Joe Vasile | Featured Columnist
The New York Giants have parted ways with Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell. Fewell held the position for five seasons, winning one Super Bowl in the process.
Fewell was hired by the Giants in 2010 after the firing of Bill Sheridan, after serving in the same position with the Buffalo Bills from 2006-2009. Fewell served as the interim head coach of the Bills for the final seven games of the 2009 season, guiding the team to a 3-4 record.
With Fewell at the helm, the Giants defense ranked anywhere from middle-of-the-pack to downright terrible. During his term, the team ranked 17th, 25th, 12th, 18th, and 22nd in the NFL in points allowed, respectively.
Fans have been screaming for Fewell’s head for quite some time now, and many were happy to see that the team was headed in another direction.
It is hard to place the entire blame on the Giants poor defensive play solely on Fewell, who has to do the most with the personnel that he is given. Most of Fewell’s tenure with the Giants was characterized by fairly weak linebacker play, and – with the exception of Antrel Rolle – a very shaky secondary. Jerry Reese has to take some of the blame for that.
Fewell is also the coach who helped a very raw-when-drafted Jason Pierre-Paul become the star defensive end he is today.
A few years down the road, when we look back at Fewell’s tenure as Defensive Coordinator, we’ll probably realize that we were too tough on him while he was here. But then again, that’s the nature of professional sports in New York – fans demand the highest level of success, and anything less breeds harsh criticism.
Also let’s not pretend that Fewell was a defensive genius – he had his moments, that was all. He was mediocre, and probably hung onto his job this long because the team won the Super Bowl in 2011, otherwise he’d have been shown the door three years ago.
Fewell will only really be missed if his eventual replacement somehow does a worse job than Sheridan did in his one year replacing Steve Spagnuolo, which is hard to imagine.