Giants fire defensive coordinator Sheridan

Posted Jan. 04, 2010 @ 6:26 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Owner John Mara said head coach Tom Coughlin and GM Jerry Reese were safe Monday but promised changes in the organization.

The first one apparently is the ouster of defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan.

Handpicked by Coughlin to replace Steve Spagnuolo, Sheridan and the Giants' defense were major disappointments this season, allowing 427 points despite talent and depth across the board. Only the Rams and Lions allowed more points this season.

Sheridan had coached the team's linebackers for four years prior to being named coordinator before this season. The units dealt with injuries at several positions, including linebacker, but the entire group sorely underachieved.

Mara spoke to the media Monday about the lack of fight from his team down the stretch and not just the shortcomings on defense.

"I don't think it matters what of side of the ball," Mara said. "What disappointed me the most was the just the lack of physical and mental toughness. Even in the game against Carolina, we go down the field — we get the touchdown called back with the penalty. We fumble the ball and it is like we collapsed."

Interestingly, Reese appeared to stand up for Sheridan a bit in his meeting with the media when talking about how he and Coughlin would evaluate the staff.

"Bill Sheridan has been hammered by everybody it seems like," Reese said. "But Bill can't go out there and make a tackle. When three or four guys have got a guy in the backfield stopped for a play and nobody tackles him, that is not Bill Sheridan's fault.

"So you have to evaluate the whole body of work from our good games to the bad games. You don't just pick a couple of games. You don't pick the last two games and just evaluate the last two games. You evaluate the entire body of work, and that is what we will do."

When Coughlin met with the media today, he said the team was in the midst of the evaluation process and that the staff hadn't had time to sit and discuss anything. But later in the afternoon, a decision to let Sheridan go had been made.

Coughlin said earlier in December after a 45-38 loss to the Eagles that he gave support to Sheridan. But following the Giants' final two losses of the season, 41-9 to the Panthers and 44-7 to the Vikings on Sunday, there apparently was no question that the team was going to make a change.


PFW has launched its brand-new NFL Draft Newsletter series, with the second issue now ready for mailing. Produced by PFW's player personnel department under the direction of Nolan Nawrocki, the series consists of four information-packed issues. For more info or to subscribe — click here for PDF e-pub or here for print format.