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Defenseless: Giants Sheridan Has to Go

NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 18:  Reggie Bush #25 of the New Orleans Saints escapes a tackle by Chase Blackburn #57 of the New York Giants at the Louisiana Superdome on October 18, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Dan MarraContributor IDecember 3, 2009

There is little chance Bill Sheridan is returning next season to ruin what's left of this Giants defense. So, why wait to replace him?

Tom Coughlin should at least try to see if secondary coach Peter Giunta (who was the defensive coordinator for the Rams in 1999 when they won the Super Bowl) or defensive line coach Mike Waufle can get this defense to play, well, to play like a defense.

It's a coach's job to get his players to perform, at the very least, to their potential and to put his best players in positions to make plays. But when Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Chris Canty are dropping into coverage while mediocre pass rushers like Chase Blackburn and Danny Clark are sent to blitz the quarterback it lacks logical thought.

These instances are littered throughout this tattered Giants' season:

Canty left to cover Darren Sproles one-on-one against San Diego. Tuck dropping back in coverage on a critical third down play against Atlanta only to drop an easy interception.

Then against Denver, on a must-stop 4th-and-5, Brandon Stokely is left uncovered over the middle of the field as he strolls in for a touchdown, putting the game out of reach. 

With a new coordinator there can be miscommunication among players. It's perfectly understandable. But after going through mini-camp, then training camp, and to play 11 regular season games only to suffer through the same problems is inexcusable.

Keep in mind, it's not all Sheridan's fault. It's not his fault Kenny Phillips and Antonio Pierce were lost for the year. Or that Aaron Ross decided to take the first three months of the season off. Or that Umenyiora, Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield clearly have not recovered from their knee surgeries. Or that Tuck is playing with a bad shoulder.

But when Steve Spagnuolo coached this defense to a 12-4 finish last season what was different?

This year's squad has Umenyiora. They have Michael Boley at weakside linebacker, compared to the combination of Blackburn, Gerris Wilkinson, and Bryan Kehl the year before. And at safety? Michael Johnson and James Butler were the starting tandem on the top-seeded Giants a year ago. This season C.C. Brown and Aaron Rouse replace Butler. 

This is a team that let San Diego ease down the field in the last two minutes to score the game-winning touchdown. And then, allowed Atlanta to score two late touchdowns to force overtime. A game the defense was poised to let up a third score if it weren't for the fate of the coin toss. 

This is a defense that lacks confidence, desire, and an identity; not talent

It's time for a change.

What's the worse that can happen?

 

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