You asked for it, we're providing. After receiving a slew of terrific, thoughtful questions, we have started to sit and ponder our answers. Due to the verbose nature of the writers here at G101, we have decided to split up the answers into a few parts that will be released throughout this week.
First up, Dan Benton shares his thoughts on the loss of Steve Spagnuolo, the way his successor Bill Sheridan will handle the new DC duties and Reese's work with Free Agency. The next batch of answers will debut tomorrow, so stay tuned!
Q: youngsmooth316 said - The Giants have a new coordinator on D. With Bill Sheridan taking over the defense and consistently using our base defense, do you think this will allow the defensive scheme to become more dangerous.
He wants pass-rushers rushing the passers, is exactly what he said with an occasional drop into coverage from a d-line man when its a zone dog! Does this mean corner who press well will press?
Do this also mean we will have a true free safety and strong safety? Do you think Sheridan philosophy will be to play to the strengths of each player on the field?
Benton: I don’t know if Bill Sheridan taking over as defensive coordinator is the reason why the Giants may be more dangerous in 2009-10 so much as the health of Osi Umenyiora and the additions of Rocky Bernard, Chris Canty, Michael Boley and Clint Sintim will be the reason.
Still, Sheridan’s reluctance to drop the defensive lineman back into coverage will allow them to pin their ears back and attack the quarterback on nearly every play.
And while that may seem like a minor adjustment to the system Steve Spagnuolo had in place, it’s a relatively significant one...and one that could make an already great defense that much better.
As far as what it will mean to our corners and linebackers remains to be seen. But even with Spags, the scheme called for the defensive players to play to their strengths.
I doubt that will change with Sheridan, but will put a bigger burden on the linebackers to perform better than they have in coverage. Once you’re into the secondary, however, I don’t really see too much changing.
With the focus being on the pass rush, however, there could slight separation being created between the free safety and the strong safety for the first time in many years.
One is obviously going to be required to pay closer attention to the run and will likely creep up to the lone a bit more, but I still don’t believe it will be as significant as the way other teams use their safeties.
Q: giants50 said - Do you think the loss of Spags will hurt the giants as much as people say it will?
Benton: Spags was a fantastic defensive coordinator for the Giants, there’s no doubt about that, but Sheridan has been with the Giants for four seasons and has 28 years of coaching experience. He saw the success Big Blue had under Spags and has made it a point to change very little.
Because of the players familiarity with him (and visa versa), I really don’t think his promotion (and Spags departure) is going to hurt the Giants very much…if at all. The system will be very similar to what it was over the last two seasons with a minor adjustment to its weakest part (d-lineman in coverage).
Add that to all the new and talented players that have been brought in and you have a recipe for success. And while fans will never forget what Spags did for them, I think Sheridan will make it a bit easier for them to let go and move on.
Read more: Giants 101 - Writer's Round Table (Part I)