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New York Giants Defensive Assistant Al Holcomb Interviews with Carolina Panthers

January 25th, 2013 at 10:30 AM
By Dan Benton

The Carolina Panthers have a new General Manager in Dave Gettleman, but their pilfering of the New York Giants may have only just begun. The Charlotte Observer reports that the team met with Giants defensive assistant Al Holcomb on Thursday regarding their vacant linebackers coach position.

'09-13-08 Panthers Game 075' photo (c) 2008, Matt Trostle - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Holcomb, who joined the Giants in 2009 as their defensive quality control coach after interning with the New York Jets in 2007 as part of the NFL's minority internship program, was promoted to defensive assistant to Perry Fewell in 2011 and helped the team to a Super Bowl XLVI victory.

Prior to entering the NFL, Holcomb was a defensive coach for several smaller Pennsylvania college teams, including Lafayette, Kutztown University and Bloomsburg, who played for the Division II National Championship in 2000.

In addition to Holcomb, the Panthers have also interviewed Auburn Tigers defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and Cleveland Browns linebackers coach Billy Davis for the position. Davis also coached the Giants linebackers in 2004.

The Giants connections in Carolina should come as no real surprise as the team hired former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi as a special consultant in their own GM search, and prior to hiring Gettleman, also met with Giants Director of College Scouting, Marc Ross.

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Tags: Al Holcomb, Carolina, Carolina Panthers, Dave Gettleman, Ernie Accorsi, Football, Marc Ross, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell

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6 Responses to “New York Giants Defensive Assistant Al Holcomb Interviews with Carolina Panthers”

  1.  rlhjr says:

    Last time I looked there is no Strahan, Cofield, Kawika Mitchel or fat boy Pierce to anchor Spag’s defensive packages. Those packages were predicated on having pressing DB’s.

    Spagnuolo even utilized his corners to blitz. The bottom line was success was not all up to the defensive line. Never the less, the defensive line was still the catalyst for success.

    Fewell gives ground and I believe that aggressive players suffer under Fewell. And Perry’s schemes fizzle without a dominating defensive line. Fewell plays cat and mouse with offenses. IMHO Fewell is in the role of the mouse way too often for my liking. But that’s just my opinion.

    Needless to say the defensive line personnel was much better in 2007. Osi and Tuck are vestiges of their 2007/8 selves. So to be fair to Fewell, like his methods or not he was saddled with just the thing he can’t be expected to coach around. His D-line was not dominant this year, not even close.

    This past season DL slacked off due to injury and quite frankly personnel, or lack thereof. Without rejunivation of defensive line and upgrade of linebacker personnel, Spags would fail here too.

    It’s the declining level of D-line play, lack of backers and corners who can blitz (I.E. attack) with speed and agility enough to “get there”. Those blitz packages also snuffed out a fair amount of running plays.
    One reason Arron Ross and Terrell Thomas are missed is their ability to blitz.

    But for corners to blitz effectively, they have to disguise their intentions pre-snap, or have the timing to break for the line of scrimmage without the QB expecting them.

    If you don’t show/play press coverage, blitzing corners is almost a dead giveaway. In other words, a QB sees a corner playing up in a defense that almost exclusively gives cushion. He’s got to be thinking that guy is coming. That said, I think Prince and Hosely could be excellent blitzing.
    Not sure if they will be used in that capacity under Fewell.

    It’s a story of two different defensive philosophies, with essentially the same Achilles heel. Still, I wonder how many of the defensive players actually buy into Fewell’s scheme?

    For sure all the defenders loved Spagnuolo’s way of doing things……very aggressive. The Saints did not have defensive line talent close to what Spags had with the Giants in 07.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    I think some are overvaluing Spags current value as a DC. His Rams teams weren’t great on defense and they actually improved this year under Fisher. then he goes to NO who definitely has bottom 10 defensive talent but still giving up the most yards ever in the NFL says something that’s not good. The NFL might have just caught up with his schemes.

    While I agree with Demo if Philly is bringing back Nmadi and DRC then his scheme is a good I don’t know that Kelly is not going in different direction. I have even heard 3-4 rumors though their current talent dosn’t seem to be the best match. Let’s remember Kelly has a long term deal so he’s doesn’t just have to band aid things, he can make changes for the long term.

  3.  jfunk says:

    Spags sure is getting a lot of mileage out of his brief stint here. Has nobody noticed that he’s been a complete and total failure since then?

    •  G-MenFan says:

      Yeah, but it’s Giants-related news and there’s really nothing else to talk about until the combine. So we sit here and engage in navel-gazing, contemplating the meaning of life with and without Spags.

  4.  G-MenFan says:

    Is there a date by which this coach interviewing process has to conclude? You know, a deadline? I’m getting a little tired of it this year, for obvious reasons. It feels like there are circling vultures overhead.

  5.  sonnymooks says:

    I believe Chip Kelly is going with a 3-4, not sure where I read that, but am pretty sure I did read that.

    That said, who does Spags have ties to in Philly anymore ? Everyone he knew is gone.

    I don’t think he is coming back to the Giants this year, but his scheme matches up with the current talent far far better then Fewells does. It was a perfect marriage a few years ago, but just looking at the roster now, and going player by player, its clear that it would work just as well today.

    The Giants do NOT draft players to fit the cover 2 scheme, they draft the best available defensive players and leave it up to the coaches to fit them in.

    Fewells scheme is like a lot of round holes, problem is, the giants players are a bunch of square pegs.

    Spags scheme is all about square holes. Its an attacking, aggressive defense, that utilizes zones but gets creative with the LBs and the DL, and occasionaly blitzes with DBs.

    Fewell blitizes with LB on rare occasions and pretty much has no use for pass rushing skills that LBs have, forget about blitzing ability out of the DBs.

    Bringing Spags back, makes to much sense, which is part of the reason it won’t happen. Its disruptive.

    Ironically, Fewell would probably be a top ranked DC if he was in chicago or somewhere where the talent has been drafted and acquired to play his scheme.

    Fewell isn’t so much imcompetant, he is stubborn and a scheme coach, who tries to force his players into a scheme that does not fit them, and has no use and no intention of utilizing any skills that players have that does not fit into his system.He adapts his players to the playbook, NOT the other way around.

    This system, does work, when you have the talent for it, the Giants don’t tailor their draft process for it (which is good), but the players they do go for, fit the Spags/Jim Johnson scheme like a glove (and not the O.J. glove).

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