Did Joe Judge Just Get Your Job?
By FirstDown PlayBook on Jan 16, 2020

I wonder how many football coaches had the opportunity to take or do some of the assignments that Joe Judge took along his football career path? I bet a lot of guys passed on some of the things he did.

My guess is that Joe Judge found an early passion for special teams. At the same time there were plenty of opportunities for others to do some of the same things he did. The problem? The problem is normally that many coaches feel like special teams is beneath them.

From a personal standpoint, special teams kept me employed as a college and NFL football coach as much as anything during my thirty year career.

I was fortunate to have gained experience coaching on both sides of the ball over this period of time. However, the one thing that always seemed to be the difference maker when it came to getting a job? I could coach special teams.

Sometimes the special teams experience was the main reason I was hired and the ability to coach the tight ends or linebackers was secondary to the job description.

As a young football coach, it is extremely important to embrace any and all opportunities to get involved with special teams.  It is a great way to help the football team. Yes, in the process you are going to end up helping yourself.

What often happens with special teams is that coaches are just like players. I have never met a player who said “Man I got into playing football because I always wanted to cover a punt or execute the key block on a touchdown kickoff return!”

At the same time you don’t ever hear of many coaches who at a young age decided they want to begin a career coaching football because they have dreamed of coaching the punt team.

You will see some young coaches who avoid these responsibilities early in their careers. They want to focus on being a great linebacker coach or the best receiver coach. Huge mistake. Several years down the line they do not understand when someone else (Joe Judge) gets hired for a job they want.

How Can I Get Better At Special Teams?

 This is the time of year when a young football coach can take a phase or two of special teams and just concentrate on that. You can get better at this before all of the live bullets start flying on offense or defense.

As the college and professional teams wind down their seasons in January, try to visit an expert at your special teams phase. Even though the rules may be slightly different, the fundamentals and techniques alone will make this trip worthwhile.

Is it more work?  Yes.

Are the players going to be falling down over themselves to be on your special teams unit next fall? No.

Is the media going to have the slightest idea about how important your job is as a special teams coach? Not a clue.

However, as you begin to grow as a special teams coach, you will see that the advantages you bring to a football program and the head coach will often times be what makes him pick up the phone and offer you a job.

That job offer could also one day end up being from the New York Giants.

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