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For now, Giants' Fewell has high hopes, few answers for 'D'

Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell isn't sure what

Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell isn't sure what kind of scheme he wants to run, but he has high hopes for the Giants' defense. Photo Credit: AP

Perry Fewell doesn't know much yet. He's unsure of the system he'll be running, whom he'll have executing it and even where he'll be calling it from.

Soon the Giants' new defensive coordinator hopes to have answers for all of those questions and more. But right now, as he settles into his job, he's devoting his time to getting to know the players and coaches with whom he'll be working. Eventually, though, he expects to have a firmer grasp on what he called the "workable challenge" of restoring pride and production to the defense.

"I'm currently evaluating, looking at our players and trying to get what they do best in my mind and what I can bring to the table to help them do what they do best better," he said. "Scheme-wise, I'm still in the process of formulating that."

It's a directive that appears to be coming straight from the top. In an interview on WFAN Thursday, Tom Coughlin said he told Fewell to "come in and sit with our coaches and look at, first of all, all of our players, evaluate our players, get his own opinion about our players, and then get into the X's and O's."

One thing Fewell seems certain of is that the strength of the defense is in its front line. That was the assumption by most people last year, too, but the unit underperformed and the Giants allowed more points than all but one team in franchise history.

"I see a talented group that can play football," Fewell said. "I haven't been with very many teams that have that many talented athletes at that defensive line position. That's why I say it's the strength of our team."

Although he has not come up with a blueprint - he is unsure if he will coach from the press box or the sideline and was uncertain of the status of defensive leaders Osi Umenyiora and Antonio Pierce - Fewell has a few sketches and doodles on how he envisions the defense next season.

"I want to be fundamentally sound, I want to be multiple in what we do, I want to attack, I want to be aggressive," he said. "I want our players to play fast and have fun playing the game. Definitely create turnovers.''

As for the players' adjustment to a third coordinator in three years, Fewell said he doesn't expect a difficult transition. "I think they will grasp the defense relatively quickly," he said. "Will they be able to execute all the little things, the little details? That's what will take time."

And as soon as Fewell knows those details, he'll start sharing them with the team.

Notes & quotes: Coughlin told WFAN he doesn't blame fired coordinator Bill Sheridan for the poor defense. "It just didn't get done and I think that's the best way to leave it," he said. "No one person is responsible, and we needed to make a change." . . . Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was among nine applicants for the South Florida head-coaching job, according to a public record request by the Tampa Tribune. The job went to Skip Holtz.

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