The Denver Broncos' coaching search began Sunday when they interviewed New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. Fewell has been a hot commodity this offseason, and has interviewed with virtually every team that has a head coaching vacancy. The 48-year old Fewell is known for his work with defensive backs, and despite not even being 50 years of age, he's already spent 25 years as a football coach.
Not unlike Eric Studesville, Fewell once took over as the interim head coach of a Buffalo Bills team that fired their head coach with seven games left to play, and it appears as though he's ready for an NFL head coaching gig full time.
Like I said, Fewell has been coaching for 25 years now, and has coached in the NFL for 13 of those years. Fewell was a special assistant for the North Carolina Tar Heels before heading to the Army Black Knights as an assistant. Fewell continued his college coaching the following year with Kent State as a defensive assistant, and moved on yet again, this time back to Army where he served as a defensive assistant.
Fewell spent three years with Army before moving to Vanderbilt in 1995 where he spent three years as an assistant head coach and defensive backs coach. Fewell then earned his first NFL job three years later with the very young Jacksonville Jaguars and Tom Coughlin, where he was hired as the Jaguars' defensive backs coach.
In 2003, Fewell moved on to St. Louis where he served the same position for two seasons under Lovie Smith, and after two years with the Rams, he followed Smith to Chicago for the 2005 season.
From 2006-2009, Fewell was the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, earning his first coordinator job in the NFL. The Bills fired Dick Jauron with seven games left of the 2009 season, and Fewell was named the interim head coach over that span of time and he led the team to a 3-4 record.
When the Bills' staff was let go, Fewell joined former boss Tom Coughlin back in New York with the Giants, and that is where we find him today.
As far as the NFL goes, Fewell is a branch off of the Tom Coughlin coaching tree first and foremost, but he's also been an assistant under Lovie Smith and Dick Jauron. Having spent most of his time coaching with these three, you would expect Fewell to have a very calm but stern demeanor.
Here is what Tom Coughlin had to say about his coordinator upon hiring him prior to this season:
"I expect Perry to bring the same qualities that I expect from myself," said Coughlin. "I want him to be firm, fair, honest and demanding. My expectation is that he will solidify and unify our defense and be an outstanding teacher. I want energy, enthusiasm, toughness and to make the necessary corrections and game adjustments. Perry is a teacher and a leader and I thought he did an outstanding job of displaying great leadership as the interim head coach of Buffalo this season."
Personally, I like Perry Fewell as a head coaching candidate. He brings something different to the table that the Broncos have never had before, and that is his defensive background, specifically his defensive backs specialty. The Broncos are hoping to bring back their best defensive player this offseason--Champ Bailey, a defensive back--and Bailey has said the new coach will have quite a bit to do with whether or not he comes back.
Fewell does not have the most experience of the candidates, but he's a no-bull coach that seems to ignite a fire under his players, and he's a well-respected leader. What more could you ask for in a head coach?