How a fresh hire does in the very first press conference does is always well-documented at the time, but does not mean much in terms of long-term success or failure. But it does set a tone.
Matt Rhule, a top candidate for the Giants, killed it Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C., when he was introduced as the Panthers’ head coach. Joe Judge, all of 38 years old, takes the stage Thursday as the 19th head coach in Giants franchise history. He is a great unknown in many ways, an out-of-the-box choice, and there is much to learn about him. The Post’s Paul Schwartz has a few questions in need of answers:
For co-owner John Mara
Q: Why hire a guy who has never been a head coach at any level and has not proven himself as an offensive or defensive guru?
At the start of the hiring cycle, Ron Rivera and Mike McCarthy — coaches with Super Bowl pedigree — were both available, and Josh McDaniels is still out there.
Q: Where you blindsided by the massive contract Matt Rhule got from the Panthers, and if you were so hot for Rhule, why didn’t you go to Waco or Cabo San Lucas and make a preemptive strike?
The Giants knew there was a chance Panthers billionaire owner David Tepper would set an unprecedented (seven year, $62 million) market for a college coach entering the NFL, but did not try to move up their interview with Rhule.
Q: You admitted you got it wrong the past two head-coaching hires, so why should Giants fans believe you got it right this time?
Patience is wearing thin with paying customers who already believe the Giants were beaten to the punch on Rhule by the Panthers. Fans did not know much, or anything, about Judge before his stunning hiring.
For GM Dave Gettleman
Q: Rhule is likely to have more say in personnel with the Panthers than Judge will have with the Giants. Are you willing to cede some control to a young coach in his first gig?
Gettleman likes to say he and others in the front office are all “support staff’’ for the head coach, but he is expected to continue to have final say on the makeup of the roster.
Q: Is the perception that you are difficult to work with, and thus a proven coach would not come to the Giants, accurate, and did that perception affect the search?
Gettleman is an old-school executive adept at identifying talent and is steadily coming around and making massive changes to the entire back-office operation.
Q: Are you concerned that you and Judge are not on the same track? He is a first-year head coach and you are a 68-year-old general manager, told by ownership you are on the hot seat.
In explaining the hiring two years ago, Gettleman repeatedly stressed Pat Shurmur was “an adult.’’ Two years later, Gettleman will be working with a kid coach.
For Joe Judge
Q: Much has been made of your tutelage under Nick Saban and Bill Belichick, but how are you different from them and why will you distinguish yourself without them?
Expect to hear plenty of “Joe is his own man’’ comments coming out of the Giants.
Q: What overlying philosophy will you bring to the Giants, as far as offensive system and defensive style?
As a special teams coordinator, Judge is an unknown in so many areas, but he is expected to espouse a return to a more physical approach.
Q: What is your belief and evaluation of Daniel Jones, and will you get an offensive coordinator who is best-suited to the continued development of the 22-year-old quarterback?
Shurmur did a nice job this past season with Jones, but the project is not near completion.
For more on the Giants, listen to the latest episode of the “Blue Rush” podcast: