MOBILE, Ala. – As suspected, Jason Garrett was hired for Daniel Jones.
“Look, it’s a quarterback-driven league,” Giants head coach Joe Judge said on Wednesday of Garrett’s background as both a player and a coach during his first public comments about hiring Garrett as offensive coordinator. “Someone who’s worked successfully with multiple quarterbacks and had developed them over time, who has vast knowledge himself as a player in this league in different systems under different coordinators and playing with other great players, that’s definitely something that’s going to add to this organization and this offense.”
Garrett comes to the Giants after nine and a half seasons as head coach of the Cowboys. Might he be a candidate for a head coach vacancy around this time next year?
“Look, I hope everybody on our staff has options to advance their careers at some point,” Judge said. “That means business is good. We want our coaches to be wanted by other people, that means we’re doing a good job here… But definitely there’s no one I’m bringing in my building who’s going to have agendas. Because if there’s division within the coaches it’s going to go straight to the locker room and you cannot win with a divided locker room.”
Joe's Judge-ment on Giants players
As for the Giants players, Judge said he gave the roster a first glance on film and made initial evaluations.
“To be honest with you, after watching them, I’m very excited about working with our team,” he said. “I was excited before I saw them and I’m even more excited now.”
But that’s about as far as he was willing to go on Wednesday.
“We’ll go into more detail on that when I get all the coordinators and position coaches together and we can go through the roster as a whole and talk through where we believe we are, what team needs may come up, which will enter into the free agency and draft process,” he said. “I’m not going to make any public evaluations on these guys right now… Part of it is evaluating what you need to fix, what you need to adjust, and that’s what we’re looking at right now as coaches on how we can build this system to immediately build this foundation and move forward with these guys.”
In terms of his interactions with the players, Judge said he has spoken with and even met with most of the roster.
“There are a few that we still have to get in touch with and a lot of these guys are on vacation or out of pocket,” Judge said. “There are some guys who have to tie up loose ends… I’ve had a number of players walk into my office and be able to sit down and have conversations which has been a great experience. There are a lot of guys who stay in the area. I think that’s a benefit of being in the New York area. They don’t have to leave to get out of town in the offseason. They may want to get some sunshine at some point in the winter, catch a little bit of break, but ultimately they’re back in New York. They stay local and I think that’s a great advantage for us.”
Judge happy Giants lured Graham
Judge said Patrick Graham was his first choice for defensive coordinator, so much so that they added the title of assistant head coach to pry him away from the Dolphins in what was mostly a lateral move. There may have been other considerations, too. “Let’s say we were very fortunate to be able to get him out,” Judge said. “I think Brian [Flores, head coach of the Dolphins] is a great dude… You go through the official process, with the NFL rules you put the sheet in, you go through different things. Look, I’m lucky it worked out and we were able to get him here.” Judge added that he considered Graham to be “a home run hire.”