Joe Judge Describes What It's Like to Be Interviewed By Nick Saban and Bill Belichick
By Liam McKeone
Eyebrows were raised when the New York Giants decided to hire Joe Judge to be their next head coach during the 2020 offseason. Nobody knew anything about Judge, who was the special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach for the New England Patriots in 2019. He had no previous head coaching experience and his special teams position in Foxborough was the most responsibility he had been granted in his short coaching career.
So far, Judge has been unable to turn around the Giants in his first season as they sit at 0-5 after five weeks. But nobody really expected that. This particular rebuild is a multi-year project. And while Judge doesn't have the pedigree expected for an NFL head coach, he does have one unique advantage over most of his peers around the league: he worked under both Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, the two greatest football minds of their generation and two of the best in NFL history.
NFL Films did a profile on Judge's time at Alabama and with the Patriots. During it, Judge described what the two job interviews were like. It sounds equal parts intimidating and bizarre.
I would probably be shaking with nerves in Judge's spot, but hearing him tell these stories is hilarious. Saban brings in a guy who's specific job is apparently to rip into potential employees and see how they react, while Belichick just... takes off his shirt. In the middle of the interview. To both throw off the guy in front of him and remind him that Belichick is a very busy man. These peeks behind the curtain are very rare and it is fascinating.
Judge certainly could not have had better teachers. Time will tell if he can put those lessons into action. At the very least, he'll have these hilarious stories to tell.