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It's Like This Guy Read My Mind


Rate Gilbride.  

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  1. 1. How good of a job has he been doing.

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I think he has done a very good job actually. Considering not one of the O players made the Probowl, not that it's any indicator of how good a player is, the Giants O is top 5 in everything except passing.


Why isn't there more pride in G-Men's Gilbride?


Why isn't there more pride in G-Men's Gilbride?

Nov. 4, 2008

By Clark Judge

CBSSports.com Senior Writer


The New York Giants are the best team in the NFC and one of the two best teams in the NFL, but there is something about them I can't figure out -- and it has nothing to do with Plaxico Burress, Tom Coughlin or PSLs.


Nope, my problem is this: How come we don't hear more about Kevin Gilbride, the club's offensive coordinator?


He called the plays in the Giants' demolition of Dallas last weekend, a 35-14 waxing where they ran over, around and through the overmatched Cowboys, and he called the plays on the game-winning drive in Super Bowl XLII when New York stunned previously unbeaten New England.


More important, he called the plays in the 2006 season finale, a 34-28 defeat of Washington that saved Coughlin's job. Had the Giants lost that evening, they would've missed out on a wild-card spot, and Coughlin, in all likelihood, would have been fired.


But it didn't happen because Coughlin took the necessary steps to prevent it from happening. Days before the game, he promoted Gilbride to offensive coordinator in an act that was as shrewd as it was extraordinary.


Basically, what Coughlin's move told you was that if he had to win one game -- and he did -- he was going to do it with the people he trusted most. So he chose Gilbride.


Result: A critical victory, with Tiki Barber rushing for a franchise-record 234 yards and three touchdowns to send the Giants to the playoffs. Coughlin kept his job, the Giants went on to win a Super Bowl and Eli Manning became the elite quarterback the club envisioned.


In short, everyone lived happily ever after.


You can make the argument that none of that would've been possible without Gilbride ... and I will. Because if Coughlin doesn't make the move to Gilbride prior to the Washington game he and his staff are history -- fired before Coughlin can hire defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo away from Philadelphia; fired before Coughlin can hire quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer to assist in the tutoring of Manning; fired before Coughlin can run the table in the 2007 playoffs.


Basically, if he doesn't go to Gilbride in December 2006, everything you see now doesn't happen. So let me ask this again: Why doesn't Kevin Gilbride get more attention for helping to make it all possible?


"I think a lot of it is because Tom (Coughlin) is such a dominating presence inside and outside the locker room," said Barber, now an analyst for NBC's Football Night in America. "For a long time he didn't allow his coaches to interact with the media, and that's how they become known.


"Should he get more attention? Definitely. He's given the offense a clear direction and balance. We all try to treat football as if it's rocket science, but really it's all about field position and balance. And Kevin understands that."


The balance was apparent in the hammering of Dallas. Manning had three first-half touchdown passes, yet it was the Giants' relentless running game that overwhelmed the Cowboys -- with Gilbride calling on Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw 34 times.


They responded with 200 yards, two TDs and nearly 6 yards per carry.


But that is nothing new for Gilbride. He goes with what works and keeps it going until opponents produce answers. Gilbride has an unwavering belief in himself, one player said, and isn't hesitant to articulate what needs to be done -- even if the message isn't welcome -- to make you and the team more successful.


What needed to be done before that all-important showdown with Washington two years ago was some straight talking. So Gilbride opened the playbook to his offense and told players what to expect in the season finale and why. Then he went a step further, explaining what would happen if Washington made adjustments and how he -- and they -- would respond.


"It was refreshing to me," Barber said. "Afterward, I went up to him and said, 'Thanks. Now I know what our intent is.' "


That hadn't been clear for much of that season, with the Giants wilting in a November loss to Jacksonville where they inexplicably ran 14 times and threw 41 times. Afterward, players were befuddled, unsure why they approached the game as they did.


