Giants shore up defense

Johnnie Lynn's first order of business upon becoming New York's defensive coordinator was to help Head Coach Jim Fassel hire a new defensive backs coach to fill the spot vacated by Lynn when he was elevated to coordinator. Lynn turned to a familiar name, and recommended DeWayne Walker.

Walker, 41, has 14 years of coaching experience in college and the NFL. He spent the 2001 season as the defensive backfield coach and associate head coach under Pete Carroll at the University of Southern California.

The Trojans were ranked 16th among the nation's 115 Division 1-A schools in pass defense, allowing 179.2 yards through the air per game. Prior to joining the staff at USC, Walker spent three seasons as a defensive assistant with the New England Patriots. During his tenure, Patriots DBs Lawyer Milloy and Ty Law each made the Pro Bowl.

"I'm excited about having DeWayne join our staff," Fassel said. "He's been in the league. I've seen him develop players. The people I've talked to that he's worked with and for think he's a great teacher. He'll bring a wealth of experience coaching that position." Lynn was four years ahead of Walker at Muir High School in Pasadena, Calif., though the two first met during informal off-season workouts at Occidental College when they both played professionally.

"DeWayne is not a seeker of jobs, but people keep coming to him because he's been successful wherever he's been," Lynn said. "I think he'll do very well here because of the type of person he is and the type of coach he is. He's a fundamental technique guy and he can motivate players to do the right thing. He can find that hot button that will push the players to want to be successful."

Walker left the Patriots for the opportunity to work again with Carroll, but he knew he would someday want to return to the NFL. "It's a great opportunity to work with one of the best organizations in the NFL," Walker said. "There are many things I still want to accomplish in the NFL. I wanted the opportunity to lead my own secondary. I believe I'm ready for this challenge and I look forward to working with a good friend like Johnnie Lynn."


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