Robert Nunn has been hired to coach the Giants' defensive line, succeeding the fired Mike Waufle as the team's only coaching vacancy.
Nunn has 22 years of coaching experience, the last 10 coming in the NFL. He was most recently the defensive line coach in Tampa Bay in 2009.
"Robert Nunn has been in professional football for 10 years and he has coached some outstanding players at every stop along the way," coach Tom Coughlin said. "He is a guy who did an outstanding job on the board with the X’s and O’s in the interview process. More than that, he is a guy who, by virtue of how he presented himself, I feel very strongly will bring the best out of the players that he coaches. He will provide structure. He will gain their trust. He will prove to the players the techniques that are important. When that happens and they buy into it, I think the results will come back for us. He will coach a very important position on our team, one that we will rely on heavily to bring us back to the level of championship play."
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, who worked together with Coughlin to hire Nunn, was enthusiastic about his new assistant.
"We’re very excited to have Robert Nunn join our football staff," Fewell said. "He comes highly recommended from some of the other coaches throughout the league. He’s coached in championship games; he was the D-line coach for Green Bay when the Giants played the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. He has worked with a number of excellent players – Jason Taylor, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Bruce Smith – and he has 10 years of experience.
"I look for him to bring to our defensive line fundamentals, technique, toughness, energy and to bring us together as a group to help make us a good defensive line unit."
And, presumably, to keep at arm's length from the players he coaches. It was reported that Waufle's ultimate downfall was that he became too close with the players, and might have sided with Osi Umenyiora when the pass-rushing defensive end was demoted after the Denver game because of his inability to stop the run.
Nunn's forte appears to be coaching against the run, considering two of his Green Bay charges in 2008 -- Johnny Jolly and Ryan Pickett -- ranked among the team's top five tacklers that year, with Jolly setting a career-high with 82 stops. One of his major tasks undoubtedly will be turning Umenyiora around on the edge, and shoring up the porous middle.
In Nunn's first of four seasons with the Packers, 2005, that defense went from 25th in the league the year before to No. 7. That said, he almost parellels the Giants' defense as he comes off a down year. The Bucs' run defense finished last in the league, allowing 158.2 yards per game. The Bucs also finished 27th overall.
Nunn has also spent time with Miami and Washington.
And, of course, he has that quasi-military background Coughlin loves in his assistants, having served successively as Georgia Military Academy's defensive coordinator, head coach, and athletic director for nine years. In his eight years as head coach, he compiled a 66-19 record.
"I am usually impressed by people who came through the ranks, that didn’t have great jobs," Coughlin said. "He was the defensive coordinator, head coach and athletic director at Georgia Military. Because of that and some of the recruiting associations he made, he got an opportunity to go into professional football and he’s done an outstanding job."
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