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Giants Q&A: Is this it for Sheridan?

Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, left, Danny Cclark

Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, left, Danny Cclark and Antonio Pierce catch their breath as the Chargers move down the field. Credit: David Pokress

Bye-bye Bill?

Probably. The Giants likely will relieve Bill Sheridan of his duties as defensive coordinator after one very long (and ultimately too short) season at the helm. “We know that changes are coming up here,” defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said, referring to both the players and the coaching staff.

“Obviously, there are going to be changes made in different forms,” defensive tackle Barry Cofield agreed. “We have to come out and be a new-look defense because this year was a disaster.”

Is everyone on board?

It sounds as if Sheridan has a few supporters in the locker room. Kiwanuka cited the long list of injured defensive players as one of the more glaring reasons for the collapse. And Cofield said he “saw a lot of good things from him” and liked his “intangibles.”

Such as?

Cofield cited Sheridan’s intelligence and game plans, and also the way he handled some difficult situations in the locker room. “I think he showed a lot of heart to stand up to some of the guys we have on this team, some of the guys who are intimidating and well-established players,” Cofield said, an apparent reference to Sheridan’s friction with Osi Umenyiora (who left without comment after yesterday’s game). “He wasn’t run over by anybody. I think those are things that he should be given credit for. Everything’s not his fault.”

Is Tom Coughlin’s job in jeopardy?

Probably not, but after the way the team played the last two games, he’s certainly not as invincible as he was only a few weeks ago. Certainly not as invincible as when he hired Sheridan a year ago. And his “blame me” comments after the game will do little to help. It’s unlikely that the Giants will consider dumping him, but he’s not as untouchable as before.

What happened to playing for pride?

The Giants talked all week about the importance of ending the season on a positive note. “I thought we had that opportunity,” Eli Manning said. Unfortunately for momentum, the opportunity was lost pretty early.

“I think a lot of times when you are a team that has been successful and you get into a game that doesn’t mean anything, you don’t know how to respond,” Cofield said. “That’s how we looked. Even though coach Coughlin told us how we needed to respond and everyone collected their checks and practiced this week, guys didn’t really show up, and that’s unacceptable.”

Anything positive come out of this?

Well, Manning stayed in the game, and he not only did not get injured but eclipsed 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career, finishing with 4,021. And Steve Smith became the first Giant or Jet to reach 100 catches in a season, making 10 receptions for a total of 107. That ought to hold you over until September.

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