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Giants Co-Owner John Mara Feels “Fortunate” He Didn’t Have to Force Kevin Gilbride Out

January 9th, 2014 at 4:30 PM
By Dan Benton

Shortly after New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride unexpectedly announced his retirement, head coach Tom Coughlin said he wasn't the fall guy for a disappointing 7-9 season. And while that may appear to be true on the surface, had Gilbride not retired, he was, in fact, destined to be the fall guy.

While appearing on WFAN 660 on Thursday afternoon, Giants co-owner John Mara was asked about Gilbride's retirement, and without pulling any punches, admitted he was glad things didn't boil down to Gilbride being forced out.

“Well, he retired. And fortunately it didn’t come to any type of situation where he had to be forced out," Mara said, who had previously blasted the Giants' offense for being "broken."

Although Tom Coughlin was fully prepared to fight for Gilbride, his fate had already been sealed. The Giants struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball, finishing near the bottom of the league in nearly every statistical category, and team owners felt change was necessary.

“I think going forward having a change is probably going to be good for us,” Mara said.

Ultimately, Gilbride's decision to retire may have been what saved Tom Coughlin. While the notion of his termination seems unlikely and far-fetched, there had already been rumors circulating that he and ownership were at odds over Gilbride's job. And when asked on Thursday if any consideration had been given to firing Coughlin, General Manager Jerry Reese admitted to ESPN Radio that it was an option on the table.

"Everything is considered every year," Reese said, appearing to avoid a more direct answer about whether the team discussed firing Coughlin.

At the end of the day, the situation sorted itself out. Gilbride retired, Coughlin remained and no pride was damaged.


Tags: Football, John Mara, Kevin Gilbride, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin

19 Responses to “Giants Co-Owner John Mara Feels “Fortunate” He Didn’t Have to Force Kevin Gilbride Out”

  1.  jerseyrich says:

    So basically, gillbride ate the bullet for his buddy. You have to respect that. NOW, however, since what is done is done, Mara needs to stay the course and not be told what to do by his head coach. Reese should have as much say as TC, and if necessary Mara needs to have the deciding vote and not be influenced in any way by TC. If Reese really did not have a say in major decisions, as many have suggested here, than that needs to change. Snee’s contract should be the first order of business. I predict 1 yay and 2 nay’s….se ya Snee.

  2.  stuh says:

    Let’s face it he was as good as forced out, he obviously was aware that he was going to get canned.
    As for the Giants keeping Quinn it ‘s not a big deal they haven’t been good on ST’s for years.
    The players wanting Sullivan another Coughlin guy I wonder if the offense will change.

    •  jerseyrich says:

      Yeah they haven’t been….so why is Quinn staying?

      •  jerseyrich says:

        Maybe a peace offering from Mara; “Being that I took your OC, i’ll let you keep Quinn….for one more year unless he turns things around”. Who knows?

  3.  kujo says:

    Well, I’ll say this about special teams–consistency helps, whereas constantly having new players shuffling in and out of your various return and coverage units complicates and often cripples your efforts. And when you had as many injuries as we did in 2013, across all areas of the depth chart, you’re going to face an uphill battle as it pertains to the output of the special teams players that typically occupy the lower third of your roster.

    This isn’t an exoneration of Quinn, who’s been the subject of much deserved derision in the past–i.e. The Eagles Meltdown back in 2010. But let’s not forget that all of our coaches faced above-average losses at key positions this season. That’s gotta count for something. And for the most part, Quinn’s ST group has excelled, particularly since they brought on Larry Izzo.

    •  jerseyrich says:

      Special teams are usually always evolving as your new rookies are basically pressed into duty every year. All 3 units constantly change but special teams probably does so at a much higher rate. Todays NFL does not care about continuity.

      •  kujo says:

        That may be so, but there is simply no denying that the 2013 New York Giants suffered an injury bug that bit far deeper than the norm. It’s a fact ratified by none other than John Mara himself today when he pointed out that our starters missed a combined 91 games this year, by FAR the most in the NFL.

        So again, what you’re saying is true–there are always some changes to your special teams unit throughout the season. But to deny that the vulgarities we saw this year weren’t at least partially attributable to the greater-than-average turnaround we witnessed at that unit is simply untrue.

