Joe Judge won’t be confused for Joe Namath, but he stopped talking about processes long enough to make a promise.
“This is definitely going to get better,” the Giants head coach said one day after a 38-11 loss to the Rams that matched the most lopsided defeat of his 22-game tenure. “I don’t know what kind of guarantee they want, but I can assure everyone who is a Giants fan who wants to know when it’s going to turn, we are working tirelessly to make sure we get this in the right direction. Not just for short-term results, but for long-term success.”
In response, the tristate area (presumably) said, “Show me, don’t tell me.”
Giants fans clamoring for major changes are going to have to wait another day. Maybe another week. Maybe longer.
Judge is not changing the Giants’ offensive or defensive play-caller “at this moment,” which makes an interesting caveat. He is not publicly calling out any specific players whose effort lacked in the blowout, though it is clear he identified a few. He is not throwing any red meat to bloodthirsty legions who want a face to blame for the fourth 1-5 (or worse) start in the past five years — and the most surprising tank since 2017.
“On the whole, I saw the reaction the right way,” Judge said. “The things I didn’t like in the second half, or the first half for that matter, we’ll fully address to the team as a whole and independently. We’ll make sure to move on from that. But in terms of me sitting here right now and giving a list of names of things I don’t like, that’s not really what I do.”
Judge portrays calm when fans are looking for the heated coach they see on the sidelines — or someone else in the locker room — to say he tossed a locker or flipped a table. Maybe those theatrics are best saved for sports movies — or maybe nobody would snicker if anger boiled over.
“Everybody expresses their frustrations in different ways,” cornerback Adoree’ Jackson said. “If somebody was to do that, I don’t think anybody would look at them differently. They are probably feeling the same way, but just didn’t express it that way. If you see an athlete or anybody do something like that and you’ve been in a position where you’ve been frustrated, you can understand it and feel their pain.”
In the face of a 28-3 halftime deficit, Judge challenged the Giants to give a complete effort. Lawrence Tynes — who was honored at halftime along with other members of the Super Bowl XLVI team — wasn’t as satisfied as Judge with the players’ response, particularly with the effort Reggie Ragland, James Bradberry and Xavier McKinney gave in pursuit of Cooper Kupp on a fourth-quarter catch-and-run touchdown.
“The three guys I saw pursuing him were jogging,” Tynes said as co-host of The Post’s “Blue Rush” podcast. “The eye in the sky never lies. The camera doesn’t lie. They are going to have to go look in the mirror and try some new guys. This season is lost at 1-5. Someone needs to say, ‘You are playing for a job now,’ because they are not good.”
Here’s what Judge said instead: “This week of practice will determine a lot of that, to see how guys come out and perform and execute and compete. How you practice is going to have a large impact on how much you play.”
Part of the disconnect is fans want answers for a decade-long drought that has produced a single wild-card playoff appearance in 2016, but Judge only has watched over the past 22 months. Only Sterling Shepard was on the last Giants’ winning team in 2016. Only Shepard and Evan Engram predate general manager Dave Gettleman.
Most of the characters have changed. But the losing persists. Are the Giants even any better off now than in 2018 or is it déjà vu?
“I don’t feel déjà vu,” said right tackle Nate Solder, whose 28 regular-season losses in three years with the Giants are more than he had in seven years with the Patriots. “Even though you don’t always win, you can build the qualities, the character that get the right people in place and then start to mature.
“One of the things that losing does teach you is resiliency. The guys that are going to be in the locker room and the guys that are going to continue to improve and get better from this point on are going to be the resilient ones. That’s going to be the core foundation of what you can build off of for the future.”
It’s a guarantee Giants fans have heard that song before.