Joe Judge, at the time, made it abundantly clear how he felt about the way Doug Pederson handled the fourth quarter of the Eagles’ Week 17 game against Washington – a game with playoff implications for the Giants.
Judge clearly was ticked Pederson benched his starting quarterback, Jalen Hurts, for third-stringer Nate Sudfeld, a move that compromised the Eagles’ chances of winning and, as a result, ensured the Giants were on the outside looking in this postseason.
News that Pederson was fired by the Eagles on Monday no doubt pleased many Giants fans. Judge took the high road when asked about it Tuesday morning on WFAN.
“I’m never going to comment on anybody else’s job,’’ Judge said. “That’s their decision as an organization. I can tell you I have a tremendous amount of respect for Doug. He’s obviously accomplished a lot in this league, he’s done a lot with that team. I’ve gone against him twice, both games were hard competition, each one of us were able to have success for our teams one way or another throughout the year.
“I have a lot of respect for Doug, going against him now several times, going back to 2017 when I was an assistant. He’s done a good job with that team. I’ll let the organization speak for the decisions, what they want to do going forward.’’
The Giants and Eagles split the regular season series this year. Pederson led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots after the 2017 season, with Judge the special teams coordinator on the losing side.
After the Giants finished up their season at 6-10, Judge said the Giants had 16 opportunities to make the playoffs and they had only themselves to blame for missing out. Then he weighed in on what Pederson did in the 20-14 loss to Washington, not mentioning Pederson or the Eagles by name.
“To disrespect the effort that everyone put forward to make this season a success for the National Football League,’’ Judge said, “to disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything you can to help those players win — we will never do that as long as I’m the head coach of the New York Giants.”
Judge said he watched Alabama win the National Championship Monday night and sent coach Nick Saban a congratulatory text. Judge worked for Saban for three years at Alabama prior to going to the NFL.
Asked if he will call Saban to see if the Giants can get sensational wide receiver DeVonta Smith in the draft, Judge laughed and said he is certain he will speak with his former boss at some point.
“Other than that, to be honest with you, the score kind of got carried away, I ended up falling asleep before the end of the game but woke up to a lot of ‘Roll Tide’ texts,’’ Judge said. “They’re definitely impressive. There were a lot of good players on that field from both teams last night.’’