The Bears are back to square one in their search for a defensive coordinator.
Perry Fewell decided to become the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants instead of the Bears, a Giants spokesman confirmed to the Sun-Times.
"I am ecstatic to come to work for the New York Giants," Fewell said in a statement issued by the team. "It's a good football team with good defensive players, and it is a franchise known for defense."
ESPN reported this morning that Fewell was telling people he was going to choose the Giants instead of the Bears. But a source close to the situation told the Sun-Times no decision had been made around lunch time.
The Giants issued a press release announcing the decision around 6 p.m., CST.
"I expect Perry to bring the same qualities that I expect from myself," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said in a statement. "I want him to be firm, fair, honest and demanding. My expectation is that he will solidify and unify our defense and be an outstanding teacher. I want energy, enthusiasm, toughness and to make the necessary corrections and game adjustments.
"Perry is a teacher and a leader and I thought he did an outstanding job of displaying great leadership as the interim head coach of Buffalo this season."
Fewell had worked with Coughlin and Lovie Smith of the Bears. In recent days, ESPN had reported that Fewell, who was believed to be the top choice for both clubs, was headed to the Bears.
The Bears are not believed to have interviewed anyone else for their defensive coordinator position. So far, they have interviewed Cincinnati Bengals quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese and Jacksonville Jaguars assistant head coach Mike Tice for positions on the offensive staff.
Asked to describe his defense, Fewell said, "Disciplined, attacking, aggressive, eleven hats to the football."
Fewell, the Bears defensive backs coach in 2005, had been the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator since 2006. Midway through the 2009 season, he was elevated to interim head coach after the ouster of Dick Jauron.
Fewell interviewed for the Bills vacancy last week, and he can still accept that position if it is offered to him at a later time.