Why The Hell Is Merry Perry Fewell So Merry?
By Martin Alvin
That’s the question Giants fans might want to ask: why the hell is Merry Perry Fewell so damn Merry? And that question is not exactly the riddle of the Sphinx. It may be simply because he’s still got his job as the Defensive Coordinator of the 0-6 NY Giants — long after he’s proved he can’t handle the job. He’ll, I’d be merry too, wouldn’t you? See my article posted on Giants Gab in February: Hey, Merry Perry; Cheer the ‘F’ Down!
The Peter Principle applies when a guy – Perry Fewell, for example — is promoted beyond the level of his ability. A great example of that played out in 2009, when Giants Defensive Coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, left to take over the Rams head coaching job and LB coach, Bill Sheridan, was promoted to replace ‘Spags.’ Two good football guys about to become perfect examples of The Peter Principle, because both men had been promoted beyond the level of their ability. Not beyond their aspirations and not beyond their merit — just, simply, beyond their ability. And very soon after being promoted, both men were demoted from the jobs they couldn’t handle to jobs they were more suited for.
No shame or blame should be associated with that process. It happens all the time and there’s no reason for it to stop happening, because people who are diligent and hard working deserve a chance to get to the next level. Unfortunately, though, some of those people have already attained the highest level they’re ability supports. And unfortunately, the only way to discover that fact is to promote them and watch them sink or swim. But still, hard working, diligent, individuals deserve a chance and they should get one.
But here’s what else should happen: when that individual demonstrates their inability, the promotion has to be rescinded and some one else should replace them. And this should be sooner rather than later. Which brings me back to Perry Fewell, who seems like a very good man: hard working and diligent; but except for 2011 — when JPP unexpectedly emerged as a force on the ‘D’ line, and Osi was still available — Perry Fewell has demonstrated only an inability get the Giants ‘D’ back to dominance and a merry smile.
On Thursday night, against Chicago, he finally tried to help his ‘D’ line by mixing in a bunch of blitzes – and that help was long over due. But quite understandably, he’s been hesitant to blitz because, by blitzing his LBs and/or DBs, he risks exposing his banged up and suspect secondary. So, his reluctance to do a lot of blitzing has been understandable. But again, since his ‘D’ line isn’t generating an effective rush, he has to create and adapt. That’s what really good coordinators do: they create and adapt. Unfortunately, the extent of his creativity and adapting was to simply rely on basic blitzes. Not exactly cutting edge creativity, but okay, fine; he blitzed. Problem is, his blitzes were ill conceived and poorly executed and were picked up almost every time — and did nothing to rattle Cutler, who picked them apart, while sporting an immaculately clean jersey. Very creative.
Again, Perry Fewell is probably a hell of a nice guy, a hard worker, a passionate member of the coaching fraternity and no doubt, he’s paid his dues over a period of years. But that doesn’t make him a good Defensive Coordinator. And let’s face it; he’s not a good Defensive Coordinator. Hello, Jerry Reese! Hello, Tom Coughlin! Hello, John Mara! He’s not getting the job done! Yes, he deserved a shot at the job and okay, he got the shot — but c’mon, he’s also proved The Peter Principle, ten times over: he’s in way over his head and it’s time to pull the plug on Merry Perry Fewell. No shame. No blame. Who says so? The Peter Principle says so, that’s who!