Giants Name Bill Sheridan New Defensive Coordinator: The Giants yesterday named Bill Sheridan the team’s new defensive coordinator, replacing Steve Spagnuolo who was hired by the Rams on Saturday. Sheridan has served as the Giants’ linebackers coach since 2005, serving two years under Spagnuolo and two years under his predecessor, Tim Lewis.
It is believed that Spagnuolo wanted to hire Sheridan as his defensive coordinator with the Rams.
“Bill is a very good football coach,” Coughlin said. “He does an excellent job of teaching, of reinforcing what we aspire to be with our defensive team. He’s coached our linebackers, he’s given a big assist to Steve in all that he has done. As a linebackers coach, you’re a central figure in the spoke, because you’re involved in the coordination of the front and the linebackers and then the back seven. He has done a good job of encompassing the entire defense and grasping the aggressive style.”
“Obviously, I’m thrilled,” Sheridan said. “I’m humbled but very, very excited and anxious to get going. I’ve prepared my entire career for this opportunity. I owe this to Tom Coughlin and Steve Spagnulo and the rest of the defensive staff – (Defensive Backs/Cornerbacks Coach) Peter Giunta, (Defensive Line Coach) Mike Waufle, (Defensive Backs/Safeties Coach) Dave Merritt, and (Defensive Quality Control Coach) Andre Curtis. This is nothing more than a reflection of the success we’ve had here.”
According to the Giants’ press release, Sheridan said he will keep Spagnuolo’s defensive system in place but will modify it according to his preferences and his players’ strengths.
“I’m sure, as much as anything, that’s Tom’s motivation for promoting from within, whether it was me or Peter Giunta – to keep the defense in place,” Sheridan said. “It’s obviously a proven, excellent system that Steve brought from Philadelphia. You’re obviously going to have a slightly different tint to it, because you have a different coordinator and will get different input from whoever Tom brings in from outside to complete the staff. But the system is in place and there’s a tremendous comfort level with the players.”
“We have good personnel,” Sheridan said. “Every team in the league has needs and we’re in the process of identifying those as we go into free agency. But there is no doubt we have an excellent returning nucleus, as we have had here. That is one thing (General Manager) Jerry Reese and the personnel department have done – we have gotten players, especially in the draft. We have excellent young players on defense.”
Sheridan said he learned much from Spagnuolo in their two years together. “Not just the scheme itself – the fundamentals of the scheme itself and the pressure package,” Sheridan said. “I think Steve did a great job of looking at our defense as our opponents did, with a self-scout mentality. He was always trying to be one step ahead with regard to how we were being viewed by our opponents.”
The Giants said in a press release that Coughlin interviewed both Sheridan and Giunta on Sunday. Both coaches were informed of Coughin’s decision yesterday morning.
“Both were very good,” Coughlin said. “Peter has been a coordinator before. I just felt in my gut that Bill would be the right choice. My questions to the two candidates were: ‘How do we get better? Where do we go from here?’ Both had very good answers, very solid, aggressive, going forward-type answers. And that’s the message that I want. The message that goes out there is we do have the New York Giant defense, we will play the New York Giant defense, we will recognize our players and our coaches that have attained a couple years of good, solid play here. And our intentions going forward are that we improve and be better. We’re excited about the opportunity to get this group together again and add some other players to the group and to improve.”
“We won 26 games here in the last two years,” Coughlin said. “Despite the fact that we’re all miserable, there is an inclination when that happens that you would stay within. Continuity is important to me, but the strength of staff is important, too. We’ve lost Steve, our coordinator, but it takes many, many people to be successful and to function properly. Of course, all the coaches on the defensive side of the ball did an outstanding job in working together. They worked very well together. There was great harmony on that side of the ball. I want to keep that, I want to keep the continuity, I want the players to know that the fact they have performed to a high level the last two years is, in a way, being rewarded. One of the coaches from the staff has been elevated to the coordinator’s role and the terminology will stay the same.”
“It’s good to know that there will not be many changes,” said LB Antonio Pierce. “Bill is a hard worker and is very familiar with the defense. Obviously, we did great things on defense over the last two seasons, and I am looking forward to what Bill will bring as defensive coordinator.”
“Coach Sheridan has been very in tune to everything we’ve done on defense over that last two seasons,” said DT Fred Robbins. “He should have no problem adjusting to his new role as defensive coordinator. It’s good that we will not have to start this whole defense over. We’ve been in it for two seasons and we’ve had success, we all know the system and it will be good to continue to work in it.”
“Coach Sheridan is a very knowledgeable football guy,” said DE Justin Tuck. “He’s a quality coach. It’s good that we kept it in-house so we can continue to improve on a successful defense. I’m very excited to see what coach Sheridan will do in his new role.”
Packers Out-Bid Giants for Capers?: According to ESPN.com, Head Coach Tom Coughlin targeted Patriots’ Special Assistant/Secondary Coach Dom Capers as his next defensive coordinator. Capers had served as Coughlin’s defensive coordinator in Jacksonville for two years. ESPN.com says Capers chose the Packers when Giants’ ownership hesitated over Caper’s salary demands.
However, The Daily News is reporting that Capers was never a favorite for the Giants’ position. The paper says Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s preference was to pick an in-house candidate.
Search Begins for New Linebackers Coach: With Bill Sheridan being promoted, the Giants will begin searching for a new linebackers coach.
“I’m now going to begin to find the best coach,” Coughlin said. “If it happens to be a linebackers coach, fine. We’ll progress that way and try to find the best coach. My position is always to strengthen. That’s my whole goal, to strengthen. The philosophy that I’ve always operated by, and it was developed a long, long time ago, is you do have to have a chain of command, so the process does work efficiently. But every guy, no matter what his job is, has to be doing it to the best of his ability and the players that he coaches have to play to the best of their ability in order for us to be successful. So for me, it’s the idea of strengthening, always trying to be aware of the people you have in place and how best can another coach suit the group that’s presently here, but add to us and help us be a better staff and a better team.”
Potential candidates include Giants’ Defensive Backs/Safeties Coach David Merritt and Giants’ Defensive Quality Control Coach Andre Curtis. The Star-Ledger is reporting that two unidentified sources say that Jessie Armstead, who serves as a special assistant/consultant to the coaching staff, is not a candidate.