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Ex-Hofstra assistant Raheem Morris to interview with Giants for defensive coordinator

Then-Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris watches as time

Then-Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris watches as time expires in their 31-15 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. (Dec. 17, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

Raheem Morris will be the first to get a crack at the Giants' defensive coordinator job, but he'll be far from the last. The former Buccaneers head coach is scheduled to interview with the Giants Friday morning, according to a source, beginning what is expected to be a far-reaching search process to replace Perry Fewell.

The Giants asked for and received permission on Thursday from division rival Washington to interview Morris, the source said. He has been the defensive backs coach for Washington since 2012 and, despite his lack of success as a head coach, is considered one of the bright young defensive minds in the NFL.

Morris, 38, began his coaching career at Hofstra, where he was a player from 1994-97. He was a graduate assistant in 1998 and coached the team's defensive backs in 2000 and 2001. He quickly skyrocketed to the pinnacle of his profession, making the jump from defensive backs coach for the Bucs to their head coach when Jon Gruden was fired in 2009. In three seasons he went 3-13, 10-6 and 4-12.

Morris' experience as a defensive play-caller includes a short promotion to the role with the Bucs in 2008, when Monte Kiffin left the team late in the season, and as defensive coordinator for Kansas State in 2006.

The Giants are expected to have interest in many other candidates for defensive coordinator, including some who have ties to the organization.

Steve Spagnuolo, who was the team's defensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008, is said to be atop their wish list, although he will not be available for an interview until after his current team, the Ravens, is eliminated from the playoffs.

Former Giants linebacker Pepper Johnson, who spent 12 years as an assistant under Bill Belichick in New England and currently coaches the Bills' defensive line, also is believed to be a strong candidate.

The Giants fired Fewell and cornerbacks coach Peter Giunta on Wednesday.

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