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Volume 26 No. 209
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Giants' Mara Admits Joe Judge Is "Risky" Hire, But Preaches Patience

The Giants on Thursday introduced new coach Joe Judge, and President & CEO John Mara was "pretty upfront" about it being a "risky hire," according to Darryl Slater of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Mara said Judge was a "long shot" to get the job at the beginning of the hiring process, but acknowledged there are "always risks" when hiring a 38-year-old, first-time head coach. Mara "wants to be more patient with Judge than he was" with former coaches Pat Shurmur and Ben McAdoo. Slater notes patience and stability "will be critical" for Judge and the Giants (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 1/10). In New Jersey, Art Stapleton writes Judge "offered no nonsense and a sense of hope" during his first press conference. Mara said, "I understand we've lost some credibility because the last two hires haven't worked out, but I think (Judge) is unique" (Bergen RECORD, 1/10). On Long Island, Bob Glauber also writes Judge "came across well in his first public appearance as the Giants' coach" (NEWSDAY, 1/10). But in N.Y., Pat Leonard writes Judge still does not have a "defined plan," which is a "big question mark" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/10). SNY's Jon Hein said Judge "won the press conference" as well as Mara ("Loud Mouths," SNY, 1/9). CBS Sports Radio's Boomer Esiason noted ownership now can "breathe easy ... and exhale" ("Boomer and Gio," CBS Sports Radio, 1/10).

POWER STRUCTURE: On Long Island, Tom Rock notes the Giants had said that they would be "open to adjusting their power structure if needed." But Mara on Thursday "made it sound as if that won't be the case" and Senior VP & GM Dave Gettleman will "make the final calls on roster-building." The relationship between Judge and Gettleman will "have to grow quickly because the two men had never met each other before Monday." But Gettleman said that he "quickly warmed to Judge despite their age difference of nearly three decades" (NEWSDAY, 1/10). Giants Chair & Exec VP Steve Tisch called it an "uncharted" coaching search. In Newark, Matt Lombardo notes the Giants "sold a collaborative process when it comes to personnel decisions" and Gettleman's role in building the roster, "despite a perception that the general manager's beliefs were antiquated and his presence might turn off some candidates." But Judge "wasn't turned off" by Gettleman. Going by Gettleman's comments Thursday, it "sounds as though his power was reduced." Gettleman said it would be a "collaborative effort" when asked who would have final personnel decisions. Lombardo notes if that is the case, it will be a "welcomed change for the Giants and offers the potential for a clean slate for Judge to build the Giants' roster in his image" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 1/10).

GETTLEMAN'S FUTURE: In Newark, Zack Rosenblatt notes if Judge "isn't ready for this job now, and if he can't get the Giants back on track and into playoff contention quickly, Gettleman won't be around the organization long enough to see how things play out" beyond '20. Mara "insisted that Judge would be given the time to grow the team and implement his philosophy and strategy." But Gettleman "won't have the luxury of time, which is something he's admitted on multiple occasions recently" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 1/10).