While we rev up the engines for the Redskins' coaching "search" next week, we should also keep an eye on the Giants' defensive coordinator position. Head coach Tom Coughlin has defended Bill Sheridan at times this season, but he can't be happy with the first-year coordinator's results. On Thursday afternoon, Sheridan may have addressed reporters for the final time as Giants defensive coordinator. Asked about his shaky job status, Sheridan provided this response:
"I'm not concerned about it," Sheridan said. "I know you guys are very concerned about it, but I'm not concerned about it. You guys do a great job of being concerned about it, but I'm not."
This is either the most focused guy in the league or Sheridan has attended the Jim Zorn school of denial. There's no doubt that Sheridan's job is in serious jeopardy. You can certainly give him the benefit of the doubt on the injury to talented safety Kenny Phillips and the late-season loss of linebacker Antonio Pierce. But there's no good reason for why some of the most feared pass-rushers in the game came up empty for much of the season. A secondary comprised of men such as C.C. Brown, Aaron Rouse and Bruce Johnson was torched, in part, because Pro Bowlers Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck couldn't get to the quarterback. And almost as disturbing, the Giants were gashed in the running game by the Cowboys, Eagles and Panthers. This is suddenly a defense without an identity -- and someone will have to pay the price.
Sheridan was asked Thursday what he would say to Coughlin if the head coach asks him why he should keep his job:
“The same reason why he gave me the job, because he thinks I’m competent and do a conscientious, diligent job,” Sheridan said. “That’s what I told him when I interviewed for it before. I said, ‘To me the most important thing is competence, that you can give [the players] a plan on a weekly basis that will put them in the best position to defend and beat your opponent. That’s why he gave me the job. And if he’s evaluated I’m still competent in that area, that’s what I would tell him."
Sheridan has said that he "absolutely" thinks he'll return as the team's defensive coordinator. Again, he's either living in denial or Coughlin has privately assured him that his job is secure. I highly doubt the latter part of that statement.