Another six interviews are expected to follow in the coming days. But for now, we’ll take a closer look at Fewell and how his units have done statistically over the past several years.
Fewell, 51, just completed his 13th season as a defensive coordinator in the NFL, and his 21st as a coach in the NFL.
Fewell started his coaching career in 1985 as a graduate assistant at North Carolina and worked his way up through the college ranks before becoming associate head coach at Vanderbilt in 1997. He broke into the NFL as defensive backs coach in Jacksonville in 1998. From there, Fewell had stints in St. Louis and Chicago (both as defensive backs coach) and then got the defensive coordinator job in Buffalo in 2006.
This past season, Fewell’s unit ranked eighth in the league in total defense, limiting opponents to 332.3 yards per game. The Giants ranked 10th against the pass (223.3 ypg) and 14th against the run (108.9 ypg). The unit surrendered 23.9 points per game, which ranked 18th in the league.
The Giants recorded 29 takeaways (17 interceptions, 12 fumble recoveries) — 12th in the NFL.
In 2012, the Giants struggled, giving up 383.4 yards per game (second-most in the league) and ranked 28th against the pass (254.3 ypg) and 25th against the run (129.1 ypg).
The Giants did fare better in the scoring department, limiting teams to 21.5 a game (12th best). New York also excelled in turnovers, recording 25 takeaways (21 interceptions, 14 fumble recoveries) — third-most in the league.
The Giants also ranked among the league’s worst in 2011 when they surrendered 376 yards per game (sixth most) and 25 points per game (eighth most).
Fewell’s best season in New York also was his first, when in 2010, the Giants ranked seventh in the league, limiting foes to 310.8 yards per outing. The Giants gave up 21.7 points per game (17th). He also helped New York win the Super Bowl that season.
Fewell served as defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills for four seasons (2006 to ’09), but his units never ranked higher than 14th.
In 2009, the Bills fired Dick Jauron after a 3-6 start. Fewell was named interim head coach and on his watch, the Bills posted a 3-4 record to finish the year 6-10. Fewell following the season was considered a hot commodity, but never wound up landing the head coaching gig that many believed he was headed for.
Is this his big break? Hard to say. The plus with Fewell is that as a divisional foe, he has faced the Redskins eight times in the past four seasons and has a good feel for their offensive personnel. He also coached nose tackle Barry Cofield in New York. But the Redskins could opt to go after a more offensive-minded head coach, or someone with a more impressive resume.
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