Joe Judge, head coach of the 6-10 New York Giants, broke down his now-infamous Philadelphia Eagles rant on Tuesday, explaining what he meant and taking full responsibility for the Giants missing the playoffs.
In an interview on WFAN, Judge clarified that his comments about the Eagles “disrespecting” the game of football were solely about what the Eagles did — appearing to tank their final game of the season by removing their starting quarterback — and weren’t related to the Giants missing the playoffs due to the Eagles’ loss.
Judge: Giants had to be better
To fully understand this drama, you have to go back to the Sunday of Week 17. The Giants had a chance to make the playoffs if the Eagles beat the Washington Football Team. But it appeared that now-former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was trying to lose when he took Jalen Hurts out of the game with the Eagles down by just three points. Hurts was replaced by third-stringer Nate Sudfeld, Washington ended up winning, and the Giants saw their playoff dreams evaporate before their eyes.
Judge blasted the Eagles at his end-of-season news conference the next day, saying that the Giants would never “disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes.” At the time it seemed like sour grapes because the Eagles prevented the Giants from making the playoffs, but Judge insisted on Tuesday that the Giants were the only ones responsible for how their season turned out.
“Look, that’s our fault. Point blank. We have to do better. 6-10 is not a playoff team,” Judge said via Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com. “That’s the reality. That’s what it is. You don’t deserve to be in the playoffs with that. Our guys understand that. We’re not trying to sit back and make some excuse, or sit back and paint some picture that someone else owes us anything. They don’t. We owe it to ourselves to go out there and take advantage.”
As far as his angry comments about the Eagles disrespecting the game, Judge said that they had “nothing to do with us not making the playoffs.” They were only about the Eagles appearing to tank the game.
“What I was commenting on was specifically was about our players asking me about that and how I would respond to it. I was clear about what my message to the team was throughout the year from Day 1. And the last meeting we had as a team, that’s what I shared as well. So they could understand our approach as an organization here and my approach as a coach to make sure they’re always out there fighting for a result.”
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