Former Giant Eager to ‘Talk a Little Smack’ to Joe Judge

Jabrill Peppers Joe Judge

Patriots/Getty Jabrill Peppers and Joe Judge are reunited with the New England Patriots.


hen Joe Judge was fired by the New York Giants in early January, it wasn’t surprising to see him land with the New England Patriots a month later as an offensive assistant. Outside of the two seasons he served as head coach of the Giants, Judge has spent his entire NFL coaching career in Foxboro.

While Judge is reunited with many of his old Patriots coworkers, he’s also reunited with former Giants safety Jabrill Peppers, who signed with New England in free agency. Peppers, who played for the Giants from 2019-2021, was a vocal leader for Judge’s teams in New York and was voted a team captain last season.

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But now, there’s a new dynamic. In New England, Judge is no longer Peppers’ head coach. He’s an assistant who’s focused on the opposite side of the ball.

This is “interesting” to Peppers and opens the door to “talk a little smack.”

“[B]ack in New York he kind of leaned toward the offense and favored them a little bit more,” Peppers said this week, according to WEEI. “So it’s not too much of a surprise to me. But it will be interesting to see what he does on the offensive side because usually I know him as the head guy and special teams guru. So, it will be interesting to see him on that side and talk a little smack to him.”

Before you read too far into that quote, know that Peppers is a self-proclaimed Judge fan.

“I love Joe,” Peppers said, via WEEI.

Peppers joins a Patriots defense that ranked top five in the league last season, while Judge assists a still-burgeoning offense quarterbacked by Mac Jones.

Peppers’ Best Smack Talk Ever Came on a Coin Toss

If you’re wondering how much smack talk could possibly go on between a defensive back and an offensive assistant at practice, remember that Peppers once went viral for his smack talk during a coin toss.

Exhibit A:

The Giants ended up winning this game vs. the New Orleans Saints in overtime on a six-yard rush by running back Saquon Barkley. Peppers had seven combined tackles and two QB hits, as well as two punt returns for 36 yards in the win. A few weeks later, he hurt his ankle/knee and spent the remainder of the season on injured reserve.

Although he’s on his third team since entering the NFL, Peppers is still only 26 years old and should have a fair amount of gas left in the tank. The former first-round draft pick out of Michigan has started 59 of the 61 games in which he has appeared as a pro.

Judge Once Squeaked an Onside Kick Past Peppers

No, this really happened. During a training camp practice last August, Judge was practicing onside kicks for some reason. One of them actually got past Peppers.

Here’s the video evidence, courtesy of Dan Duggan on Twitter:

Say what you will about his form, but Judge nailed that onside kick better than most NFL kickers can.

Maybe he really is a special teams guru.

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