New York Giants coach Joe Judge spent the 2009-2011 seasons working as a special teams assistant on Nick Saban’s Alabama staff.

Thus, he knows quite a bit about the intense Iron Bowl rivalry. And, as an ex-Alabama assistant, he’s expected to stay true to the Crimson Tide side.

But, as we gear up for another iteration of the Iron Bowl this weekend, Judge offered some praise to Auburn players. While praising WR Darius Slayton for coming back into the game after suffering a shoulder injury early in last week’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Judge said Auburn produces some tough guys (via

“This guy is a mentally tough guy,” Judge said on Wednesday. “This guy has had things going back to training camp that he’s had to fight through and deal with. You never hear him complain. You never hear any excuse from him. The only thing he ever asks the trainers is: What can I do today? How much more can I do? Where can I push to? He just keeps working on the field. He’s a tough dude. He’s tough-minded. He’s made big plays for us.

“Ironic since it’s Iron Bowl week, most of the Auburn players I’ve been fortunate enough to coach have all been tough dudes like Darius. He hasn’t disappointed.”

Auburn has indeed produced some tough dudes, as the Tigers have had Alabama’s number more so than any other school during Saban’s tenure.

Will the Tigers win again on Saturday? Or will the Tide get payback for last year’s narrow loss?