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Will Kevin Gilbride Be Fired Today?

UPDATE: Kevin Gilbride will retire, not be fired. More here:

The Question of the Day:
Will Giants Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride Be Fired Today?

It all started with a report earlier in the week from the Star-Ledger that references high ranking Giants officials looking to fire offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. With the myriad offensive issues at play this season, the Giants basically suffered from systematic failure across the entire offensive system. John Mara said succinctly of the situation:

“I think our offense is broken right now, and we need to fix that.”

Mara went further:

“I’m not sure why it took us three years to find out Jerrel Jernigan could play. We finally put him in the game and he starts making plays. Sometimes you have to put younger players in the game and give them a chance to fail, or succeed. It’s true not only of him but some other guys, too. It would have been nice if he had gotten in earlier. You know, that is not my decision.”

Most fans would agree the failures of the offensive coordinator are to blame. This is going to be a huge topic of discussion today for the Giants front office, according to the NY Daily News:

The Giants’ embattled offensive coordinator will survive New Year’s Day, and then the battling will begin. A source confirmed that on Thursday, Tom Coughlin will meet with GM Jerry Reese and owner John Mara to discuss the future of the franchise. Possible staff changes will be the key topic of conversation.

So who is this failure really on?

Jerry Reese has taken all kinds of heat for drafting poor players after the second round — here you have 4th string WR Jerrel Jernigan torching opposing teams as soon as Victor Cruz is taken out of the lineup. It’s not Reese’s fault for drafting a young WR that could play. Why wasn’t this adjustment made when the Giants were 0-1? 0-2? 0-3? 0-4? 0-5? 0-6? Get my point yet? To Mara’s point – and because he owns the team his word is a lot heavier than mine – he’s been waiting 3 YEARS to see what his mid round draft pick brings to the table. That’s coaching. The double edged sword of Coughlin’s meritocracy is that you only play when you prove in your limited opportunities that you give the team an advantage. The counter argument to this is when you look around the league, say at New Orleans’ offense, new guys are inserted into the system to keep the defense off balance each and every week. If Victor Cruz is going to get doubled every week, maybe Jernigan SHOULD HAVE played more starting week 1 to put the defense back on their heels a bit.

The offense was “broken” partly because the offensive line was putrid all season long, but knowing that in your preparation as an offensive coordinator, knowing that if your underneath man was double covered all season, you might throw some different looks in there before you lost another game. But here we are 7-9 and watching Philly in the playoffs.

Hakeem Nicks (our #1 WR by the way) went all year without a TD. Victor Cruz didn’t have a TD the second half of the season. Jernigan had 3 TDs in two games. Who is that on? Is it simply that our franchise WRs didn’t want it and Journeyman Jernigan did? Did Coughlin and Gilbride not know what Jernigan was capable of? Was it complete offensive failure at every level until an unknown player comes in and does what Victor Cruz was supposed to do all year?

Here’s my take on all this. Tom Coughlin, Kevin Gilbride and Eli Manning did too little, too late to salvage an offense. They did not adjust early enough in the season to quick passes negating the pass rush, and we all knew and talked about this since week 2 at the beginning of the season. Gilbride and Manning tried to be all about the deep ball yet again… we saw how that movie ended last season. Sputtering on offense and out of the playoffs.

To me, the Giants offense has got to change. And if that means out with the old and in with the new — I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. Former Giant assistant coach Mike Sullivan, who worked with Eli Manning in 2010-11, is now available after a rough go in Tampa. When the Giants brass get together today to discuss their plan for the future — I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see Sullivan back here next year in some capacity. Perhaps even as offensive coordinator.

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2 Responses to “Will Kevin Gilbride Be Fired Today?”

  1. Buman says:

    I hope so!! I despise Gilbride.. No innovation in his offense and predictable play calling

  2. innovation wasn’t even necessary. quick passes like all teams do to our defense was.

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