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Bill Sheridan's hiring is hard to justify

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made it official now: Bill Sheridan is indeed their new defensive coordinator. According to Adam Caplan, he has signed a two-year agreement, which would make his room for error not all that great. And that's a good thing, because there's not a lot of reason to suspect he'll do well in Tampa.

As a linebackers coach he has had a decent but not spectacular career. The New York Giants defense was never renowned for its linebackers while Sheridan coached them, although he has certainly done a good job with the Miami Dolphins' linebackers the past two years. His one year as defensive coordinator for the New York Giants is very concerning, however. He took over that defense after Steve Spagnuolo left following the 2008 season.

In 2008, the New York Giants had the 8th ranked defense by Football Outsiders numbers. When Sheridan took over they plummeted to 21st, while they vaulted back up to third place as soon as he left. That's not exactly encouraging, and New York Giants fans certainly don't think he's very good at his job, to put it mildly.

There are two reasons to be a little more hopeful, though: Greg Schiano and Butch Davis are likely to have a big say on the defense. The second reason: the Bucs confirmed the hiring of Bryan Cox, who should at least bring a nasty attitude to that defense, if nothing else.