- Dan Graziano, ESPN New York Giants reporter
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A week after letting go of defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and defensive backs coach Peter Giunta, the New York Giants are still early in the process of rebuilding their defensive coaching staff. The first step is sure to be the hiring of a new coordinator to replace Fewell, but they're taking their time and looking around. Here's an update on a couple of the names you have or haven't heard:
Pepper Johnson. The former Giants linebacker, who coached under Bill Belichick in New England from 2000-13 and then was the Bills' defensive line coach this past year, interviewed for Fewell's old job Monday. He is a strong candidate for the position.
Steve Spagnuolo. The former Giants defensive coordinator is currently the Ravens' defensive backs coach. And with Baltimore having been eliminated from the playoffs Saturday night, Spagnuolo is available to interview. As of Monday afternoon, the Giants had not yet reached out to Baltimore to request permission, but they definitely plan to, and likely will interview Spagnuolo before the end of the week. Many consider him the favorite.
Raheem Morris. Washington's defensive backs coach interviewed for Fewell's old position last week and is well thought of by Tom Coughlin and the current Giants' management. If he doesn't get the job, it's possible they could hire him for a lower-level assistant coach position such as Giunta's. But that decision likely would be up to the new coordinator and whether Morris would want such a position.
Dave Merritt. As Adam Schefter noted Monday evening, the Giants have spoken to their current safeties coach about the defensive coordinator position. Merritt is a long shot at best for the big job, but it's interesting that he has had discussions with his bosses about it.
John Fox. Just let go Monday as head coach of the Broncos, the former Giants' defensive coordinator is more likely to get a head coaching job (Bears?) or take a year off and/or work in television in 2015 than take a defensive coordinator job right away. It's entirely possible that, if Fox is still on the market next year and the Giants have moved on from Coughlin, Fox could emerge as a candidate to replace Coughlin. But that's just speculation at this point.
The New York Giants are still early in the process of rebuilding their defensive coaching staff.