A few other notes from my conversation with Perry Fewell today:
Fewell said he spent the lockout “preparing our Giant team for the season.”
“For us, we prepared for the OTAs, we prepared for the minicamps, we prepared for the preseason games, etc.,” he said. “We have a plan in place. We got to bond together as a staff a lot more this offseason and come up with some things in our playbook that we wanted to accomplish for next season. So we’ve been full steam ahead.”
What kind of changes can we expect?
“We’ve had some time to make some plans,” he said. “We’re not going to reveal those changes yet but I’m excited about the upcoming season, I’m excited about having an opportunity to work with our draft picks that we’ve acquired on defense, and just kind of mold them and see what we can do with them.”
Fewell said he knows that the plans he’s made for the 2011 defense can be torn up and he’ll have to start over depending on how free agency works out under a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Giants could lose players such as Mathias Kiwanuka and Barry Cofield, and they could add, well, just about anybody.
“It’s like a teacher in school, you have a lesson plan and we’re projecting that we think these players will be back, we hope these players will be back, so you make plans according to your projections,” he said. “Now if those players are back then it’s up to you to try to make those plans come true. But it’s pure projection right now.”
Of course not everyone will be leaving.
“We know some of the people who will be back,” Fewell said. “Some of them, like a young man like Phillip Dillard, we had a chance to evaluate him during the whole year last year. Linval Joseph, I have plans for those guys. There are pieces here for us on defense, there are pieces in place that we think we can use and build on and we have some good building blocks that we can expand our defense on.”
Just as Tom Coughlin said on Monday at the Giants’ team golf outing, Fewell distanced himself and the staff from the brief filed by the NFL Coaches’ Association a few weeks back siding with the players in the legal battle to end the lockout.
“We weren’t aware of that brief,” Fewell said. “No one from our organization from a coaching perspective was contacted. I don’t think it reflected everyone’s feelings. I think the statement that Tom issued spoke for us as New York Giants.”
Fewell said he was aware of the team having team-run workouts last week at Bergen Catholic High School.
“Anytime that they get together, anytime you can get together and bond as a team, I think it’s always good,” he said.
I asked him about the lack of key defensive players and the assertion by some of them – including Michael Boley, Terrell Thomas and Justin Tuck – that a defense doesn’t get as much out of those drills and workouts as an offense does.
“I think it says that defensively, yes, we need to be coached, we want to be coached,” he said. “We want to know some of the fundamentals and the basics and get feedback from our coaches. If a player makes a statement like that it puts the emphasis on coaching and getting the basics and fundamentals and reinforcing the things that they know that they need to improve on.”