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Continuing Where Spagnuolo Left Off:



From SportingNews.Com

Here are some ways the Giants and Sheridan have tried to ensure the success of Spagnuolo will, indeed, trickle down from one man’s whistle to the next:

Getting the players. Last year, a rash of injuries finally caught up to the New York defense in December. Pro Bowler Osi Umenyiora was lost in preseason, and end Justin Tuck and tackles Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins had to fight through health issues.

The answer, for G.M. Jerry Reese, was simply to get deeper at already deep spots—which is why Bernard and former Cowboy Chris Canty were added up front. Now, the club can be confident that its biggest strength will continue to be one, even if the injury bug bites. For that, Sheridan is grateful.

“You don’t look at our roster and think, ‘Oh, my gosh, they don’t have personnel,’ ” Sheridan said. “We have good players. We have players at every position. Some are better than others. Some are the tops at their position in the NFC. I never go out on the practice field or sit and look at our roster and think, ‘Geez, we really don’t have a good player at this position or that position.’ ”

Focusing on fundamentals. As much as Sheridan will inherit tactics incorporated by Spagnuolo, he espouses principles absorbed from 28 years of coaching. And he’s going to make sure his players are grounded in those fundamentals.

“It’s basic principles of play in regards to forcing across the line of scrimmage, or having vision on the quarterback when you’re in zone coverage to break on the ball,” he said. “They’re technical core beliefs.”

Building on the foundation. After two years of observing the Spagnuolo scheme, opponents have an idea how it works with the Giants’ personnel. So the challenge for the Giants is keeping offenses on their toes, and Sheridan says he and his coaches are working to do that.

“Tom Coughlin does a great job of insisting the coaches do what we call ‘research projects,’ ” Sheridan said.

“We study other defenses in the league and, inevitably, you’ll come up with a bunch of other ideas. You can’t incorporate them all. There’s not enough snaps in a game to run them all. But you do get ideas.”

The overarching one in New York is simply to keep a good thing going.

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