        •  kujo says:

          To say nothing of the absence of David Wilson in the kickoff return game. Wilson proved in his rookie seasons that he was a force to be reckoned with back there, and there’s got to be dozens upon dozens of that so-called “hidden yardage” that we just didn’t get this year.

          I’m not saying this was going to totally erase the special teams struggles–which, again, have been fairly consistent under Quinn, albeit slightly less so since the latter portion of 2011. But there is absolutely a cumulative effect to the constant and perpetual shifting of players here. In fact, Will Hill said so himself at some point around midseason!

        •  jerseyrich says:

          Cant argue that….the injuries we had to deal with this year (it seems like every year) were out of control. We need to call Chip in philly and find out is secret.

  4.  Hanshi says:

    fanfor55years says:
    January 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM
    I’m only a bit surprised by this. I’ll accept Quinn (who has had five “good” years and four horrible ones, which should be enough to get you fired but doesn’t get there in Tom Coughlin’s Universe of Loyalty and Continuity) if that’s the price of getting rid of Gilbride.

    I am amazed that many of you have now waxed nostalgic about Gilbride, and are falling over each other to say you’re okay with his having been “retired” but he was, after all, a pretty good coach. If Eli Manning had a great offensive coordinator he would already be headed for the pantheon of great quarterbacks instead of now having to earn his way in during the last third of his career. Getting rid of Gilbride is worth three draft picks, minimum. That horse manure about “being flexible” and “changing what we did” was a load of hooey. Just remember, he and Coughlin were the geniuses who pushed a game plan against the Eagles in January, 2009 that required long passes across the field in 25-40 mph winds. A high school coach would have known better. From that day forward I have been convinced those two cost this team consecutive championships, because I still believe the Giants should have won the whole thing in that 2008 season, regardless of Plax. They were the best balanced team in the league that season and they were the best overall squad. Their coaches killed their chances.

    + 1 Zillion! I couldn’t agree more.

    •  nick86 says:

      well I couldn’t disagree more. Plaxico and injuries to the defense led to the downfall of that team.

      HE and coughlin are the geniuses who consistently put up top 10 offenses and won two SBs.

      •  Dirt says:

        I invite everyone to review the game log of that playoff game and study the last two drives of the first half. It was typical horrendous, mind blowing, terrible clock management by the Coughlin/Killdrive braintrust. And contributed mightily to the loss that day, more so, in my opinion, than the braindead decision to air it out.

        • Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

          like passing three times on 1st and goal?

          •  Dirt says:

            I would have gone with “the running game moved all the way down the field then Killdrive got cute and threw the ball 3 straight times on 1st down, stopping the clock, giving Philly plenty of time to score before half”, but our judges say… Yes, you are correct!

  5.  Dirt says:

    I’ve said for days now Killdrive was fired and the story that was conjured up was adorable. Mara essentially firmed it up that Killdrive was fired.

    What’s absolutely shocking to me is that Mara firmed it up without having to. The guilty party was already gone, today was just spiking the football.

    I don’t celebrate real people losing real jobs, but I’m glad Mara’s getting pissed and letting people know.

    Reese not denying that Coughlin’s future was considered was noteworthy to me in only one way: it makes me believe they’re not as on their knees for him as some thought, which is only relevant to me vis-a-vis $nee. I think they might actually cut him. Especially with the continued very public bashing of the OL.

    •  jerseyrich says:

      Amen dude… I said in the last post, Snee’s contract HAS to be the first thing they address. Now that TC has been knocked down a peg, that is likely to happen. Snee getting cut wouldn’t just benefit the o-line….it is the BIGGEST step in getting the entire team back on course.

  6.  stuh says:

    I still wonder how much Coughlin has been knocked down because Sullivan seems to be the leading candidate for OC and he is Coughlin’s boy.
    As for Snee they should show him the door now. That will be proof that TC the Head Coach not the General Manager.

  7.  kujo says:

    BTW, I loved Mara’s words today about needing to do better in the middle rounds of the draft.

    I mean, do ANY of Reese’s 3rd and 4th round picks remain on the team past their first contract? Hell, do any of them even really CONTRIBUTE?

    •  jerseyrich says:

      In the Reese era…3rd and 4th picks that really helped the Giants: DeOssie, Manningham.

      Jury is still out on: Hosley, Andre Brown, Brewer, Jernigan and Adrian Robinson.

      The rest have been a joke (sorry Jay Alford).
      That’s 16 picks with 2 winners.

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