JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tom Coughlin has been on the job less than a week, but his hand print is all over the Jaguars latest additions to the coaching staff. On Saturday Jaguars announced the hiring of Secondary Coach Perry Fewell.
“Perry Fewell has coached defensive backs and been a coordinator in the NFL, and he brings the experience of having been in several defensive systems,” Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin said of Fewell. “He was the defensive coordinator for a Giants Super Bowl-champion team and has worked with some of the league’s best defensive players. He will be a great fit for our defense and for what we want to accomplish.”
Fewell has 32 years of coaching experience, including 19 in the NFL, and has previously worked under then-Head Coach Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville as the team’s defensive backs coach (1998-2002) and with the New York Giants as the team’s defensive coordinator (2010-2014).
“Perry Fewell was a defensive coordinator for a Super Bowl winning team and is a tremendous addition to our coaching staff, as he is one of the premier secondary coaches in this league,” said Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone. “We are excited for Perry to return to where he made his NFL coaching debut 19 years ago and cannot wait for him to get on the field with our guys and help mold our young secondary into a consistent, league-leading group. Having played in the secondary himself, and experiencing success at the highest level as a secondary coach, I believe our defensive backs will quickly buy into Perry’s methodologies and teachings and help solidify the back end of our defense.”
Fewell spent the previous two seasons with the Washington Redskins as the team’s defensive backs coach. In 2016, Fewell oversaw a unit that was tied for 12th in the league with 75 passes defensed, highlighted by former All-Pro CB Josh Norman, who registered 67 tackles (57 solo), three INTs and 19 passes defensed, which was tied for fifth best in the NFL. In his first season in 2015, Fewell skillfully guided a constantly changing unit that was besieged by injuries for most of the season.
Prior to the Redskins, Fewell spent the previous five seasons as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, a stint that included a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. In Fewell’s five seasons in New York from 2010-14, his unit amassed 160 takeaways, second-most in the NFC and third-most in the NFL. During the team’s Super Bowl campaign in 2011, the Giants were fourth in the NFL in both takeaways (35) and turnover differential (plus-14). In four postseason victories that year, the Giants allowed an average of 14.0 points per game, joining the 2000 Baltimore Ravens as the only team since the turn of the century to allow 14 or fewer points per game in a postseason run requiring all four rounds.
From 2006-09, Fewell spent four seasons as the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator. He was the team’s interim head coach for the final seven games of the 2009 season, earning three wins. In 2009, his guidance helped rookie S Jairus Byrd tie for the NFL lead with nine interceptions in only 14 games and helped Byrd become the first Bills rookie to be selected to the Pro Bowl since Greg Bell in 1984.
Fewell coached defensive backs for the Chicago Bears in 2005 when the Bears led the NFC with 24 interceptions and CB Nathan Vasher and S Mike Brown were both selected to the Pro Bowl. Fewell had previously served as secondary coach of the St. Louis Rams from 2003-04.
Fewell entered the NFL as the defensive backs coach under Coughlin for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1998, a position he held through the 2002 season. Jacksonville’s pass defense ranked third in the NFL during a 14-2 season in 1999.
Prior to entering the NFL, Fewell spent 13 years coaching at the collegiate level. Fewell spent three seasons at Vanderbilt where he coached the secondary from 1995-97 and was also the assistant head coach in his final season there. In 1992, he returned to Army for a second stint, where he spent three seasons as the defensive line coach. For four seasons at Kent State from 1988-91, Fewell spent his only time coaching on the offensive side of the ball in his career as he served as the wide receivers coach. Prior to Kent State, Fewell served as the defensive backs coach at the U.S. Military Academy in 1987. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of North Carolina from 1985-86.
Fewell lettered as a defensive back at Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) from 1980-83 and was part of the university’s Hall of Fame class in 2011. A native of Gastonia, N.C., he lettered on the football and track teams at South Point H.S. in Belmont, N.C., and was inducted into the Belmont Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. He also earned induction into the Gaston County, N.C. Hall of Fame in June 2012. Fewell and his wife, Kathleen, have two sons.