There's a better than even shot that defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan will be gone within the next week or so, perhaps in just a few days. The Giants tend to give things like this time to let the emotions of the season settle and then make their moves.
But the words of Justin Tuck at "Baggie Day" today, when the players meet for the last time before scattering until the offseason weight and conditioning program begins, might herald the end of the rookie defensive coordinator.
"Change is always tough," Tuck said. "I don’t want to get into anything about he said, she said, as far as what is going to happen with our coordinator. If they do decide to make a change or whatever it may be, that would be difficult because obviously it is another person to get used to, maybe, possibly another scheme. It’s part of the NFL, we understand that if not the biggest, one of the biggest businesses in the world.
"Obviously, everybody is held to a higher standard, especially here. We expect to be in the running for a championship every year. When that doesn’t happen, you’ve got to look at yourself and look at the people around you. I am speaking as far as staff. You make a decision for whatever it may be, we will deal with it when the time comes."
That may not be far off. Even Tom Coughlin was reticent about commiting to Sheridan, as he had last week. When asked again whether Sheridan was his defensive coordinator, he responded, "Everything is under review." But according to Coughlin, the decision to launch, keep, or demote Sheridan will lie with him and not with general manager Jerry Reese.
Meanwhile, Tuck was left embarrassed by the year's defensive showing, an effort that included five games of 40 or more points, the second-highest points allowance of 427 points since the franchise record 501 in 1966, and the final two no-shows.
"I know defensively this was probably one of the worst feelings I have had in my five years now of being part of this defense," Tuck said. "You look up in this facility of all the names that flow above us and see all the great defensive players and know the great defenses that they have been a part of. We all strive to be like that and we all want to leave a legacy here that says I was part of that 2010 defense that carried this football team to a world championship.
"If I was going to transfer anything from those teams, it would just be how we approach playing defense. I didn’t see the swagger that we had from previous years this year especially after the New Orleans loss. The first five games I think we played pretty good on defense but after those first five, I don’t know if we started feeling ourselves more than we should have or if we thought we were better than what we were. But we didn’t play that quality of defense that we have come accustomed to."
Of course, a player's perception of what went wrong could be totally different than reality. For instance, Tuck said he didn't see anyone quitting the last two games. One gets the idea that perhaps the doctors have already started him on the anethesia he'll get later this week for the operation on his torn left labrum.
"You try to reflect back and look and see where things might have gone wrong or if I had done this or if we would have done this or this decision cost us or whatever it might be. The fact of the matter is we just didn’t get the job done the last 11weeks and like I said we have the whole offseason to look back and reflect back and think about what we could have done differently.
"It’s funny, I listen to a lot of people and listen to a lot of things people say. A couple days ago somebody told me sometimes you have to fall all the way down or go all the way back to start going forward. I use the analogy of shooting a bow and arrow. If you ever pull a bow back and pull it halfway, the arrow doesn’t go as far as it can. If you pull it all the way back, that arrow flies for days if you shoot it the right way.
"I am encouraged with that fact that I don’t think anybody quit, I don’t think anybody is not embarrassed about it. If you weren’t embarrassed about how we played, that is when I worry about you and think people don’t care. I talked to some guys, talked to some coaches and guys are really embarrassed about it and I am actually glad they are because you should be."
Change is coming. It's just a matter of when.