Perry Fewell went 0 for 3 in head-coaching interviews this month, but he isn't bitter. In fact, he's happy for the opportunities and believes he wasn't used to satisfy the NFL's "Rooney Rule," which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head-coaching jobs.
|Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell still has his heart set on being an NFL head coach. (Evan Pinkus/Associated Press)|
"Did I feel like I was being used in any way? No, I didn't," the Giants' defensive coordinator said, according to the New York Daily News Sunday. "I thought the interviews were very legit. I thought there was a genuine interest. And I think I met people and developed a relationship with people that if they didn't help me now, they could possibly help me down the road."
Fewell lost out on jobs with the Carolina Panthers (who hired Ron Rivera), Cleveland Browns (who hired Pat Shurmur) and Denver Broncos (who hired John Fox), and he also received interest from the San Francisco 49ers, who landed their top pick, Jim Harbaugh. So unless there's a surprise opening this offseason, Fewell will be back with the Giants next season.
And that's fine with Fewell, who went 3-4 as the Buffalo Bills' interim coach in 2009. He believes his work with the seventh-ranked Giants defense will give him another chance at one of the league's rare head-coaching jobs.
"There's only 32 of these things," Fewell said. "So I'm more determined now. I'm not really discouraged. I learned a lot in the process. It's an education you get when you have an opportunity to go to the other organizations and interview with them. But I found out that I am prepared in many ways. I think I'm qualified. I think I'm ready."
Fewell entered the NFL in 1998 as the Jacksonville Jaguars' secondary coach after 12 years in the college ranks. He also coached for the St. Louis Rams (2003-04; secondary), Chicago Bears (2005; defensive backs) and Bills (2006-09; defensive coordinator).
"As a young assistant coach entering into the National Football League in 1998, you wonder: How do you go about meeting the owners and general managers if you aspire to be a head coach?" Fewell said. "The Rooney Rule is a vehicle that gives you an avenue to put yourself in front of them and make them think about you. I think it's a great tool for minority coaches to have the opportunity to sit in front of an owner or a GM to present who you are and what you represent."