Gilbride wasn't about to repeat that mistake -- not with Barber on the team then and not with Jacobs and Ward and Bradshaw on the team now. Go ahead, and look it up. The Giants this season have 250 carries, while Manning has 251 pass attempts.


In the 2007 playoffs, New York had 118 carries, and Manning 119 passes. That's what you call balance and what Barber called the key to the team's run of offensive success -- and, yeah, I think he has a point.


The Giants this season rank in the top 10 in 11 offensive categories, including second in rushing, and their 226 points have them on schedule to break the team record of 448, set in 1963. That's a tribute to guys like Manning, Burress, Jacobs, Ward and an unsung offensive line you couldn't pick out of a crowd.


But it's a tribute to Kevin Gilbride, too. Look, he went through last season without the team's most important playmaker, and that was Barber. Yet the Giants won a Super Bowl. This year, he was forced to subtract another playmaker when Jeremy Shockey was traded to New Orleans, yet he plugged wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Kevin Boss into the passing game, and look what happened.


Manning's completion percentage is up, and his interceptions are down.


He also had to play Seattle this season without Burress -- his top receiving threat -- and I don't care what you think about the Seahawks now; they weren't a cadaver then. So Gilbride turned to Domenik Hixon, had him play catch with Manning and -- presto! Just like that -- he had the game of his life, with 102 yards and a touchdown in one half.


Oh, yeah, the Giants won 44-6.


I don't know if that would've happened with another coordinator. What I do know is that it happened with Kevin Gilbride. What I also know is that since Tom Coughlin turned his offense over to him the Giants are 22-8, winning 11 of their past 12, and Manning has evolved into one of the league's top quarterbacks.


That should count for something, and it should count for something for Kevin Gilbride.

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Average at best.


Look at the teams we've played in this first half of the season Wolf.


Besides Washington and Pitt none of them have a defense.


If we're still top 5 in everything at the end of the season, I'll concede that you have a point.

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I give him a two, above average. He understands what our offense can and can't do and has taken alot of crap when our O sputters out on a drive. I know theres times when play calling could of been more exotic but I think what people have to realize is where not the Patriots(07) or even the Saints...where not going to put up huge numbers. We establish the run game and pound the D into the group and then open up the pass, with the occasional big play.


Also we cant forget there is a defensive coordinator on the other side of the field trying to stop the Giants from moving the ball also and despite what we think, the Giants arnt going to score on every single drive.


If I had to choose I'd take Gilbride over alot of offensive coordinators in this league, he understands what makes Eli play well and he has the best runs the best running game in the league. Unless some coordinator hits the market that is going to revolutionize the game or has some experience in an offense like ours..which when I think about it, there really is no other offense like ours out there but anyways until someone who is an obvious upgrade is out there I doubt Gilbride will be going anywhere anytime soon. Also from what I read a couple times Gilbride and Spags are suppose to be pretty good friends since Spags arrived.

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We're lucky he's right, the timing's right, and the chemistry is right. This is more than just one or two things, it's a sum and these are great years for us.


if you don't recall the 70's and didn't live through post Parcells apocolypse, you may not know what I mean. These are great years and it's uncommon to have a talented staff and team all in one.


It won't last forever and nobody's even thought of Gilbride being pilfered from us, but it could happen, one more big run at the SB and people will be talking about him as much as they are Spags.

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There are times I question his play calling, why not run outside with Ward / Bradshaw when Jacobs isn't able to run through the middle. With the Steelers, they should have used more misdirection runs. Rather then make the run directions so obviouse.

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Great article (I voted "best ever", but on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being "best ever" I'd probably give him a 9).


As far as Gilbride is concerned:


"All offensive coordinators who called 2 4th Quarter TD drives against a Belichick defense in a Super Bowl, please step forward."

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Great article (I voted "best ever", but on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being "best ever" I'd probably give him a 9).


As far as Gilbride is concerned:


"All offensive coordinators who called 2 4th Quarter TD drives against a Belichick defense in a Super Bowl, please step forward."


Didn't eli call plays on the last drive?

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