The Giants officially hired Pat Shurmur as their head coach Monday and now it appears that have found their new defensive coordinator.
Big Blue will hire James Bettcher to run their defense, according to NFL Network, replacing Steve Spagnuolo.
Bettcher had served as the Cardinals’ DC beginning in 2015 and — in a New York twist — was promoted to the position once Todd Bowles left Arizona to become the head coach of the Jets.
Prior to that, Bettcher was the outside linebackers coach for the Cardinals from 2013-14. He got his NFL start coaching linebackers on the Colts a year earlier.
Jack Del Rio was rumored to be the Giants choice for defensive coordinator. Del Rio, 54, lost his job in Oakland (2015-17) after the Raiders had a disappointing 6-10 record when they were expected to be one of the NFL’s breakout teams of 2017. He was 25-23 in the regular season there.
Del Rio was the longtime head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-11) before three years as the Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator (2012-14) and three years coaching Oakland.
Bettcher, who also had a job offer from the Titans, will have a tall task in the Big Apple.
The Giants finished 31st out of 32 NFL defenses in yards allowed (373.2 per game) and 27th in points allowed (24.2). Bettcher’s defense helped Arizona shut out Big Blue, 23-0, on Christmas Eve.
Big Blue defense had discord amongst the players, which ranged from quitting in games to suspensions for disrespect.
The suspensions included: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie storming out of the building on Ben McAdoo; Janoris Jenkins no-showing for the Giants’ first practice out of the bye week (the day after Jenkins’ birthday); and Eli Apple’s season-long misbehavior, including yelling at assistant coaches in practices, which kept him in the doghouse until the club finally suspended him for Week 17.