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James Bettcher hire gives Giants fans reason to be excited

James Bettcher coordinated a top-6 defense in his three seasons in Arizona. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It is a whole new world for the New York Giants. Out with the old and in with the new.

Out under head coach Pat Shurmur? Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and special teams coach Tom Quinn. In? Former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher and likely Carolina Panthers special teams coach Thomas McGaughey.

Bettcher is 39 years old with a recent track record of success. McGaughey is 44 with much of the same. They both show promise for a bright future.

At 52 years old, Shurmur would be the old man of the bunch.

The time for an overhaul with the Giants is apparently now. Maybe co-owner John Mara wasn't kidding when he promised wholesale changes after the firing of coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese. The Giants are going to have a much different look in 2018.

Bettcher ran an aggressive 3-4 defense with the Cardinals and did so with tremendous success. In his three seasons as defensive coordinator, the Cardinals never finished lower than sixth in the NFL in team defense. They had the second-highest blitz rate in the NFL over the last three seasons, while the Giants were 17th.

Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins and middle linebacker B.J. Goodson should be excited. Where defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul fit into the mix isn't as certain, but their skills can be used by Bettcher no matter the defense the Giants run.

Remember, the Cardinals were Pierre-Paul's primary suitor before he was re-signed by the Giants prior to the 2016 season.

Bettcher is considered a strong defensive mind who can find ways to use players who can get to the quarterback. The Tennessee Titans also pursued Bettcher.

The Giants had the big market and the requisite talent to lure Bettcher. Consider this a significant win for the same organization that was unable to lure Matt Patricia to what was once considered the gold-standard of head-coaching jobs.

Patricia chose the Detroit Lions over the Giants; Bettcher chose the Giants over the Titans.

Landing Bettcher was a coup. He is a young coach who has done nothing but impress since entering the NFL as the Indianapolis Colts' outside linebackers coach in 2012. He followed Bruce Arians to the Cardinals the following year.

The Cardinals interviewed Bettcher for their head-coaching job this offseason. They hired former Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who also interviewed for the Giants job, as their coach this week.

"[Bettcher] was a strong candidate," Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said recently. "James Bettcher is a fantastic coach and he had a great interview. He did a great job. I thought he did a phenomenal job with our defense. He's going to continue to grow in this league."

Fortunately for the Giants they will be able to reap the benefits, at least for the short term. If Bettcher has success as their defensive coordinator, a head-coaching job is likely in his future.

In the meantime, he could be the Giants' next Spagnuolo. Bettcher could be the young, promising defensive mind to take the Giants defense to the next level before heading elsewhere. And it's not like there is no talent to work with in New York. The Giants allowed the second-fewest points in 2016.

Meanwhile, Spagnuolo won a Super Bowl with the Giants in his first season of his first stint as defensive coordinator in 2007. His future now is considerably murkier. He was twice passed over as the Giants head coach and just guided the league's 31st ranked defense. It was likely time for him to move on.

It's hard to be upset with the direction the Giants new regime is taking. The Shurmur era is off to a strong start.