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Sheridan on Osi: "He hasn't slipped at all"

Osi Umenyiora says he loves the Giants, but

Osi Umenyiora says he loves the Giants, but he doesn't want to be just a role player. Photo Credit: David Pokress

We spoke with Bill Sheridan today, and without getting too political, most of his press conference felt like it could have taken place on an aircraft carrier with a "Mission Accomplished" banner in the background because he kept talking about how "competent" he is and how "honorable" the defense has been this year. He even came close to throwing in a "stay the course" reference for good measure.

“Right, wrong or indifferent we followed our plan," he said. "At least we’ll get credit for that.”

But he was also asked about Osi Umenyiora and his assertions of a day earlier that he'd like to be back with the Giants but only as a starter who gets starter's reps.

"I don’t think he's slipped at all," Sheridan said of the defensive end who he benched from the starting lineup and demoted to a part-time player with just over a dozen snaps in the 41-9 loss to the Panthers on Sunday. "He's more than capable of being a fulltime player."

So why isn't he?

"With the depth we had at the defensive line, it was already predetermined that we were going to be rotating guys and nobody was going to be playing more than 30 or 40 snaps a game," Sheridan said. "I know in the latter part of the season his reps have fallen off, but it’s in no way, shape or form a reflection of his ability or his performance. Sometimes that’s just how the rotation works out if you’re trying to work guys in to a certain series or a certain down and distance. You come in on a Monday and you find out, Jeez, this guy only played 20 snaps. In your mind he was going to be playing 30 or 35."

"Going in, with the depth we had at d-line, we planed on playing them all and rotating them," Sheridan continued. "Osi hasn’t slipped in any way, shape or form. He’s an excellent football player."

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