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The stroking of Kevin Gilbride


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March 5, 2009, 5:03 pm

Defending Kevin Gilbride: Let's Look at the Facts

By Glenn Warciski

 

giants75.jpg Glenn Warciski, a Giants loyalist, Fifth Down commenter and blogger, wants a fair hearing for Kevin Gilbride. Take it away, Glenn.

 

On the Fifth Down, I think Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has been a scapegoat. The criticism is not substantiated with facts.

 

I think blaming Gilbride for the Giants' offensive woes against Philadelphia is narrow-minded. I think balance is needed. Yes, there were some questionable play calls against the Eagles. But Gilbride is not the main reason the Giants lost. Let's look at the statistics:

 

Last season, the Giants' offense finished 4th in points (26.7 per game), 7th in total yards (355.9), 18th in passing (198.6) and 1st in rushing (157.4).

 

Eli Manning had his best season as a pro, earning a trip to Hawaii with the following credentials:

 

21 touchdowns

10 interceptions

3,238 yards passing

86.4 passer rating

289 completed passes out of 479 attempts for 3,238 yards

60.3 percent pass completion.

 

The Giants had two running backs who gained over 1,000 yards. Brandon Jacobs had 1,089 and Derrick Ward 1,025 yards.

 

In addition, six Giants receivers caught 30 passes or more.

 

I think the numbers speak for themselves. The Giants had a potent offense in 2008. I do not see the logic behind bashing Gilbride. On my blog, I had two posts:

 

1. Manning misses cost Giants the game

2. Tracking Jacobs and Ward

 

These two posts use facts to support my thinking.

 

1. Eli was awful. He played his worst game at the wrong time. He finished with 15 completions in 29 attempts for 169 yards. His completion rate was 51.7 percent. He threw zero touchdowns and two interceptions.

2. The Giants' offensive line, dominant all year, did not play well. Although it did not allow a sack, Jacobs and Ward did not get into any kind of rhythm.

 

If your quarterback is abysmal and an offensive line is not opening up holes, regardless of what play is called, I do not think a team can win in the N.F.L.

 

Furthermore, Giants kicker John Carney missed two field goals.

 

Interestingly, so far in the off-season, Giants G.M. Jerry Reese has addressed the defense and not the offense. On WFAN, Reese spoke with Mike Francesa. He thought the Eagles' 3rd-and-20 completion was a back-breaking play. It changed field position and allowed the Eagles to take the lead for good at 13-11.

 

Finally on Gilbride, everywhere this guy has gone his offenses have been stellar. From Giants.com:

 

Prior to joining the Giants, Gilbride spent two years as the Bills' offensive coordinator. In his first season in Buffalo, the Bills set seven offensive team records, including most net passing yards (3,995). Quarterback Drew Bledsoe set 10 team records. That year, Buffalo had the fifth-best passing offense in the NFL and was 11th overall while averaging 23.7 points, 22.2 first downs, and 349.4 yards per game. That offense featured the franchise's first 4,000-yard passer in Bledsoe, two 1,200-yard receivers (Eric Moulds and Peerless Price) and a 1,400-yard rusher (Travis Henry).

 

Gilbride entered the NFL as the quarterbacks coach of the Houston Oilers in 1989. He was promoted to offensive coordinator from 1990-93 and then to assistant head coach/offense in 1994. The Oilers ranked first in the NFL in passing yards in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993. Houston also ranked first in the league in total offense in 1990, second in 1991, third in 1992 and second in 1993.

 

Gilbride's first stint with Coughlin began in 1995, when Gilbride took over as the offensive coordinator of the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars. The following year, the Jaguars led the NFL with 259.7 passing yards per game and were second in total offense with 360.2 yards per contest, a performance that helped Jacksonville to the AFC Championship Game in just its second year of existence.

 

Last year, the Giants won a Super Bowl because of Eli Manning and not Kevin Gilbride. This year, one of the reasons they lost is because of Eli's woeful performance.

 

Ask Ernie Accorsi. Quarterbacks win championships.

 

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First and 5 at the Eagles 20 late in the first half. We'd been running the ball well, passing poorly, and we need to eat off time so when the Eagles get the ball back they don't have time to get a score. Three straight passes, 15 seconds off the clock, we make a field goal.

 

After their O flounders the whole first half the eagles march down the field, make a field goal, and steal momentum.

 

That sequence of playcalling was inexcusable. I know it's just a small part of the entire game but it was awful.

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Mostly it was a combination of Plax being absent and either the OC couldn't adjust or he felt Eli didn't have the skill to adjust. I think it was more the latter and so I tend to agree with the blogger.

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First and 5 at the Eagles 20 late in the first half. We'd been running the ball well, passing poorly, and we need to eat off time so when the Eagles get the ball back they don't have time to get a score. Three straight passes, 15 seconds off the clock, we make a field goal.

 

After their O flounders the whole first half the eagles march down the field, make a field goal, and steal momentum.

 

That sequence of playcalling was inexcusable. I know it's just a small part of the entire game but it was awful.

or when we were backed into our own 10 yard line on 1st down against the wind and throw a pick that caused 7 fucken points early in the game

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I agree

 

Manning was horrible in the loss to the Eagles.....it was not the playcalling

 

Also or D could not generate a pass rush

 

Wow I am in agreement with Jack. Not getting a sack again against McNabb was inexcusable. The play-calling wasn't perfect but Gilbride can't execute plays so he gets only partial blame.

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Wow I am in agreement with Jack. Not getting a sack again against McNabb was inexcusable. The play-calling wasn't perfect but Gilbride can't execute plays so he gets only partial blame.

Gillbride can't execute, but he can see that one facet of the game is nearly unstoppable, and other is virtually ineffective, and instead of continuing to pound his head against the wall, run the damn ball until they either stop it or the clock runs out.

 

 

Eli sucks in the wind, thats obvious by now, yet it seems in every game that the wind is really kicking Gillbride forces the passing game. Two 1,000 yard rushers and probly the best number 3 back in the league and he keeps chucking the ball like it's September.

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statistics statistics statistics. They will make you look like a genius and a fool. Giants couldn't get anything going against philly in that playoff game but we saw 4 previous games that the Giants lost that could have been won. We saw Eli Manning running a QB sneak for a fourth down conversion; one of only two they attempted all season.

 

I believe you shouldn't have an offensive coordinator who can pick the plays according to statistics. You pick your plays according to what is working now and what is not. Eli was not having a great day yet we kept on putting it in his hands hoping to get him started. We couldn't stretch the field and had a rough time running the ball on third downs. It was a game we could have given every single one of our running backs 30 carries. Run it every damn down and then throw the ball when they had ten guys on the line because we didn't have a receiver worth his weight.

 

Sacking Donovan McNabb is not easy, he's a linebacker with an arm. If you rely on sacking McNabb to win the game then you might as well forfeit.

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