Giants' Joe Judge addresses Golden Tate situation, 'selfish behavior'

Garrett Stepien
·5 min read
Golden Tate talks to Joe Judge and Jason Garrett
Golden Tate talks to Joe Judge and Jason Garrett

After Monday's 25-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- a game that resulted in evident frustration for wide receiver Golden Tate, whose wife sounded off about Tate's lack of targets -- Giants head coach Joe Judge's comments Wednesday revealed more on the matter.

While Judge declined to say whether or not Tate's actions were the reason why, Tate did not attend Wednesday's walkthrough. Judge added that Tate would return for Thursday's practice.

"I spoke to Golden at length today," Judge said. "We're dealing, internally, with a lot of things. We have a walkthrough today. He's not going to be at the walkthrough today. But he will be back in the building and practicing with us the remainder of the week. It'll be business as usual. We're going to deal with this internally and that's all I'm going to really say about that."

"He's not going to be with us today, but he's going to be back tomorrow," Judge added. "It's a walkthrough today. We'll be on the grass, tomorrow, practicing. I'm just going to leave it at that."

Tate caught two passes for 31 yards (15.5 average) and one touchdown, a 19-yard score with 28 seconds left in the game, against Tampa Bay. After the grab, he said, "Throw me the ball," to the camera and his wife's postgame social media rant followed.

"Specifically, I didn't notice a lot of that during the game time," Judge said. "I was locked in to a lot of things. There's a lot of things that happen within the game that come out afterwards for all players at all positions. But nothing specific from this game that I noticed throughout the game."

Althought Judge declined to go into detail about Tate's absence from Wednesday's walkthrough, he addressed his stance on team-first attitudes and zero tolerance for selfishness.

"I know a lot of guys are probably looking at me, wondering if I'm dancing around a couple issues," Judge said. "First off, it has to be team first for everyone in this building -- every coach and every player. It has to be team first. There's no exceptions for that, all right? But I'm not going to tolerate, not going to put up with any selfish behavior from anybody -- coach or player. It's not going to happen.

"... When it comes to discipline, I don't believe in holding trial in any one of my players -- or coaches, for that matter -- in the public eye. And while that may be convenient a lot of times for fans who want to stay connected -- and I understand there's a tough job you guys all have in terms of there's the information people want, want to be connected -- I choose to deal with things internally because as the head coach, it's my job to protect the team. And it's my job to make that we can handle things internally and that we have a family structure in this building, that everyone understands there are consequences for our actions.

"But at the same time, I've got to be the one who can take bullets for the team and I'm fine with that. But I've got to make sure I do the right thing by all the players and the coaches -- that they can come to work, work aggressively and when we make a mistake we can correct it and understand that we don't always have to be the subject of public criticism. We bring that on ourselves enough already. That's just the nature of the business. We're an entertainment business. We understand that. The fans deserve a good product on the field. We're going to always do something to give them what they deserve to see. It's very important to us that New York, New Jersey see something that represents them.

"But on that note, I'm going to be very direct, any time things come up, that I'm going to deal with things internally. You guys have dealt with me already on that. That's not by accident. I'm just going to be very forthcoming with you. I just don't want everyone having to go through the trial of public opinion right now. Right, wrong or indifferent, that's just my philosophy."

As the Giants (1-7) prepare for a 1 p.m. ET game Sunday at Washington (2-5), any handling of Tate by Judge is done so behind closed doors.

"I'm not going to put my players on blast publicly," Judge said. "I will criticize them very openly and bluntly in squad meetings. I'm going to hold everybody accountable. That starts with myself. I'm the first one to tell everybody when I screw up because I demand every player to look in the mirror and have the same criticism of themselves.

"But we're never going to look at each other and say, 'That wasn't your fault.' Sometimes it is your fault. And sometimes it's my fault. We're going to be very open and honest with each other.

"But we've got to correct what happens and move forward without it becoming a distraction that pulls up back throughout the year with external factors affecting our guys internally. So that's why I do what I do. That's my philosophy. Again -- right, wrong or indifferent -- that's just what I believe in."