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Tom Coughlin ousts Perry Fewell because 'change is necessary'

Coughlin says he is hoping for 'invigoration' of struggling defense.

Tom Coughlin
Tom Coughlin
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

During his season-ending press conference New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin issued what certainly sounded like a defense of Perry Fewell's work as defensive coordinator, and left everyone with the impression Coughlin was leaning toward keeping Fewell around for a sixth season.

Reports on Monday indicated that Coughlin was "most likely" going to retain Fewell and the rest of his assistant coaches. Yet, here we are just a day after those reports with the Giants announcing that Fewell and secondary coach Peter Giunta are not being retained.

So, why did Coughlin ultimately decide to make changes to the team's defensive coaching staff?

"No one person is responsible for what happened in this year," Coughlin said in a statement released by the Giants. "That has to be loud and clear. If there is any one person responsible, it is me. It is not Perry Fewell. It is not Peter Giunta. Both of them are outstanding football coaches in their own way. The simple fact of the matter is in the circumstance that we find ourselves, change is necessary. 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.

"There are no hard feelings on my part about anything that anybody has done. The hard feelings are the six wins. That is the reality. It is unfortunate, but it is true."

Coughlin is familiar with this process, having brought in a new offensive coordinator -- Ben McAdoo -- with an entirely new system after long-time play-caller Kevin Gilbride retired under duress following the 2013 season.

"I did it last year for different reasons," Coughlin said. "The opportunity was there. Kevin was retiring. I took advantage of the opportunity to do what I, first and foremost, wanted to do, which was revive the quarterback. The decision here gives us the ability to revive our defensive people, to introduce, if you will, a new, different system, perhaps not that big a change, but nevertheless there will be some change involved and create an opportunity. I just think it is an opportunity for us, to a certain extent, to stimulate our defensive team due to the fact that you will end up with a new coordinator. Those people will bring a new system, a new focus and a new area of concentration."