Saquon Barkley Sounds Off on Joe Judge’s Bizarre 11-Minute Rant

Saquon Barkley backs Joe Judge after 11-minute rant

Getty New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.

Joe Judge will be back for a third go at things in 2022 — or at least that was the original plan. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said as much in a published report dated December 26 when he noted that “the Giants believe both Judge and [quarterback] (Daniel) Jones deserve the opportunity to demonstrate their talents next season.” However, a lot has happened over the last two-odd weeks.

The team has been embarrassed, not once, but twice, being outscored by a combined 50 points since Week 16. In a conversation with The Athletic’s Mike Sando, an anonymous NFL coach mocked Judge for his “mini-Bill Belichick” syndrome and inability to perform under the bright lights of New York. However, when it comes to damning looks on Judge’s resume, the second-year head coach may have personally delivered the most scathing hit.

Following New York’s 29-3 beatdown at the hands of an Andy Dalton-led Chicago Bears team, Judge decided that the postgame presser was the best time to rant about the positives in the Giants culture. For 11 minutes straight, Judge rambled on numerous topics — readily at the expense of others. He claimed that former Giants players call him twice a week to say how much they wish they were still part of the organization, despite making more money elsewhere. He also stated that impending free agents on the current roster are in his office every day begging to return next season.

Toss in a few (perceived) stray jabs at the likes of his predecessor, Pat Shurmur, and division rivals Washington, and Judge’s tirade was almost unanimously met with negative feedback throughout the NFL landscape. However, those inside the Giants building continue to back their maligned head coach.


Saquon Barkley Chimes in, Supports Judge

Much like Judge has done for his running back in what has been a trying season for the former Pro Bowler, Saquon Barkley came to the defense of his coach while speaking with reporters on January 6:

He got up there – Coach is a passionate coach. He said things that he felt and that he believed in, and that a lot of players in the locker room believe in, too.

What I took from it was the message that this place is going in the right direction. It may not look like it right now from the outside looking in, but internally we know what we have here, we know what we’re doing in the locker room, meaning the characters that we have, the personalities that we have, the work ethic that we have. Sometimes, it doesn’t automatically transfer to the football field, but like I said after I talked after him, I believe it’s the only way I know how to get stuff done, how to improve and how to get better is to continue to work and continue to trust the process. Obviously, we know it’s frustrating as players.

Obviously, we know fans get upset when we go out there and we lose or lose by a large amount of numbers, for players too it’s frustrating. You’ve got to keep your head down and you’ve got to keep working and have belief and have faith. That’s the message that I took from it. I don’t know the criticism that came behind it. I try my best to stay out of the media, stay out of ‘he said, she said’ things. Obviously, I’m active with social media, so some stuff comes to my attention, but this week that hasn’t come to my attention. But the message I got from it was the belief that he has in this locker room, the belief that the has internally and I think all the players would come out and agree with that.

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Judge Responds to Pushback

One day after his rant went viral, Judge was asked by reporters whether he had any regrets for how things played out. The Giants head coach responded firmly, “no.”

“I was asked a specific question about what the fans are asking and I responded to it. People ask me a direct question, I give direct answers,” Judge said during a Zoom call on January 3. “Whoever’s listening is going to get a dose of the truth and I was honestly answering to the question to the fans — that’s what the question was asked for — but, obviously, the response can apply to a number of different areas.”

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Ed Gans
Ed Gans
5 months ago

That’s great. So many things building a foundation in the locker room, the locker room. So many positive things happening internally, internally. All this while the foundation on the field is crumbling to bread crumbs. Any players that speak publicly sound like clones of Judge. Either he did a masterful job of brainwashing his players or they are just bad actors praying for freedom from this you guessed it, CLOWN SHOW!

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