In looking back at these last two weeks, a couple of observations:
1) How did Joe Judge really end up on the Giants list of candidates to interview?
The one thing that ownership and this GM have shown these last number of years is that they have been behind the curve. All of the other candidates on the list (Richard, McCarthy, Bienemy, Martindale, Rhule and McDaniel) were considered by other teams, NFL insiders and media as the prospective coaching candidate pool. Throw in Stefanski and Schwartz (two guys not on the Giants list) and that would be the complete coaching candidate pool. Judge was a real unknown to the NFL insiders and media. New England assistant coaches dating back to Crennel and Weiss to last year with LB coach Flores always receive hype during the season as the next hot coaching candidate. Judge received zero hype. Sometimes, it is the coach you do not want to lose that you are more quiet about until the head coach really advocates for them when the right spot opens up.
I wonder if Bill Belichick orchestrated the whole Judge hiring. It has been well documented how much fondness Belichick has for the Giants organization and overall respect he has for the Maras. Since Belichick was not coming to the Giants, he may have done the next best thing for the Giants and for Judge by telling them that they need to interview him. I just cannot see how Judge turns up initially on the Giants radar - it is too random and you cannot have that type of faith in this organization to have independently identified Judge as a candidate to interview.
It is also interesting that two Patriots coaches end up on the Giants list of coaching candidates to interview with McDaniel being the prominent one. So Belichick is providing great feedback on Judge to the Giants but is silent on his long time assistant McDaniel? I wonder how McDaniel feels about it, especially if he does not get the Browns job.
2) If the Giants matched the offer presented by Rhule's agent before ever interviewing Rhule for the position, it would have violated the spirit of the Rooney rule.
For the Giants to match that offer to Rhule without even an interview, it would have made the whole interviewing process a sham. To hire Rhule and give him that contract without even interviewing him would have meant the Giants knew who they were hiring prior to the commencement of the interview process. Imagine the criticism the Giants would have encountered if that had happened? It would not have been pretty.