How Joe Judge pulled a Bill Belichick on Giants' top NFL Draft picks

Darren Hartwell
NBC Sports Boston

This may shock you, but another former New England Patriots assistant coach is following Bill Belichick's lead.

Here's what Giants head coach Joe Judge told Xavier McKinney in their first phone conversation after New York took the Alabama safety at No. 36 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, per ESPN's Sal Paolantonio:

"When you talk to the media -- you've already been through this with Coach [Nick] Saban -- no predictions, no comparisons. Be grateful for the opportunity, all right? I don't want to hear anything about Super Bowls or any of that crap, you got that?"

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Judge spent eight years as a special teams assistant on Bill Belichick's Patriots staff before taking the Giants job in January, and it sounds like the apple doesn't fall far from the coaching tree.

Patriots players are notoriously wary of making predictions or over-hyping their team, as Belichick drills them to keep their heads down and "do their job."

Judge (who also worked with Saban for three years at Alabama) seems insistent on that same approach in New York. He apparently told the team's No. 4 overall pick, offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, the same thing.

"When you talk to the media, I don't want to hear anything about Super Bowls. I don't want to hear any predictions or comparisons," Judge told Thomas, per Paolantonio. 

"You talk about coming up here, getting to work, putting your head down and improving. That's all you have to worry about."

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In case that's not enough Belichick coach-speak for you, Judge also added this line to reporters Saturday, via ESPN:

"I don't want 53 independent contractors. I want one team."

Belichick and his "disciples" aren't unique in wanting to limit outside distractions. But other NFL coaches are definitely more lenient regarding their players' interactions with the media, as every NFL star who has guaranteed Super Bowl appearances can attest.

Judge is just hoping his channeling of Belichick works out better for him than it is for Matt Patricia in Detroit.

How Joe Judge pulled a Bill Belichick on Giants' top NFL Draft picks originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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