Fewell's energetic coaching style contrasts with former defensive coordinator
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One day on the field and Perry Fewell's hat already has sweat stains.
The Giants' new defensive coordinator jumped right into things Friday with enthusiasm, energy and excitement that would have been noticeable even if it were not in direct contrast to his stoic, unsuccessful predecessor. From the very first drill of rookie minicamp, Fewell was shouting and running after first-round pick Jason Pierre-Paul - "Finish! Finish! Finish!" - and he kept the volume and the intensity cranked up throughout both practices.
"That's just normal," Fewell said when asked if his voice will be able to hold up for the entire three-day camp, never mind the whole season. "I'm excited about being here. I'm excited about ball starting, [being] able to get out of the meeting room and coach football. So yeah, it'll hold up. It'll get better."
When Sheridan was here, he stood by and observed practices from a distance with arms folded. Fewell was in the trenches of the workouts, fine-tuning stances and physically shuffling players around the field like chess pieces. Sheridan rotated his defensive line to keep everyone satisfied with their snap counts. Fewell seemed to suggest that rotations are for pitching staffs and not football players. "I like for our defensive linemen to play until they fall out," he said, "I like our best players to be on the field at all times."
Perhaps most glaringly, Sheridan expressed a desire to coach from the box above the field (nixed by coach Tom Coughlin).
Fewell's preferred location? The sideline. "That's where the game is played," said the former interim head coach and defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills. "Who wouldn't want to be there on Sunday afternoon at 1 o'clock with pads clicking? Who wouldn't want to be there?"
Sheridan, of course, was not the only issue with last season's defense. The Giants added free agents in their secondary and five of their seven draft picks play defense. It will be up to Fewell to mold them. So far he's making an impression.
"It definitely affects you in a positive way," rookie safety Chad Jones said of Fewell's in-your-face style. "You want to impress him, especially with the way he gets after you. You're going to get after it."
"He's got energy, he's got enthusiasm," Coughlin said after practice. "He's a good teacher. There's no question about where he's coming from."
Fewell said he enjoys coaching that way. "I'm passionate about the game and I enjoy communicating with the players," he said. "I'm excited about football. When they make a good play I'm excited about that. When they make a bad play, I try to encourage them to make a better play. That's just the way I coach."
Notes & quotes: Punter Jeff Feagles formally announced his retirement at a midday news conference. "I've taken my last swing," the 44-year-old said at the end of his 22-year career. Coughlin called Feagles "one of the greatest Giants of all time."