Patriots

Curran: Patriots receivers reportedly clashed with Joe Judge in 2019

"There were blowups at practice...in which a receiver said, ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about.’"

Joe Judge Patriots
New England Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge, center, speaks to head coach Bill Belichick, left, and safeties coach Steve Belichick, right, in 2019. AP Photo/Elise Amendola
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If you’re already skeptical about Joe Judge being an offensive assistant coach and working closely with Mac Jones this season, the latest stories out of Patriots land will not make you feel better.

While appearing on the debut episode of Boston Herald reporter Andrew Callahan’s new “Pats Interference” podcast, NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran dropped some nuggets about Judge’s last stint as an offensive coach with New England in 2019 when he served as wide receivers coach in addition to being the team’s special teams coordinator.

Curran said some of the Patriots’ receivers were less than satisfied with Judge’s coaching.

“During that season I was told that there were wide receivers who were unhappy with the coaching they were getting, to the point where they felt as if Joe Judge didn’t know more than them, and there were blowups at practice, or at least one that I know of in which a receiver said, ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about.’”

Interestingly, new free-agent signee Jabrill Peppers revealed in his first press conference with the Patriots that Judge spent an increasing amount of time with the offense when the two overlapped with the New York Giants, where Judge was the head coach for two seasons.

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It does not speak well of Judge’s influence on that unit, though, that the Giants’ offense ranked 31st — that’s second-to-last — in points and yards gained in each of the last two seasons among NFL teams.

Curran, who says he got to know Judge during his previous tenure with the Patriots and doesn’t doubt his overall football mind, suggests teams have perhaps bought into Judge’s ability to “portray confidence” more than the results he produces.

“I was told by folks within the organization who said Joe does a great job of presenting himself confidently, and then he gets into something and you don’t always have the same confidence — you start to realize that guys aren’t being prepared in the way that you expected,” he said.

Belichick is a noted believer in Judge’s coaching abilities regardless of the capacity. All eyes will be on whether Judge can fill the void left behind by former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

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