The NFL's annual January head coaching merry-go-round seems to have picked up a new rider. Late Tuesday morning, media reports (ESPN and NFL Network) indicated that Patriots assistant coach Joe Judge will become the new boss of the New York Giants.
All eight of Judge's previous NFL seasons have been as an assistant on Bill Belichick's staff. After playing at Mississippi State from 2000-04, Judge embarked on a college coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 2005. He coached one season at Birmingham-Southern before spending the next three seasons with the University of Alabama.
Judge began his pro career as Patriots assistant special teams coach from 2012-14 before being named to the top post in 2015 following the departure of Scott O'Brien. This past season, Judge also assumed the role of wide receivers coach while maintaining his special teams coordinator position.
Earlier Tuesday morning, other media reports suggested that the Giants were interested in speaking with former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who was relieved of his duties this past Sunday. However, it now appears that Judge is their choice.
A handful of media analysts had cited Judge as a potential dark-horse head coaching candidate recently, though most had assumed that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would be a more in-demand prospect.
Indeed, McDaniels had interviews scheduled this week with the Panthers, Giants, and Browns, but the first two clubs have now filled their vacancies. That leaves Cleveland as the only NFL team currently lacking a head coach. McDaniels could still be a candidate there.