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Kevin M. Gilbride: Tight Ends Will Play Important, “Jack of All Trades” Role in Giants Offense

July 28th, 2014 at 1:00 PM
By Dan Benton

In recent days, there's been significant speculation about the New York Giants going into 2014 without a traditional fullback and instead using the tight end in that role. It's something Larry Donnell hinted at after Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and something tight ends coach Kevin M. Gilbride confirmed on Monday. But he didn't just confirm it, he took it a step further and detailed, very specifically, how the tight ends will play, perhaps, the largest and most important role in Ben McAdoo's brand new offensive system.

"We're really looking to develop a number of overall tight ends who can do it all," Gilbride said. "Within this offense, we put the tight ends in the backfield. It's a big, big part of what we do within this offense.

"I would characterize [the tight end position in this offense] as the 'jack of all trade.' With having them be in the backfield, having them play that fullback role, splitting them out as a No. 1 receiver or a No. 2, as well as an inline tight end. It's a jack of all trades role."

Gilbride repeatedly stressed the importance of not only one player emerging as an all-around tight end, but the importance of having multiple players emerge as an all-around tight end due to their need for, as he put it, a few "jack of all trades" at the position. He also noted the frequent use of dual tight ends within the offense, as well as their aforementioned use at the fullback position.

"We're looking for the complete tight end to do it all, but we also need guys who are role players; guys who can be specialists in certain areas," Gilbride said. "Right now, they've all got a shot at doing it. They're all good in certain areas, but not as good in other areas. They need to develop."

Thus far, Gilbride says none of the tight ends have separated themselves from the pack, stressing that they all need to continue improving upon their weaknesses. However, he's "excited" about what he'll see now that the pads have come on and what he'll see this Sunday when they take on the Buffalo Bills in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.

"In order to become a proven tight end in the league, you have to start somewhere. And that's where a lot of our guys are," Gilbride said. "In order to become an established tight end, you have to come from somewhere."

Make no mistake about it, the current crop of inexperienced Giants tight ends are going to either make or break McAdoo's brand new offense. They are going to play a very meaningful role, will be used at fullback, wide receiver and tight end. They will block and they will catch. They will line up all over the field and come out of the backfield. And they will certainly be among Eli Manning's top options once the ball is snapped.

Lace up your boots, folks. It may be a bumpy ride out of the gate.

Also…

Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at TicketScore.com, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: Ben McAdoo, Buffalo, Buffalo Bills, Eli Manning, Football, Kevin M. Gilbride, Larry Donnell, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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21 Responses to “Kevin M. Gilbride: Tight Ends Will Play Important, “Jack of All Trades” Role in Giants Offense”

  1.  Since 1963 says:

    Love that Gilbride wisdom: In order to get anywhere, you have to start somewhere.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    So I’m still crazy for seeing that zero FBs makes more sense than keeping 2 FBs? And that keeping 2 FBs makes no sense?

  3.  BBWC says:

    Thanks for ruining my excitement……..If the TE’s are going to define our offense this year, we’re screwed.

  4.  BBWC says:

    I’d rather keep our two fullback’s and get back to smash mouth Giant football running the ball.

  5.  Krow says:

    I’ve got an idea. Let’s pick the area where we’re the worst … one where we have absolutely no talent … and make that the central point of our new offense. Yeah, I know … genius.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      The perception the area is the weakest. That doesn’t mean it’s reality. Yes, no one is proven but that doesn’t mean a few good options can’t come from the group. It could be part of the reason no one has separated is that a few players are good but just not better than the rest. I have seen too many positions be much better or much than we thought over the years so at least let’s see them play before assuming they can’t.

      •  Krow says:

        Well sure … I mean anything can happen. Guys can suddenly ‘get it’ and their careers take off. But who looks at this collection of jags that we have a TE … has beens and ‘never was’ low producers … and says that’s where my focus will be? Had we drafted Ebron … or signed somebody good I’d feel differently. But if our fortunes rise or fall on the backs of Robinson/Donnell/Fells/Davis/Grimble then I’m questioning McAdoo’s sanity.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          I don’t see this as a collection of JAGs. I think Fells and Davis are JAGs but provide more ability than a player like Pascoe. Grimble is a rookie with some talent but probably not ready yet. Robinson and Donnell are players that have starting level TE talent but have yet to put it together. They each have shown some signs of progress.

          I don’t see why a rookie would have been the answer the make everyone feel better. a rookie provides hope but would be unproven too. I don’t recall many starting level free agent TEs on the market.

  6.  Krow says:

    So … remember when Travis Beckum couldn’t get playing time because he was a poor blocker … and that would tip off the opposing defense what type of play we were going to run? OK, now if we’re going to have guys who “can be specialists in certain areas” … how is that any different?

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think Beckum is a poor example. He was a 235 pound TE. He made Myers look like Bavaro blocking.

      •  Krow says:

        He was a pass catching specialist.

        •  skinnydoogan says:

          Chris Cooley comes to mind when speaking of Beckum.

          •  kujo says:

            Chris Cooley was an excellent player for the Skins.

            Beckum was yet another in a long line of 3rd/4th round picks too hoodwink and extorted us out of a few million dollars by pretending to be a football player.

  7.  Krow says:

    TEs can catch a lot of balls and still be relatively ineffective. Remember when Myers caught like 100 dump offs in 2012. Some fool team looked at those stats and thought he could play. *shakes head sadly*

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I agree. Which is why I think we need Robinson or Donnell to emerge. Those 2 seem to be the only TEs in this group with the athletic ability to threaten a defense. I think our TE needs to provide some fear to a defense to be effective in this offense.

  8.  rlhjr says:

    I’ll go ahead and sum it up………..IF THE TEAM EXPECTED TIGHT ENDS TO BLOCK AND CATCH AND MCADOO UNDERSTAND FLEX TIGHT ENDS, WHY IN THE HELL IS POPE IN DALLAS TURNING THEM INTO WHAT COULD WELL BE THE BEST BLOCKING OFFENSIVE LINE IN THE LEAGUE, MUCH LESS THE NFC EAST?

    SOUNDS LIKE YET ANOTHER STUPID PET TRICK.

  9.  kujo says:

    Gotta side with Krow on this one. It’s nothing but hubris and insanity for the coaching staff to expose ourselves by making the unit that is clearly the weakest part of our offense so important.

    It’s so stiflingly stupid that I have to believe it’s just smoke-blowing. It HAS to be. I mean, how the hell can they justify this position, with these reports we’re getting about Donnell being “fine,” Robinson being “fine” in between bouts of amnesia, and nary a word about the rest of these chumps? Coughlin et. al. have done some truly stupid things in the past (see: relying on CC Brown), but this could very well take the cake!

  10.  Nosh.0 says:

    Man Adrien Robinson is fresh meat right now on this site. I’d have no problem writing the kid off once I get to see him in a game. Can’t do it before that though.

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