Patriots

NFL Rumors: How Joe Judge landed Giants coaching job despite travel mishap

NFL Rumors: How Joe Judge landed Giants coaching job despite travel mishap

Joe Judge got quite the job promotion last week -- despite nearly missing the interview.

That's according to NBC Sports' Peter King, who shared some noteworthy details Monday morning about the New York Giants' decision to hire the New England Patriots' special teams coordinator/wide receivers coach.

Per King, the Giants were set to pick up Judge at Penn Station in Newark, N.J., for his interview last Monday. But Judge mistakenly got off the train at Penn Station in New York, about 15 miles from the Giants staffer waiting to pick him up.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

“I didn’t know there were two Penn Stations," Judge told King, via King's "Football Morning in America" column.

Fortunately, Judge hailed an Uber and made it to the Giants' headquarters just in time for his interview -- which apparently went very, very well.

According to King, Judge "never looked at a note" during his three-hour interview with Giants president/CEO John Mara, GM Dave Gettleman and assistant GM Kevin Abrams.

"I went into the interview with the approach that everything I was going to say was coming from the heart," Judge told King. "I wasn’t trying to sell them anything."

That approach worked: When Judge left for a lunch break, Mara apparently told the room, "Wow. This has to be our guy."

Here's more from King on Mara's end-of-interview exchange with Judge:

“I told Joe how personal this was for me,” Mara told me. “I told him, ‘This has been our family business since 1925. We HAVE to get this turned around. We CAN’T be wrong on this hire.”

Mara said Judge stridently assured him that, if chosen, he could do the job. As Mara said, “Joe’s very sure of himself, but not in an arrogant way. So we liked him a lot."

Two days later, the Giants offered Judge the head coach job, assuring he wouldn't take the head coach role at his alma mater, Mississippi State.

Judge already had the benefit of working on the staffs of Nick Saban at Alabama and Bill Belichick in New England. But the 38-year-old seemingly made a strong impression on his own last week, earning an NFL head coach job after seven years as a Patriots assistant.

New odds for Tom Brady's 2020 team reveal Patriots' primary competition

New odds for Tom Brady's 2020 team reveal Patriots' primary competition

Want to get a sense of where Tom Brady will play in 2020? Just follow the money.

We're not talking about the money the New England Patriots quarterback will demand when he becomes a free agent on March 18 (although that will play a huge role).

We're talking about the money sports bettors are wagering on Brady's future -- and how sportsbooks are setting the odds.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Here are the latest odds for where Brady will be playing on Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season, via DraftKings Sportsbook:

New England Patriots: -335
Los Angeles Chargers: +400
Indianapolis Colts: +900
Tennessee Titans: +1600
Carolina Panthers: +2000
Cleveland Browns: +2000
Denver Broncos: +2000
Las Vegas Raiders: +2000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +2000
Chicago Bears: +2500

New England fans will be pleased to see that the Patriots are strong favorites to bring Brady back -- and that their odds of keeping Brady have actually improved since they lost to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card Round. (Many sportsbooks set odds for Brady's Patriots return around -200 at that time.)

According to DraftKings' latest odds, New England doesn't have much stiff competition, either: Only the Chargers, Colts and Titans are below +2000 to land the 42-year-old QB.

Los Angeles and Tennessee both make sense as Brady landing spots: Brady has family and friends in Southern California and would bring buzz to a Chargers team moving into a brand new stadium, while the Titans offer familiarity with Brady's close friend Mike Vrabel as head coach.

The Colts are a curious presence on this list after going 7-9 under ex-Brady backup Jacoby Brissett last season. But perhaps Brady would find intrigue in a franchise with ample cap space and a strong offensive line.

We likely won't know Brady's free-agent choice until March 18 at the earliest. The sportsbooks are a good way to gauge which way the wind is blowing, though.

Click here to listen and subscribe to Tom Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: 

Patriots' Bill Belichick gives retiring OL coach Dante Scarnecchia huge praise

Patriots' Bill Belichick gives retiring OL coach Dante Scarnecchia huge praise

The New England Patriots have lost one of their most important coaches this offseason.

Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is retiring after spending more than 30 years with the Patriots in a variety of roles.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick heaped immense praise on Scarnecchia in a statement released by the team Tuesday

"It was a privilege to coach with Dante for so long," Belichick said. "I knew that long before his initial retirement and throughout a second act of continued excellence. Dante is among the very best assistant coaches ever."

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

The Patriots have played in 58 playoff games in their history, and it's not a coincidence that Scarnecchia has coached in 49 of them. He has maximized the talent of so many of the offensive linemen the team brought in during his tenure, and this success certainly has been a factor in keeping quarterback Tom Brady healthy enough to play two decades and counting.

Many Patriots players past and present have paid tribute to Scarnecchia over the last 24 hours as his coaching career comes to a close, including Brady, who called the 71-year-old "the definition of the Patriot Way."

Perry: Scarnecchia had immense impact on Patriots dynasty