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I think I see the problem here….

Questions posed to Kevin Gilbride today after practice:

Q. Were you disappointed with the rushing game last week?

A. Well, we always like to think that we are going to run the ball. As long as we are doing what we need to do to move the ball. I thought we threw the ball exceptionally well. That was the saving grace. I try to express in a way that is cogent enough for everybody, what you do defensively will determine what we should be able to do. They gave us opportunities to throw the ball and basically challenged our young receivers. Our young receivers responded beautifully. I was very, very proud of the way they stepped up and made the plays they did. Of course, the quarterback played well. All in all, it allowed us to do what we had to do, which was take control of the game right from the outset. The offense did a terrific job of doing that. The thing that was disappointing was that we got down there three times and didn’t put it in the end zone. That is an area that we have to get better. Especially disappointing, it wasn’t like it was third and eight or third and seven, it was third and one. You have to be able to get that yard.

Q. Tom said you guys emphasized that a lot about the red zone?

A. That had nothing to do with red zone, that is all short yardage. It’s not red zone at all, it is all short yardage. We would do the same exact plays that we would have done on the fifty-yard line, the thirty-yard line, or backed up on our twenty. It all comes down to third and one, fourth and one, you have to make it go.

Ok, first of all it had EVERYTHING to do with the Red Zone. The Giants are unbelievably good at keeping drives alive by running the football, it goes without saying. On the 50 yard line they pick up those first downs all the time!

The problem more accurately, Coach Gilbride, is those short yardages were IN THE RED ZONE. And the problem falls squarely on you because of what you said in the preceding paragraph — you have to read the defense and determine the best play call from there. Afterall, they are reading YOU too. So why the lack of success? Because you have foolishly and blindly committed to running in that situation no matter what, the defense knew that you were going to run it… they stopped you because they are 100% prepared for what you are going to do, and they have no reason to think that you will pass the ball instead!

Check this out — 0/3 last week in short yardage Redzone’s. The Redskins stacked all 11 guys in the box to stop the run… you ran it every time.

Last year in Pittsburgh — 1/6 in short yardage Redzone situations. How did they eventually get in? Eli passed the ball.

Last year in Baltimore — Bradshaw took it down to the 2 yard line on a 77 yard run…. the Giants came away with a field goal. Why? Once again they tried to run it in stubbornly. Contrast it to earlier in the game on the 1 yard line, run, run, pass = touchdown to TE Darcy Johnson. Mixing it up works wonders.

I seriously hope that you take your own advice this Sunday, Coach. Read what the defense is giving you and figure out a creative way to get around it for a score — not stubbornly try to run through the problem 100% of the time.

Full transcript can be seen here


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2 Responses to “I think I see the problem here….”

  1. buljos says:

    As a displaced New Yorker in San Diego (for the past 12 years) who grew up devoted to the Giants and still can not miss a game, my first exposure to Kevin Gilbride’s stubbornness was amplified by local press coverage here as the Chargers’ head coach. I readily admit coach Gilbride is not that same coach, but he still can manage to exhibit a lack of creativity just when you’d think that’s just what the situation warrants. Maybe it’s because he’s afraid of taking a chance with his career… after all, it takes some guts to do the unexpected… if Zorn’s fake FG was stopped last week, he’d be under a lot more fire than he is today for that loss. But he put his skin in the game, along with the rest of the team, and took the Giants completely by surprise. But Zorn didn’t rise up through the coaching ranks to be Head Coach, and then back down all the way to position coach, and then all the way back up to coordinator — just one more promotion from having his own team again. So maybe Gilbride isn’t ready to lay it out there by doing the unexpected with the possibility that it fail, and the Giants lose, and Coughlin relieves him of his coordinator duties… and back down the coaching ranks he goes again. But ya know what Kevin… you can’t put your livelihood above the Giants and the players who have dedicated so much to the team. Take the shot… every now and then, do the unexpected… be slightly unpredictable… make em hesitate just a half step. You won’t become a head coach again by doing everything by the book and always going with what the book dictates is called for… or, if you don’t have the stomach for it, let Eli audible. He seems to have the stones for it.

  2. @buljos – you said

    “So maybe Gilbride isn’t ready to lay it out there by doing the unexpected with the possibility that it fail, and the Giants lose”

    I agree that taking foolish chances at times don’t work out and you look bad. i.e. the direct snap to Ward in the loss to the Eagles last season. it was bad, it didnt work — i hate that play call in general.

    reverse that thinking and you have just as big a problem — doing what EVERYONE knows what is expected and you come up short repeatedly because of it… obviously setting up to run, and then running.

    Is it overthinking it or underthinking it? ‘Hey you know, if I RUN again, no one will expect that’.

    And let me say this about Zorn — the guy can’t do the basics right yet. The fake field goal was a good call in part because it worked and it took vision to see that no one expected that attempt… but the guy cannot corral his first team offense to score points. the Giants do the fundamentals well — but the over reliance on the run and telegraphing that play call is the issue. it’s not wanting the Giants to get totally away from what they fundamentally do well… it’s establishing a portfolio of options in scoring situations. If you only run and show that you are committing to only run, aren’t you slighting your receivers by doing that? Aren’t you throwing away opportunities to create confusion and show that you can get in the endzone in more than one capacity?

    I agree with you for the most part — be slightly unpredictable and stop thinking about the only strength as the run game — you have a great TE in Kevin Boss. You’ve got lost of quick receivers in Hixon, Manningham, Smith. You’ve got a tall 6’6″ receiver that needs to be tested — give it a shot for pete’s sake! And guess what — the more you can spread things out the better success you will have with the run. Just STOP ONLY RUNNING THE BALL. show some diversity and depth of character. Make the defense confused, make them hesitate — thats part of the job. He’s slacking in the red zone, that much is certain… and it’s clear we agree on that.

    Hell even Carl Banks agrees with this sentiment — spread out and pass more so you are not predictable.

    It’s not rocket science here gang.

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