The New York Giants have won their second Lombardi trophy with Kevin Gilbride as their Offensive Coordinator. In case it’s been forgotten, Gilbride replaced then Offensive Coordinator John Hufnagel late in December 2006. Prior to that he was Quarterbacks Coach.
Since his promotion to Offensive Coordinator, the Giants Offense has ranked:
- 2007: 16th in yards; 14th in points
- 2008: 7th in yards; 3rd in points
- 2009: 8th in yards; 8th in points
- 2010: 5th in yards; 7th in points
- 2011: 8th in yards; 9th in points
There was one season where his play-calling didn’t have the team Total Offense ranked top-ten, yet they won the Super Bowl that year.
Another clear attribute to Gilbride’s resume with Big Blue is the elite quarterback he’s help mold since 2004. Before you say “it’s all Eli” – stop. This past 2011 season was the first real season that Manning has, at times, had to put the team on his proverbial back. In the previous five seasons, the Giants have had a power run game that ranked 4th (‘07), 1st (‘08) and 6th (‘10). Only 2009 (ranked 18th) and 2011 (ranked 32nd) were more on the passer/points-per-game. All of these stats, mind you, are on the offensive play-caller who developed the complicated Play Book: Kevin Gilbride.
Granted, there are going to be plenty of times where certain calls are questioned (by the fanbase, primarily). It happens to all three sides of the ball: offense, defense and special teams. Somehow, though, the Big Blue Offensive Coordinator is still under critical fire. Even with 2011\2012 post-season statistics that put his quarterback at #1 in passing yards, his two running backs at #2 and #3 in rushing and two of his wide receivers at #1 and #4 in receiving, he’s being shown the door.
Gilbride’s game plans have changed to take what the opposing defenses are giving his prolific offense. His “dink & dunk” approach in the Super Bowl shows that. Bill Belichick had his Patriots defense come out with two safeties high most of the game, thereby taking away Gilbride’s “Big Play” that Eli & Crew patented this season. That big play that the horrible shot-gun draw sets up with play action-fake.
As hard as it is to admit sometimes, there is a method to Kevin Gilbride’s madness. The man, by the way, that had enough faith and trust in an undrafted Jersey guy who wore #3 at one time during training camp and pre-season not long ago.
Can’t be that bad if he saw Cruuuuuuuz comin’…
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