The Giants were impressed by the recommendation they got on new coach Joe Judge from his old boss, Bill Belichick.
But the referral Belichick got from another coach also carried some weight.
Via Tom Rock of Newsday, Giants co-owner John Mara said that Alabama coach Nick Saban sending Judge to work for Belichick mattered as well.
“Obviously, Nick is not going to send Bill a dog,” Mara said.
The endorsement from two coaches of that caliber went a long way toward putting their faith in the 38-year-old.
“One thing Bill said was that he gave Joe more and more responsibility and very quickly he stopped having to look over his shoulder,” Mara said. “The more I spoke to him, the more excited I got about Joe Judge. . . .
“I have a lot of respect for Bill. We have a good relationship. He doesn’t have bad coaches on his staff. I think he has said publicly that Joe’s one of the best coaches he’s ever had. All of that was factored in.”
Mara was asked if, when talking to Belichick, he ever asked if the Patriots coach was interested in coming back to New York.
“Bill’s under contract,” Mara replied, apparently bluntly.
Of course, the Giants couldn’t/wouldn’t afford Matt Rhule, so Belichick would obviously be out of their price range anyway.