Everyone in the Giants organization wants Joe Judge to succeed.
Thomas McGaughey may want it more than anyone else.
He knows that if Judge winds up being a home run pick for the Giants, it will open the door for others to make the jump from special teams coordinator to head coach just as Judge has. And just as McGaughey hopes.
“It’s awesome,” McGaughey said on Thursday of Judge’s path. “Anytime you can see one of our colleagues as special teams coordinators get a job, it’s awesome.”
It is a bit of a rarity. The only other head coach in the NFL who took that job directly from being special teams coordinator is John Harbaugh.
“There is a stigma to what we do,” McGaughey said. “People think we coach kickers and punters and they don’t understand that we coach all 53 – actually now it’s all 69 players [including the practice squad]. There is no one on the staff that is going to know the whole roster other than ourselves, the head coach and the strength coach because we are with the guys every day. But it’s a business.”
Judge may be able to help McGaughey reach that next job in ways other than just his own success.
“It’s been such a great experience for me,” McGaughey said of working under Judge. “I’ve learned more football in the last six months probably than I learned in the last 10 years. This guy has been outstanding and I can’t wait to see him grow as a coach. He’s just been awesome.”
Now all Judge has to do is win a few games. For the Giants, and for special teams coordinators everywhere.
Said McGaughey: “We just have to make sure when we get these opportunities we make the best of them.”