COACHES
Bill Sheridan
Linebackers

Biography

Bill Sheridan took over the Lions linebacker corps in 2014 after serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator for two seasons (2012-13), and returns for his fourth season in Detroit in 2017. A Detroit native and former assistant coach at Royal Oak’s Shrine High School (1981-84), Sheridan’s scope of defensive coaching history extends deep into the NFL and college ranks. He has held positions as a linebackers coach with the New York Giants (2005-08) and Miami Dolphins (2010-11) and was also the Giants defensive coordinator in 2009. He was a member of the Giants’ championship run in Super Bowl XLII when they defeated New England, 17-14.

Bill Sheridan took over the Lions linebacker corps in 2014 after serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator for two seasons (2012-13), and returns for his fourth season in Detroit in 2017. A Detroit native and former assistant coach at Royal Oak’s Shrine High School (1981-84), Sheridan’s scope of defensive coaching history extends deep into the NFL and college ranks. He has held positions as a linebackers coach with the New York Giants (2005-08) and Miami Dolphins (2010-11) and was also the Giants defensive coordinator in 2009. He was a member of the Giants’ championship run in Super Bowl XLII when they defeated New England, 17-14.

SHERIDAN’S COACHING HIGHLIGHTS

2016: Sheridan’s third season leading the Lions linebackers saw the emergence of LB Tahir Whitehead, as he finished the season with a team-leading 132 total tackles (99 solo), marking the first time in his career that he eclipsed 100 total tackles in a season.

  • Whitehead became the first Lions linebacker since 1994 (11th time overall) to register 130+ tackles in a single season.
  • The team’s fifth-round (169 overall) draft selection in 2016, rookie LB Antwione Williams appeared in 14 games (three starts) in his first NFL season. He finished with 20 total tackles (12 solo) and one fumble recovery, as well as seven special teams tackles.

2015: With the Lions losing LB DeAndre Levy to injury for the 2015 season, Sheridan developed LB Josh Bynes into a consistent starter alongside Whitehead and fellow veteran LB Stephen Tulloch. Bynes finished second on the team it total tackles with 80.

  • Bynes’ 80 total tackles in 2015 marked a career high for the fourth-year linebacker, as he also recorded a career high in pass defenses (five) and the first sack statistic of his career (0.5).
  • Whitehead recorded an interception (Week 17 at Chicago) for the second consecutive season after picking off two passes in 2014.

2014: In his first season leading the position group in 2014, Sheridan guided Levy to his first Associated Press All-Pro nomination (Second Team) and also developed Whitehead into a force at the middle linebacker position. Levy was also named an alternate for the 2015 Pro Bowl.

  • Levy’s 117 solo tackles led the entire NFL, and his 151 total tackles were a close second behind only Panthers LB Luke Kuechly’s 153.
  • After not recording a single tackle outside of special teams in his first two NFL seasons, Whitehead thrived at the middle linebacker position under Sheridan for injured LB Stephen Tulloch and emerged onto the scene in 2014 to finish the season second on the team in tackles with 77 (55 solo). Also recorded his first-two-career interceptions (both vs. Minnesota) and had five pass defenses.

Sheridan’s presence in Tampa Bay was felt immediately as he helped the Buccaneers’ run defense go from last to first in the NFL as the defense went from holding opponents to 156.1 yards per game to 82.5 per game. The Bucs also led the League in opponent negative plays and tackles for loss in 2012. In 2013, Sheridan’s defense finished tied for third in total takeaways with 31 (10 FF, 21 INT).

With a knack for developing young defensive talent, Sheridan was instrumental in the rise of Buccaneers LB Lavonte David and DT Gerald McCoy over his two seasons. David finished the 2013 season tied for fifth in the NFL with a career-high five interceptions and was one of only two linebackers in the NFL to record at least five picks, while McCoy ranked fourth in sacks among defensive tackles with 9.5. McCoy was named to his second-consecutive Pro Bowl and both players were named AP First Team All-Pro in 2013. Sheridan also played a key role in the revival of veteran CB Darrelle Revis, who returned from injury to earn a fifth Pro Bowl nod in his first season with the Buccaneers.

As the Dolphins linebackers coach from 2010-11, Sheridan led a fierce group in the likes of Cameron Wake, Jason Taylor, Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett. Wake’s 14 sacks in 2010 ranked third in the NFL and are the eighth-most in Dolphins history.

Prior to his stint in Miami, Sheridan spent five seasons with the New York Giants as linebackers coach (2005-08) and defensive coordinator (2009). He helped mold LB Antonio Pierce into a Pro Bowler and leader of the 2007 Super Bowl championship defensive unit.

Sheridan’s coaching career began in 1981 at Shrine (Mich.) High School in Royal Oak where he worked for four seasons as an assistant coach. After completing a graduate assistant position at Michigan from 1985-86, he went on to hold assistant coaching positions at Maine (1987-88), Cincinnati (1989-91), Army (1992-97), Michigan State (1998-2000), Notre Dame (2001) and Michigan (2002-04).

Sheridan is a native of Detroit, Mich. He attended De La Salle High School and later earned four letters as a linebacker at Grand Valley State. He and his wife, Jaycine, have four children: Joe, Nick, Mark and Natalie.

 

SHERIDAN’S COACHING BACKGROUND

Detroit Lions................................................................ 2014-

      Linebackers............................................................. 2014-

Tampa Bay Buccaneers.............................................. 2012-13

      Defensive Coordinator............................................. 2012-13

Miami Dolphins............................................................ 2010-11

      Linebackers............................................................. 2010-11

New York Giants.......................................................... 2005-09

      Defensive Coordinator............................................. 2009

      Linebackers............................................................. 2005-08

Michigan....................................................................... 2002-04

      Defensive Line......................................................... 2003-04

      Linebackers............................................................. 2002

Notre Dame.................................................................. 2001

      Safeties/Special Teams .......................................... 2001

Michigan State............................................................. 1998-2000

      Linebackers............................................................. 1998-2000

Army............................................................................. 1992-97

      Defensive Backs..................................................... 1996-97

      Linebackers............................................................ 1992-95

Cincinnati.................................................................... 1989-91

      Linebackers............................................................ 1989-91

Maine............................................................................ 1987-88

      Linebackers............................................................ 1987-88

Michigan...................................................................... 1985-86

      Graduate Assistant................................................. 1985-86

Shrine (Mich.) High School........................................ 1981-84

      Assistant Coach...................................................... 1981-84

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