valuable that is. I was part of more talented teams that came up short and lost games down the stretch. Much more talented. But one thing that really solidified in my mind, in my DNA that year in 2018 was the fact that it’s so much more important how strong you are inside because no team goes through a smooth season. No team goes through a smooth season.
If you can go through the junk we’re going through right now, OK, as a team. If you can go through the tough times we’re going through right now as a team, all right? And have the defense ready to take the field every single time ready to play. Every time! I know there’s a lot of people that want to say: Hey guys, you picked off a ball and then ran out of the end zone, you guys are down big, right? So we can turn around and say, yea get your butts back on the bench, we’re down, it’s over. You know what though? They play every play with enthusiasm. Every play with energy. Every play with each other. I want them to celebrate that. I want to see that energy and passion. That’s how they practice every day, OK? That’s how they practice every day.
I want to see them play that way as well. Alright? That last fourth down they stopped them on? So that’s two games in a row when the game was over. We’re out. It’s done. Vegas is already paying out to you. That’s done. All right? But it’s two fourth downs in a row, two weeks in a row that I’m sitting there watching our defense finish the way they gotta finish. Fourth down stop with Logan Ryan last week, shooting the gap, stopping them, had to go to the opposite side to stop the run. Tae dropping back into coverage and making that play right there, on that little kind of Tebow walk, pass whatever you want to call that right there. Alright?
This ain’t a team that’s having fistfights on the sidelines. This ain’t some clown show organization or something else, OK? We’re talking about the foundation built. The toughest thing to change in the team, the toughest team to change in the club is the way people think. You understand that? That’s the toughest thing. You can get new players, you can have them in your damn locker room all you want. You have to change how people think. You change how they f--king -- pardon my language -- believe in what you’re doing. They have to trust the process. And that’s a lot easier said than done when they’re looking up right now, one game left and the most games they’ll win is five this season, OK? But I guarantee you this. Those men are going to walk in on Wednesday and be ready to roll. We’re going to practice hard on Wednesday, we’re going to practice hard on Thursday, we’re going to practice hard on Friday, OK? We’re going to play for each other on the field next week.
If we don’t play well, every fan has a right to boo my ass out of the stadium. You got that? That don’t bother me. I don’t want it. I don’t think anyone wants to get booed. But the reality is, that’s all right. That’s all right. They have that right. The fans -- to go back to the first part -- the fans are every bit right to ask what you’re asking. 100 percent. 100 percent. I get about a dozen emails a day, alright? Six of which ask exactly what you’re asking, the other six just offering full support the other way. To me, both are great. Both are great. Both are great. You think I sit back and I say well that was good enough? No. It’s not. But I know this: I know the first time I talked to you guys in front of a microphone, what the hell did I talk about? Building a foundation. I talked about building from the ground up. Building the right thing, OK?
You guys ain’t been in the building for two years now with this COVID shit, right? I’ll tell you right now, if you’re in the damn building, if you walk on through our locker room, you ain’t seeing the crap you saw before. Alright? You ain’t seeing guys planning vacations, you ain’t seeing golf clubs in front of players lockers, you ain’t seeing that stuff. OK. You ain’t seeing it. That’s not because this is some high school program we’re practicing with. It’s because our guys understand how to play together as a team. And they understand the process of what we’re going through. So I can go through a whole Xs and Os evaluation. I can go through a roster evaluation. I can do a lot of things for you right now, OK? I do it every day myself. I go through all of that stuff. But in terms of the next step to take, I can tell you right now, OK? I can tell you we’re a whole lot closer to where we’re going, we’re not further away. I can tell you that right now.
I can tell you we’ve got more players here who are going to be free agents next year, all right, they’re coming in my office every day begging me to come back. I know that. I know that. I know players that we coached last year still calling me twice a week telling me how much they wish they were still here even though they’re getting paid more somewhere else, OK? So I know we’ve got the right foundational pieces right there. I know we’ve got players at key positions that are guys you can build with and carry on with. I know we have the right temperament. I know we’ve got the right culture in terms of teaching these players, OK? Which is why I don’t try to come up here and assassinate a player because I think it’s going to save my ass. Ok? Because behind closed doors, we shut those doors, I can tell every player, to a man, look them in the eye and tell them exactly what the hell he screwed up on, exactly how it’s gotta get fixed. I gotta hold him as accountable as can be. Because I ain’t gonna sit up here like some other cowards sitting at the microphone and put his players on blast, OK? That’s it. I signed up to be the head coach here. Whatever bullet gets fired, it gets fired for me. You got that? It’s gotta go through me to get to them. That’s the way it is.
But look, I’m not asking them to be patient. Trust me guys. I’m not the most patient guy myself. I’m committed. I’m committed. But I’m not the most patient guy myself. But I am proud of the way these guys continue to fight, the effort they play with, the way they grind it out. But again, the toughest thing to turnover in a program, the toughest thing to change, is how people think, OK? How people think. Making sure guys are wired the right way.
Deep breath, you guys got all that?
The fact that a coach going on a protracted rant like that in a postgame press conference said, "This ain’t some clown show organization or something else, OK?" is beautiful. Just beautiful.
Yeah, sure, the Giants might not be a clown show as an organization, but their coach? That's a different story.