The Giants have confirmed it. It's done.
Perry Fewell, 47, former Buffalo defensive coordinator and interim coach, agreed to terms a few minutes ago to become the defensive coordinator of the Giants.
"I am ecstatic to come to work for the New York Giants," Fewell said. "It’s a good football team with good defensive players, and it is a franchise known for defense."
It wasn't exactly a long search, as former DC Bill Sheridan was just fired a week and a half ago. But the last few hours were interesting as Fewell weighed offers from both the Giants and the Bears. In the end, Fewell went with his old boss, Tom Coughlin, for whom he served as secondary coach in Jacksonville from 1998-2002.
Coughlin left no doubt that Fewell will have to roll up his sleeves immediately to fix a unit that bordered on an embarrassment to the franchise.
"I expect Perry to bring the same qualities that I expect from myself," said Coughlin. "I want him to be firm, fair, honest and demanding. My expectation is that he will solidify and unify our defense and be an outstanding teacher. I want energy, enthusiasm, toughness and to make the necessary corrections and game adjustments. Perry is a teacher and a leader and I thought he did an outstanding job of displaying great leadership as the interim head coach of Buffalo this season."
In Fewell, the Giants get a coordinator who will stick with the 4-3 front and probably run Cover-2 in the back. But Fewell does have a reputation for changing things up, and he's not afraid to blitz. His run defense wasn't good this year, but his pass defense wound up with 28 interceptions, second highest in the league. His defenses, though not statistically overwhelming, were known for their takeaway potential, which is something Coughlin liked.
"His defenses have consistently done a good job taking the ball away," Coughlin said.
Fewell said working under the demanding Coughlin those five years developed attributes that would come in handy as he advanced his coaching career.
"I was a young coach, and he helped develop my philosophy of the game, the discipline, the know-how, the toughness that it takes and the attention to detail," Fewell said. "Being prepared. That is what he instilled."
Now, Coughlin expects Fewell to instill a fire in a defense that too often seemed to lack the enthusiasm and the will to succeed.
So that's that. Now the Giants can concentrate on getting a defensive line coach. And don't be surprised to see a few more defensive coaches go, as I'm sure Fewell will have a few ideas of his own for his staff.