Perry Fewell Out As New York Giants Defensive Coordinator


The New York Giants and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell have parted ways after a second consecutive poor season for the Giants’ defense. This ends a five-year run for Fewell as defensive coordinator of the Giants, who came on board for the 2010 season after the Buffalo Bills’ coaching staff from 2009 were all relieved of their duties.

More from Empire Writes Back

This was a move that was expected to come at some point, even with the words of encouragement from head coach Tom Coughlin. Coughlin quickly came to the defense of Fewell after the season when people began calling for his head. Just last week it looked like Fewell would be back with the team, as Coughlin didn’t want much changeover on the staff like last season. At the same time though, Coughlin did say there was still continuing evaluations to be made for the staff, which ultimately resulted in Fewell and the Giants parting ways.

“There are two outstanding men and outstanding football coaches. It is very hard in this business to find people that are not only good football coaches by outstanding human beings who are trustworthy, loyal and honest. Perry and Peter are that.” Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin In Statement Released By Team

The Giants are referring to Fewell’s leaving as a “restructuring of their defensive coaching staff.” The writing was on the wall for the defensive side of the ball after another poor performance that an overhaul like the offense saw last offseason was on the way. The first step in that is replacing the coordinator. In addition to Fewell, defensive backs coach Peter Giunta will also not return next season.

It is hard to argue against the removal of anyone from the defensive staff, as the unit underperformed exponentially in 2014. The Giants finished fourth worst in the NFL in yards per game allowed at 375.8, as they were gashed routinely by the run, ranking 30th with 135.1 yards allowed per game on the ground. The 4.9 yards per rush the Giants’ defense allowed was the worst in the NFL.

This comes a season after Fewell rallied the troops in 2013. After a disastrous slow start in which they started 0-6, the Giants were able to turn things around, finishing the season 7-9. A big reason for that was the turnaround on the defensive side of the ball that was spearheaded by the acquisition of Jon Beason at linebacker. The Giants finished 2013 as the eighth-ranked defense in total yardage.

While the Giants defense did struggle in 2014, the great performance of 2013 was a mirage of sorts. Like in 2014, the Giants struggled against any teams that were actually good. Time and time again the defense was unable to get the stop when they needed them. You could have easily seen the Giants win multiple more games the past two seasons had their defense done their job and got a stop.

More from New York Giants

The debacle this season was not solely on the shoulders of Fewell though, as he has no control over injuries. For the second consecutive season, the Giants were decimated by injuries, this time the defense taking a brunt of the injuries. Three-of-four of the Giants’ top cornerbacks suffered season-ending injuries, in addition to Beason, Mathias Kiwanuka and Robert Ayers. A team that was already thin on depth and talent could not overcome the loss of so many starting players.

Coughlin echoed those sentiments, as he continued to be the consummate professional, talking highly of both Fewell and Giunta despite the grim circumstances of them just losing their jobs.

"“No one person is responsible for what happened in this year. That has to be loud and clear. If there I any one person responsible, it is me. It is not Perry Fewell. It is not Peter Giunta. Both of them are outstanding football coaches in their own way. The simple fact of the matter is in the circumstances that we find ourselves, change is necessary. That may not be the most eloquent way of saying it, but that is what I am confronted with. The hope always is invigoration. You are going to stimulate. It is with great deliberation over a lengthy period of time throughout a thorough investigation and evaluation of what went on that I came to the conclusion that change was necessary. There are no hard feelings on my part about anything that anybody has done. The hard feelings are the six wins. That is the reality. It is unfortunate, but it is true.” Another part of the Coughlin statement released by the team."

While there will be some upset people that the Giants are looking at a second overhaul of a unit in as many offseasons, this is a move that needed to happen. Coughlin said it himself, changes needed to be made. If the coming changes on the defensive side of the ball go in the same direction as the offensive ones, the Giants will have things turned around sooner than later.

Next: Top 25 New York Athletes of 2014