Bill Sheridan could not escape questions about his failed 2009 stint as New York Giants defensive coordinator on Tuesday when he was introduced for that same job by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Sheridan used the injury crutch and said he thought he simplified the defense too much.
"In an attempt to help some of the new players we were bringing in and working with, and some of them were free agents that were on the street and we ended up having to bring them in and they played in our lineup at the end of the year, I think we tried to be very simple for them," Sheridan told the Tampa Bay Times. "But in hindsight, I think we may have been guilty of maybe being too simple. Because again, it's great for your own players that you present to them a simplistic scheme that they can execute on Sunday, but you're also not posing enough issues for the teams you play against. You're not giving them enough problems."
That Giants defense surrendered more than 40 points an embarrassing five times, and placed 30th in the NFL while giving up 427 points. Are you buying Sheridan's reasoning? In 2008 the Giants defense was fifth in the league overall and gave up only 294 points.
I can't fully buy into Sheridan's argument. Part of the problem was also that Sheridan seemed incapable of providing leadership and of really getting the message across so all the defensive players understood what he wanted. I can remember times that year where Sheridan defended himself by arguing that he knew what calls to make.
Motivating a defense and getting everyone to understand what you want is also part of the job, though. For me, it seemed like that is where Sheridan did not measure up.
Will that change in Tampa Bay three seasons removed from the Giants debacle? It seems like Sheridan believes his job in Tampa Bay will be to simply run head coach Greg Schiano's defense, not orchestrate his own.
Maybe Sheridan can do that. Or, maybe Sheridan's hiring is an example of the Buccaneers having a hard time hiring top-notch assistants for Schiano, the former Rutgers coach who was a shocking selection for the Tampa Bay head coaching job.
I guess only time will tell.