Kevin Gilbride Defends Himself: Kevin Gilbride, who retired as offensive coordinator of the New York Giants in January, spoke publicly on Thursday night at the PKD Foundation benefit in Manhattan. Some speculate that Gilbride only retired because he knew he would be fired. On the contrary, Gilbride said he told his wife before the 2013 season began he would retire unless he was offered a head coaching job in 2014.
“If I wanted to stay coaching I would have stayed with the Giants,” said Gilbride.
Gilbride is blamed by many for the demise of the Giants’ offense, which fell from 14th to 28th. Head Coach Tom Coughlin has said that Gilbride would not have been forced out, but team President/CEO John Mara and General Manager Jerry Reesse have said that it was time for a change on offense.
“I’m kind of surprised to hear (Jerry Reese) say that,” Gilbride said. “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.”
“I certainly have expressed (roster talent) concerns for a number of years,” Gilbride said. “It wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when it was going to happen.”
In a shot at Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle, another issue according to Gilbride was that the Giants only had “one guy playing” at wide receiver (Victor Cruz). Gilbride thought John Mara’s comments about it taking so long for Jerrel Jernigan to be a factor on game day were a “cheap shot”.
“I didn’t understand it,” said Gilbride. “Because (Jernigan) had chances as a kick returner and he’d played before and hadn’t played well. I think it’s a great tribute to (Wide Receivers Coach Kevin M. Gibride) and (Quarterbacks Coach Sean Ryan) that developed him and that he got on the field.”
When asked about the Giants’ prospects in 2014, Gilbride responded, “They have to get some players. 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.”
“If they shore up some of the supporting cast, I think they’ll be fine,” said Gilbride. “Last year we went into the year with some question marks at some spots and sure enough those question marks were all answered in a negative fashion. Between that and the confluence of injuries, it just wasn’t going to happen.”
LB Jameel McClain Visits Giants, But Leaves Without Contract: Linebacker Jameel McClain, who was cut by the Baltimore Ravens last month is a salary-cap related move, visited the New York Giants on Thursday but left without a contract. He had visited with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday and is scheduled to meet with the Minnesota Vikings next.
New York Giants Interested in Center Evan Dietrich-Smith?: FOXSports1 is reporting that the New York Giants may be interested in pursuing soon-to-be unrestricted free agent center Evan Dietrich-Smith (Green Bay Packers) if the Packers do not re-sign him and center David Baas is released.
Jon Beason Representing Himself in Contract Talks: Soon-to-be unrestricted free agent linebacker Jon Beason recently fired his agent and will be representing himself in his contract talks.
Starting on Saturday, March 8, NFL teams are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents on other teams. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00PM ET on March 11. Because Beason will be representing himself, teams will not be able to contact him until March 11. So the Giants will have three more days to negotiate exclusively with Beason.
Articles on the New York Giants and 2014 NFL Free Agency:
- Free-agency primer: A glut of Giant holes to fill by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post
- Justin Tuck and Hakeem Nicks head list of veteran free agents NY Giants could lose by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News
- Big Blue Morning: Let’s talk running backs by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com
- Receiver help on NY Giants’ list by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News
Giants.com Inside the Film Room: Video breakdowns of the following Giants players are available at Giants.com: