New York Giants coach Joe Judge’s trusted sidekick, Abby the golden retriever, was cut from the game plan by a last-minute audible. That is why she hasn’t made an appearance during the NFL draft broadcast despite the original plan for her and Judge’s four kids to be helping.
Judge made the decision to return to New Jersey on Wednesday before the start of the draft because of issues with his setup in Massachusetts. He thought it was best to be near an IT guy with the draft being executed remotely as most of the country is shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Judge has been temporarily replaced at his home in Massachusetts by a full-time security detail while he works out of his apartment in New Jersey.
While other executives and coaches (including Arizona Cardinals coach Kilff Kingsbury) have displayed their elaborate and unique work settings, Judge has been in front of a screen that provides his background at his rather empty apartment. He’s been without his top draft insider, considering Abby had spent 15-hour days in the basement preparing alongside the Giants coach.
“Right now she could probably tell you more about who we’re gonna take in the first round than anybody else,” Judge said on a conference call with reporters the week before the draft.
His former boss New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick hasn’t experienced the same problems. He’s been seen with his dog in what appears to be the kitchen during this year’s unique draft.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced the picks mostly from his basement.
Judge, who has four children, had planned to be in his basement for the draft. Abby was supposed to be beside him providing input on the first of the Giants’ 10 selections. Judge had also talked with his children about the possibility of them taking tags with players’ names off the wall and helping organize different things during the draft. But he also warned them there would be times when everybody needs to get out of the basement, potentially Abby included.