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Former NFL head coach joins Ole Miss football coaching staff

Ole Miss football made an interesting acquisition by having acquired former NFL head coach Joe Judge. He will serve as the assistant head coach and work under Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin. What does Judge bring to the Rebels?

Judge spent time in the NFL with the New England Patriots under a plethora of different coaching positions. The former NFL coach served as New England's special team assistant (2012-14), special teams coordinator (2015-18), special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach (2019), offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach (2022), and assistant head coach (2023). Judge also served as the head coach of the New York Giants in 2020-21, respectively.

As a head coach with the Giants, Judge sported a 10-23 regular season record and never made the postseason. However, this isn't the first time Judge has worked for a team in the SEC. He was the special teams assistant coach for Alabama football throughout the 2009-2011 seasons.

Judge's expertise is more so towards special teams, as he guided the Patriots to a well-disciplined special teams squad over the course of his tenure. As a quarterbacks coach for the six-time Super Bowl champions in 2022, Judge couldn't rejuvenate former Patriots quarterback Mac Jones and his decline in play after a promising rookie campaign in 2021. Jones tossed for 14 touchdowns to 11 interceptions and had a QBR of 38.4 under Judge's guidance.

Since the bulk of Judge's career is associated with special teams, it's likely Kiffin will allow Judge to oversee the unit to a degree. Ole Miss football recently added former Mississippi State head coach Zach Arnett to its staff. Arnett went 4-6 as the Bulldogs head coach in 2023 and was relieved of his duties late last season.

Arnett and Judge are both notable hires for Kiffin's team, as they both also have ties to Mississippi State (Judge was backup/holder for Mississippi State 2000-2004).

The Rebels finished the 2023 season with an 11-2 record and ranked ninth in the AP-Poll to close the season. Ole Miss star quarterback Jaxon Dart will return to the Rebels after having his best statistical season of his collegiate career. In 2023, Dart tossed for 3,364 yards and 23 touchdowns along with an average of 9.4 yards per pass attempt. The Ole Miss offense ranked 13th in total offense last season and hope to trend upwards with the addition of Judge.

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