When it comes to Bill Belichick, you can always go home again.
Former Giants head coach Joe Judge is returning to his Patriots roots as New England announced Tuesday that he has been hired as an offensive assistant on Belichick’s staff.
Judge survived Black Monday last month only to get fired by the Giants the day after.
The former Patriots special teams coordinator who wowed owner John Mara two years ago to be the surprise replacement for Pat Shumur, won the occasional press conference but not much beyond that. Judge went 10-23 in his two seasons leading Big Blue and didn’t make any progress lifting the team out of doldrums — especially on the offensive side of the ball.
“Steve [Tisch] and I both believe it is in the best interest of our franchise to move in another direction,” Mara said in a statement announcing Judge’s ouster. “We met with Joe [Monday] afternoon to discuss the state of the team. I met again with Joe this afternoon, and it was during that conversation I informed Joe of our decision. We appreciate Joe’s efforts on behalf of the organization.
“I said before the season started that I wanted to feel good about the direction we were headed when we played our last game of the season. Unfortunately, I cannot make that statement, which is why we have made this decision.”
But Judge is part of the Belichick tree and is now back with the coach who gave him his first NFL job in 2012 as a special teams assistant with the Patriots. Judge spent three years in that role before being elevated to special teams coordinator in 2015. He was part of three Super Bowl winners in New England before landing the Giants gig.
Judge will now rejoin a staff that won’t include Josh McDaniels for the first time since 2012. McDaniels, after his own failed stint as a head coach with the Denver Broncos in 2009-2010, made his way back to New England and reclaimed his offensive coordinator role in 2012. He was recently hired as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Judge became the third straight coach the Giants have fired either during or after their second season with the team. The Giants haven’t had a winning record since Ben McAdoo’s first season (11-5 in 2016) as McAdoo, Shurmur and Judge combined for 22 wins over the five seasons. The Giants and Jets are tied for the worst record in the NFL the last five seasons.
Judge, who also studied under another legend of the game in Alabama’s Nick Saban, now gets to return to New England and attempt to rebuild his career.