There is a great deal of surprise being expressed over this afternoon's firing by the New York Giants of defensive line coach Mike Waufle.
Mike Garafolo, Ernie Palladino and Ralph Vacchiano have all expressed varying degrees of surprise that Waufle was the first assistant coach kicked to the curb following the dismissal of defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan.
Allow me to be contrarian here for a minute. When I think about it, this move is not surprising at all. In fact, it is the perfect "the status quo is unacceptable" decision by head coach Tom Coughlin.
As many of the reports I have read today have indicated, Waufle is tremendously popular with both current and former players he has worked with. He is also good at his job -- good enough that some thought he deserved consideration to be Sheridan's replacement instead of being kicked out along with him.
That is why this move makes sense. It is less of a slap at Waufle, who is a good coach, than it is at the players who let him down. Now Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and the rest of the Giants defensive lineman have to look themselves in the mirror and accept that their performance -- or lack thereof -- has sent a coach they loved playing for to the unemployment line.
If they are upset about it, so be it. I think Coughlin wants them that way. The fact that Waufle does not have a job this evening is not his fault. It is theirs.