Shortly after Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese said they would evaluate Sheridan's role on the coaching staff, Giants president and CEO John Mara said "the status quo is not acceptable on any level" and said that a lack of changes on the staff would be "a tough one to swallow."
That apparently was enough of an edict for an immediate decision on Sheridan to be made. The rest of the defensive coaching staff remains in place for now, but with a new coordinator coming in, that likely will change.
The Giants had one of the top defenses in the NFL the previous two seasons under coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. This year, with Sheridan at the top and the addition of some high-priced free agents on defense, the Giants sunk to depths that even Sheridan himself described as unimaginable last week.
They allowed 427 points this season, second-most in franchise history, and third-most in the league. Only the lowly Lions and Rams allowed more than the Giants, who let up 40 or more points in five games.
Sheridan's relationship with some of the veteran players on the team likely also cost him. He and defensive end Osi Umenyiora have not seen eye to eye since Umenyiora's brief walkout at the beginning of the year. And though some respected Sheridan for not backing down to Umenyiora - Barry Cofield hinted at that after Sunday's loss to the Vikings - it was clearly an unworkable situation.
Coughlin allowed for input from Reese and ownership, but ultimately called the fate of Sheridan and all the coaches "my decision." Reese said: "We like coach Coughlin to have his call on the people he would like to bring in on his coaching staff."
Mara seemed content with that . . . just so long as changes are made.
"Tom's going to talk to his coaches and he and Jerry will meet and I'll be meeting with them," he said. "We don't have any formal procedure. There'll be a lot of discussion, though, over the next couple of weeks."
The Giants will have to fill the spot in the coming weeks, and after promoting Sheridan from linebackers coach a year ago, a source said the Giants will not stay within the organization on this hire. One name that has been mentioned often is Dick Jauron, the recently fired coach of the Bills who was a defensive coordinator under Coughlin in Jacksonville. Other potential candidates include former Saints coach Jim Haslett and longtime Redskins assistant and current linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti. The Redskins' staff, with the firing of coach Jim Zorn Monday, is in flux.
The move is obviously not unexpected as Giants defensive players braced themselves for such a vacancy.
"Change is always tough," Justin Tuck said earlier in the day before a decision on Sheridan was announced. "If they decide to make a change or whatever it may be, that would be difficult because obviously, it's another person to get used to, possibly another scheme."