Despite what appeared to be a unified coaching staff heading into the 2015 season, Tom Coughlin has lost his second coordinator in as many seasons. Top lieutenant and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride retired at the end of the 2013 season. The Giants also announced Wednesday the departure of secondary coach Peter Giunta.
"The simple fact of the matter is in the circumstance that we find ourselves, change is necessary," coach Tom Coughlin said in a statement. "That may not be the most eloquent way of saying it, but that is what I am confronted with. The hope always is invigoration. You are going to stimulate. It is with great deliberation over a lengthy period of time throughout a thorough investigation and evaluation of what went on that I came to the conclusion that change was necessary."
Fewell had a top 10 defense in New York back in 2013 but saw an injury-plagued unit falter in 2014. After being considered for head coaching openings yet again following the 2013 season, Fewell's defense finished 29th in yards per game, making him difficult to retain for another season.
Though Fewell's scheme was ultimately the victim of untimely injuries to stars like Walter Thurmond, Prince Amukamara, Robert Ayers, Jon Beason, Mathias Kiwanuka and others, the organization could not justify another year with a similar coaching staff and no major changes. Perhaps the prevailing thought was that Coughlin could use a different voice at the position, a short list that could include Steve Spagnuolo, a former Giants defensive coordinator currently under contract with the Ravens.
The hope was that Fewell could use a strengthened secondary to bolster the team's once-proud pass rush, which included a finally-healthy Jason Pierre-Paul. And though the team finished with 47 sacks, it was not enough to negate some of the costly chunk plays that plagued the team throughout a 6-10 season.
As for the Giants, during a recent news conference, team co-owner John Mara suggested New York might buck recent trends and allow Coughlin to go into the final season of his contract without an extension. This could have an interesting ripple effect on the coordinator search given that assistants typically sign two-year deals.
Given Coughlin's age and the uncertainty beyond next year, attracting a top candidate could be difficult. Typically, a job in the Giants organization, one of the most stable in the NFL, is highly sought after.