Back in 2006, with his team desperate for a win to reach the playoffs and seemingly fractured on offense, Tom Coughlin made the bold decision to relieve offensive coordinator John Hufnagel of his duties with one game remaining. He gave the job to Kevin Gilbride.
We know what happened. The Giants made the playoffs. The next year they won the Super Bowl.
Does Coughlin need to do the same thing with his defense right now? It's painfully obvious rookie defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan has not been up to the task. Would it help to remove Sheridan right now and replace him with someone like defensive backs coach Peter Giunta or defensive line coach Mike Waufle?
Does Coughlin, who has more security now than he did back in 2006, even feel the same urgency he did at the time. His job was hanging by a thread, remember. Now, he is here pretty much as long as he wants to be.
Here is how Peter King put it today.
I'd be shocked if Tom Coughlin didn't rip up his defensive staff after the season, or at least replace defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan. Results-oriented business. Giants are 2-6 in their past eight. Allowed 32 points a game in those eight outings. He has to do something.
NewJersey.com columnist Steve Politi delved a little deeper.
The Giants built a championship team on a blitzing, opportunistic unit that once sacked Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb 12 times in a game.
They didn’t breathe on McNabb most plays Sunday night. This defense has most of the same players as that defense, and it already has given up more than 30 points five times this season — the most at any point in the decade.
This defense has allowed 40 or more points in three games this season, the first time that’s happened in the 33-year history of Giants Stadium. They might be closing the place.
But this isn’t a Giants defense.
"I don’t think it’s a lack of effort," Umenyiora said. "We’re fighting. But for some reason, when it comes time to make a play, we don’t. We need to focus on getting our football right."
If the fortunes do not change dramatically in the final three weeks, the end result will be Sheridan losing his job. This unit has too much talent to be exposed this badly, week after the week. How many times have the Giants had a gut-check moment this season and failed to get the key stop?
"It’s always something, it seems like," said Umenyiora, who registered the only sack for the home team. "Today it was the big play. It’s ridiculous. We have to find a way to play better."
So, when does Sheridan go? Now, or later?