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Perry Fewell back to Buffalo? As head coach? Really?

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Black Monday, the day after the NFL regular season ends and head coaches begin to be fired, is coming quickly. There is speculation that Giants' defensive coordinator Perry Fewell could get a head-coaching job despite the struggles of the defense this season.

Perry Fewell
Perry Fewell
[Photo by Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports]

There are New York Giants' fans who would like to run defensive coordinator Perry Fewell out of town as fast as possible. With the underwhelming Giants' defense ranked 30th in the league in yards allowed this season and largely responsible for the Giants likely being shut out of the playoffs speculation about Fewell's future with the Giants has begun.

Could the Buffalo Bills actually take Fewell off the Giants' hands? And make him their head coach? Current Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey could be one of the coaches to hit the unemployment line on Black Monday, the day after the 2012 NFL regular season ends.

Could Fewell be in line to become the Bills' next head coach? Alex Marvez of FOX Sports lists Fewell among the assistant coaches most likely to be elevated to a head-coaching job this off-season, and pegs Buffalo as a potential suitor.

Remember, Fewell was defensive coordinator for the Bills for four seasons and went 3-4 as their interim head coach at the end of the 2009 season. The Bills chose to bring in Gailey after that season rather than turn the reigns over to Fewell.

Marvez thinks that the Bills might reverse themselves and try to undo that mistake:

With Chan Gailey having posted a 15-32 record the past three seasons, the Bills may have made the wrong decision when not promoting Fewell from his interim post. With hat in hand, one of Buffalo’s first calls for a replacement should go to Fewell if Gailey is ousted.

Marvez also adds that he does not believe the dip by the Giants' defense this season hurts Fewell's chances of landing a job as a head coach:

He has emerged as one of the league’s most well-regarded assistants during 15 NFL seasons since leaving the college ranks. New York’s defense has dipped lately, but that often doesn’t hurt the résumé of a head-coaching candidate coming off a Super Bowl appearance the previous year. The 2011 Giants were outstanding under Fewell in defusing the league’s two best offenses during the postseason — Green Bay (divisional round) and New England (Super Bowl XLVI).

There are Giants' fans who would cheer this development, that much is certain. You know Fewell, who interviewed for several jobs after the 2010 season, still wants to be a head coach.

When the Giants played the Bills a year ago I asked Buffalo Rumblings editor Brian Galliford about Fewell. I have never forgotten Galliford's revealing answer:

I liked Fewell more as a head coach than I did as a defensive play-caller. ... head coaches on game days are essentially managers; yes, players are executing their systems, but that job is more about motivation, game-planning and managing the flow of a contest. Fewell was pretty good at doing those things; he always struck me as less good at the minutiae of a coordinator's job.

Fewell's star may have lust some of its shine among Giants' faithful, but it seems possible that isn't the case among NFL decision-makers. They might agree with Galliford's assessment. We begin finding out on Monday.

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