Nick Saban was recently a guest on the New York Giants “Giants Huddle” podcast. He believes two former members of the Tide family, Head Coach Joe Judge, and safety Xavier McKinney will serve Big Blue well.
“Game recognizes game.” When Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban endorses someone, those in the know should listen. Appearing on the Giants Huddle Podcast, the Bama coach had good things to say about some recent additions to the New York Giants, with a Crimson history. Saban believes both Head Coach Joe Judge and second-round draft pick, safety, Xavier McKinney will succeed with Big Blue.
For three seasons, 2009-11, Judge was a Saban special teams assistant. He then went on to work for the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick for eight more. They are arguably the most successful coaches in NCAA and NFL, respectively. He has learned from the best. Judge gave them something useful to work with, for his part. The venerable Alabama coach remembered Judge fondly.
Reflecting on the young coach’s beginnings in Tuscaloosa, Saban was impressed by Joe Judge’s enthusiasm, leadership, and intelligence.
"“When Joe was here, he was a young guy, very bright, enthusiastic, great teacher, really good relationships with the players, had lots of leadership qualities about him because of the example that he set and the energy and the enthusiasm he had on a daily basis,” Saban said. “And he was really smart. He had a good understanding of football. So no surprise to me that Joe has gotten to this point in his career, and we certainly wish him well. He did a fantastic job here for us.”"
Saban doesn’t believe that Judge will try to emulate him or Belichick. Relying too heavily on someone else’s style has led to the downfall of many a young coach. Instead, Judge is smart enough to build upon his past and do things his way. he New York Giants head coach may use some of what he learned from his famous mentors but the G-Men are his team.
Many Big Blue fans believe the G-Men got a huge steal when the selected safety Xavier McKinney in the second round with the 36th overall pick. So does Saban. He knows “X” was a first-round talent.
"“Normally, statistically, there are two safeties picked in the first round, if you look at historical data So he should have been a first-round pick based on historical information. And certainly as a player, I think most people had him graded there.”"
McKinney was a force on the Crimson Tide defense over the past two seasons. In 28 games, he combined for 169 tackles, 11.5 for loss, including 6.0 sacks, five interceptions, and six forced fumbles. Due to his productivity and leadership, Saban thinks the newest Giants safety will be a hit from his first day in blue.
"“He’s a competitive guy. He’s a playmaker. We have a production point system here that we use, and he was always high on that board because he forces fumbles, shows up in the right place, does a good job of executing. He’s instinctive, he’s a quick reactor, he’s got a burst.”"
McKinney should pair well with incumbent Jabril Peppers to form an outstanding safety tandem.
Bonus – Burton Burns
More from New York Giants
- Caesars New York Promo Code: Win $250 Bonus GUARANTEED on ANY Bet!
- When will the New York Giants’ First Win Come?
- New York Giants Look Horrible in Loss to 49ers
- New York Giants to Play an Injured 49ers Team Sunday
- New York Giants: Breaking Down the Devonta Freeman Signing
Hiring a running backs coach usually goes under the radar. Saban believes Burton Burns, who Judge lured away from Alabama, will help Saquon Barkley and all the New York Giants running backs.
"“He has a really good grasp of how players need to press holes, read plays, read blocks, and he’s really helped in the development of our players here because of that.”"
What do you think about Nick Saban’s comments? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media.