Giants co-owner John Mara was sold on Joe Judge the second his interview to become head coach finished Monday afternoon. That's exactly what he said in his opening remarks to introduce Judge as the 19th head coach in franchise history.
After speaking with co-owner Steve Tisch on Tuesday morning, Mara said Tisch felt the exact same way. Tisch said "the more homework we did, the more Joe Judge's character stood out."
Reports surfaced that explained how Judge provided that wow factor in his interview, and Mara took it a step further with this remark:
"For me, our search ended on Monday afternoon when we finished our session with Joe Judge," Mara said. "I have to tell you that this was perhaps the best coach interview that I've ever been a part of."
Mara added that "this was the deepest and most-talented group of candidates that I've ever seen."
So the fact that Judge's interview topped accomplished NFL coaches like Eric Bieniemy, Don "Wink" Martindale, and Kris Richard in this search as well as many others in the past is very telling.
One interview the Giants never got, though, was the one with Matt Rhule, who decided to sign with the Panthers to fill their head coach vacancy on Tuesday. Mara confirmed reports that Rhule's agent, Trace Armstrong, called him to say Carolina offered a seven-year deal and that it was an easy no for the Giants after hearing that.
"His agent called me early Tuesday morning to say he had a deal in place," Mara explained. "It was a seven-year deal and I had a brief conversation with Steve and Dave and we agreed we were not going there for a number of reasons. One, we weren't going on a seven-year deal with anybody, but more importantly, we had somebody we were excited about."
Judge's character traits is something Mara praised, especially when he said "he's somebody who commands and demands respect."
"What came through in the interview was his poise, his confidence, his leadership, his knowledge of the game and what it takes to build a winning program," Mara said. "His ability to relate to players and, of course, his work ethic."
The shock value of hiring Judge among the other candidates was definitely there, but after hearing Mara introduce Judge as the next man in charge, you can understand why he made his decision.