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Bruce Arians dishes on James Bettcher’s defense

Ex-Cardinals coach optimistic about possible Big Blue turnaround

Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks
Bruce Arians
Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, speaking Wednesday on Giants’com’s Big Blue Kickoff Live show, gave New York Giants fans a glimpse of what to expect from new defensive coordinator James Bettcher.

He said he would describe Bettcher’s defense as “multiple” rather than label it a 3-4 or 4-3.

“The biggest thing is you start with pressure,” Arians said. “He’s going to go after people. He’s going to put pressure on the quarterback in all situations. Very, very hard to run the ball against this defense, having gone against it myself for five years [in practice]. So it’s going to be pressure. It depends a lot on the corners – how much man-to-man versus zone because we played both but we had drafted our guys to play man-to-man and not let a quarterback dink and dunk us.

“So, yeah, I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure. He can switch. Even in the base front, our 3-4 becomes a 4-3 a lot of times easily, and that’s the hard thing. They have so many multiple fronts that he can play and utilize that personnel they have up there.”

Bettcher ran the defense for Arians the past three seasons. Arians told hosts John Schmeelk and Paul Dottino that the only time he ever had anything to do with Bettcher’s unit was to lean into the headset and say “blitz everybody.”

Arians was also optimistic about the Giants’ hiring of Pat Shurmur as head coach.

“I think his forte is he [fits] an offense for his personnel,” Arians said of Shurmur. “And that’s really good coaching. You don’t just have a system and run your system. I’ve got these players; how the heck can I get them guys scoring points? And that’s what Pat does. He took each one of those quarterbacks [in Minnesota] and he fit and tailored the offense to them, lost his running back and kept on going. That’s a tell-tale sign of a hell of an offensive coach.” Add in one hell of a defensive coach, and what do you get?

“I think with Pat running that offense and Betts running the defense,” Arians said, “the Giants are going to be somebody to deal with quickly next year.”

So, whether it matters or not, the Giants thus far have the Arians stamp of approval.

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