The 2009 Giants defense under Bill Sheridan can be best described as oatmeal. Not even the delicious kind with freeze dried strawberry or apple pieces in it, but the plain, flavorless, gruel-like oatmeal that conjures up images of what they serve in Southeast Asian prisons. Swiss cheese would be an obvious comparison as well, as it had plenty of holes and it stunk worse than Andy Reid's back rolls. The man responsible should have had a relatively easy time continuing his former boss’s defensive legacy. Granted, the expectations were incredibly high and he had to deal with lots injuries, but the result was pitiful, culminating in the horrendous performance of the last two weeks of the season. What was once Cerberus, guarding the end zone like the gates of Hell, became a Pomeranian of a defense; yapping a bunch but not scaring anybody. All ingenuity and sense of fire and passion went out the door resulting in a bland, boring, repetitive and predictably poor defense. Not everything was Bill Sheridan’s fault, but wtf, its unbelievable that this unit could not achieve more than what they did. Now Jerry Reese and John Mara have to find a way to add some spice and intensity back to their once vaunted defense. That spice should be Pepper Johnson, former Giant player and current New England Patriot defensive line coach.
A two-time Super Bowl winning player and three-time winner as a coach, Pepper knows what it is to win the big dance. Serving as a linebackers coach and then defensive line coach for Bill Belichick, Johnson helped mold the Patriots defensive line into perhaps the best 3-4 line in the league. As said by former Giants teammate Carl Banks, Pepper would command instant respect as the Giants defensive coordinator, and is “one of the brightest minds in football”. So, he has a brilliant defensive mind, the fire to take over a defense, a history of winning, and a genuine love for the Giants and their tradition, why would you not hire Pepper Johnson to give the Giants D its claws back? This a guy who could become the Giants head coach in a couple years.
One important thing to note is the popularity of the 3-4 defense in this modern era of football. The Giants do not at present have the personnel to run it full-time, and I think it would be a mistake to switch to it anything other than as an intermittent package for specific situations. Give the guy a couple good free agent additions, a solid young draft class, and he can work wonders for this defense. Bill Sheridan pissed all over our tradition, and Pepper is the man to bring it back. The other options, despite having experience running a defense, didn’t run good defenses. One could make the case for Perry Fewell, but Coughlin’s arse is in the hot seat fire right now, so do we really want to bring in ‘his’ guys right now? Dick Jauron? Hell no. Dom Capers should be considered but he's in a good situation in Green Bay right now, and he also runs the 3-4. The pick is Pepper. He may not be what Coughlin wants but he'll be what's best for the Giants long and short term.
Also, please stop considering hiring Romeo Crennell, do not hire Bob Sutton, but pull Mike Trgovac from Green Bay if you can for D-Line coach. There’s your insurance plan.