Two different approaches are being taken by two second-year NFL head coaches.
Joe Judge never, ever emotes in his postgame messages. He doesn’t give the fans — or at least the majority of them — what they want. He’s analytical but skimpy on details, always checking to see if what he saw with his eyes is supported by film analysis. He never gets too high — those opportunities are rare — and he never gets too low, whether it’s 44-20 at Dallas or 38-11 against the Rams a week later.
Judge makes no broad statements, whether he wins or loses.
After Sunday’s 25-3 loss to the Giants, which dropped the Panthers to 3-4 after a 3-0 start, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule nearly broke a vein. Rhule has a salesmanlike quality to him and knows how to turn around sagging programs, having done so at Temple and then Baylor. He’s thought to be a “better quote” than Judge.
“Unbelievably disappointed in our coaching staff, myself, our players, and the entire Carolina Panthers,” Rhule said. “Obviously, offensively, we didn’t protect the quarterback,” he said. We wanted to be able to run the ball more. We began by running it but did not run it long enough. We didn’t do a good enough job with it. We were unable to convert. It’s simply unacceptably bad.”
Rhule then challenged his team.
“We have to coach way, way better,” he said. “There’s no doubt. But we also have to play better, and I think this is one of those deals where everyone that walks in that building this week starting with me, has got to have a sense of urgency that I think we should have had the last couple of weeks. It feels like it during the week, but it doesn’t seem to be showing up on Sundays. At some point it’s got to change.”
Judge isn’t going there. In his progression through the season, he is almost robotic. He de-emotionalizes the situation and repeatedly warns against riding the roller coaster week after week.
The Judge’s method is infuriating for fans who want answers and who have shed blood, sweat, and tears after a loss. In this regard, Rhule’s method is more satisfying. It’s still up in the air as to which method is the most effective.