James Bettcher Named Giants Defensive Coordinator

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19: Defensive coordinator James Bettcher of the Arizona Cardinals calls plays from the sideline in the first half against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on November 19, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

The New York Giants have found their new defensive coordinator. On Friday, the team announced it has hired James Bettcher to fill the position.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com initially reported the move Jan. 23, noting Bettcher chose New York over the Tennessee Titans.

This comes after the Giants announced Jan. 22 that they hired former Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as their new head coach.

According to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com, Bettcher met with the Giants on Jan. 23.

While the Giants struggled at times on the offensive side during their 3-13 campaign in 2017, especially after season-ending injuries to wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, the defense was consistently poor.

They finished a mere 31st in the league in yards allowed and 27th in points allowed, and finding someone to fix those issues was of paramount importance for Shurmur given his offensive background.

Bettcher brings a track record of success from the Arizona Cardinals, where he was a defensive coordinator the last three seasons. Even when Arizona missed the playoffs the last two years, its defense thrived for extended stretches under his leadership and finished fifth in the league in yards allowed in 2015, second in 2016 and sixth in 2017.

Weinfuss noted Bettcher "has a track record of blitz-happy, solid run defenses" with Arizona, where his Cardinals tallied the seventh-most sacks in the league the last three years. They also forced the most fumbles during that stretch.

New York has made the playoffs just one time in the last six years and needs to improve its defensive results if it hopes to compete in the NFC East in the immediate future. If Bettcher is able to replicate his success from Arizona, the Giants figure to do just that.


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