Joe Judge, Brian Flores and the burden of Bill Belichick



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There is something about not having much money, spending too much time in dark, cramped offices, chowing down on fast food, sleeping on couches and waking up and putting on the same hoodie and sweats you wore the day before that creates a bond. In some cases, it creates bags under the eyes, a round belly and an off-putting stench.

This is the life Joe Judge lived during his formative days in the coaching world. This is also the life Brian Flores lived during his formative days in the coaching world. This is the life that leads these two former Patriots assistants under Bill Belichick into their first encounter as head coaches, as Judge takes the Giants to South Florida to face Flores’ Dolphins on Sunday in a game both teams view as a chance to continue to right some of the wrongs from the first half of the season.

Judge and Flores are the newest branches of the Belichick coaching tree, which, in part, is an offshoot of Bill Parcells’ lineage. Despite the tree’s roots, only two former Belichick assistants, Al Groh and Bill O’Brien, have winning records as NFL head coaches. Groh went 9-7 in 2000 with the Jets, his first and only season as an NFL head coach. O’Brien was 52-48 in seven seasons with the Houston Texans.


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