Pat Shurmur, the new New York Giants head coach, has reportedly found his new defensive coordinator in James Bettcher.
This is a significant hire for the Giants. Not only is it one of the first moves made by Shurmur, it appears to set the philosophy for the defense moving forward. Bettcher is known as a bit of a blitz-happy defensive fella, having blitzed at the second-highest rate in the NFL over the past three seasons. In comparison, the Giants were only 17th in that same span of time.
Only 39, Bettcher joined the Cardinals in 2013 as their outside linebackers coach and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2015. Prior to that, he was the outside linebackers coach for the Colts in 2012. Going back deeper into the Bettcher resume, he spent 2004-11 coaching for a plethora of lower-level college football programs, mostly as a graduate assistant.
Despite his so-so background, he has a rather remarkable track record. Under Bettcher, the Cardinals allowed the fewest yards per rush (3.67) and forced the most fumbles (60) since 2015. You don’t have to be a mathematical wizard to realize those are good numbers.