The Giants found their man to replace Bill Sheridan yesterday when Perry Fewell (who most recently served as the interim coach in Buffalo, where he replaced Dick Jauron) agreed to become the team’s next defensive coordinator. He takes over a defense that allowed the most points of any Giants team since 1966. So you know, good luck with that, Perry. Still, after the jump, three reasons we’re optimistic about the Perry Fewell era.
1. The Chicago media really wanted him to take a job with the Bears. Their defensive coordinator job was open, and Fewell had his choice of the two jobs, ultimately choosing the one in New York. The guy must do something right: The press in the Second City had been singing his praises over the last week or so, and the biggest knock against him, according to one blog at least, is that he’s “a Lovie [Smith] guy.” (Obviously, this isn’t so much a problem here, where his association with Lovie Smith doesn’t really matter.) In particular, they praise innovative play calling and a willingness to try new things.
2. To quote another Chi-town article, “He can work around deficiencies.” Maybe Jerry Reese will build an entirely new defense in the offseason, but even if he does, it would be nice to have a coach who doesn’t raise the while flag when Kenny Phillips and Antonio Pierce (or similarly important players) get hurt. In 2007, when he was Buffalo’s defensive coordinator, the Bills led the NFL in injuries, but the defense was still eighteenth in points allowed and fourth in red-zone efficiency.
3. In many ways, he’s the anti–Bill Sheridan. In his remarks about Fewell, Tom Coughlin said that he wants Fewell to bring “energy, enthusiasm, toughness and to make the necessary corrections and game adjustments.” As Newsday’s Tom Rock points out, energy, enthusiasm, and an ability to make in-game adjustments are not typically qualities you’d associate with Sheridan. (Coughlin also mentioned an ability to work with players, also not one of Sheridan’s strong points.) Of course, Fewell’s not only a Lovie Smith guy, but a Coughlin guy as well; he served as Coughlin’s defensive backs coach in Jacksonville from 1998 to 2002.