Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was at some charity event in New York City on Thursday night and offered some candid thoughts on the disappointing 2013 Giants season and where things stand in terms of the roster. Per Tom Rock of Newsday:
"I think they finally realize there are areas that need to be addressed," the former offensive coordinator said of the obvious deficiencies in line depth and lack of talent at other positions that led to last season's 7-9 record. "I certainly have expressed those concerns for a number of years. It wasn't a matter of if, it was a matter of when it was going to happen. It really started happening the year before and we were able to fight through it a little bit, but this year the confluence of injuries were just too many."
Gilbride, who was at the PKD Foundation Benefit in Manhattan Thursday night, said he thinks the 2014 Giants can turn it around, but that will start with the front office and free agency, which begins next week.
"They have to get some players," he said. "If the players come back, if [Chris] Snee comes back healthy and [David] Baas comes back healthy. The running back situation is a little scary -- they have to get somebody there. But if they can get somebody there and if [Kevin] Boothe comes back, the inside three will be stable. I know they're going to look for a tight end. There are a lot of holes that need to be filled."
Gilbride "retired" at the end of the 2013 season, though comments made shortly thereafter by Giants owner John Mara indicated he might have been fired had he not quit on his own. He's obviously quite proud of his overall body of work as an NFL coach and maybe a little bit bitter about the way it ended. According to The Star-Ledger's Conor Orr, Gilbride was upset over Mara's day-after-the-season crack about "I don't know why it took us so long to figure out that Jerrel Jernigan could play." And Gilbride also didn't like to hear GM Jerry Reese saying it was time for a change:
“I’m kind of surprised to hear him say that,” Gilbride said when asked about general manager Jerry Reese saying it was time for a change. “No one had figured that offense out for 24 years. To think that they figured it out this year would be pretty ludicrous. I think it was pretty obvious what the problems were. We had a confluence of injuries, we were very weak on the offensive line. We had some guys who struggled. We started six different offensive tailbacks, three different fullbacks, three different right guards, four different centers … You’re not going to have anything (with that). You can say it’s the offense, but it’s pretty clear what the problem was.”
The Giants are moving on with Ben McAdoo as their new offensive coordinator after Gilbride held the job for seven seasons. His record does stand on its own, as he indicated it should. He has received too much of the blame for what went on with the Giants in 2013, as coordinators often do. But I think you can make the case that it was time for a new voice in the meeting room without also denigrating Gilbride's accomplishments. The offense looked just fine when it was winning the second of two Eli Manning/Tom Coughlin-era Super Bowls just 25 months ago.