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New York Giants Owners, Front Office Praise Kevin Gilbride Following Retirement Announcement

January 3rd, 2014 at 11:00 AM
By Dan Benton

In a completely unexpected move, New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride announced his retirement on Thursday afternoon, ending a long and successful career in the NFL. And despite mounting pressure from fans of the organization to fire him, Gilbride's decision to walk away appears to be one he's been mulling for quite some time.

“It’s hard to say, ‘It’s time,’” Gilbride told Giants.com. “To finally do it, it’s a very unnatural feeling. I’ve been telling my wife [Debbie] for years I was going to do it. … I knew this was it and I was going to do it. I finally pulled the trigger. But it’s difficult.”

One of the reasons Gilbride chose to retire was because of the strain his NFL coaching career had begun to put on him and his family life. He revealed that over the last 3-4 years, he's been staying alone in a local Hotel during the season because his wife moved back to Rhode Island to help take care of their daughter and granddaughter — a tremendous sacrifice no matter how much a person's salary may be.

“I have great respect for Kevin and Debbie and their family, so it’s not an easy thing to part ways,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “Kevin is a professional. He’s been an exceptional football coach for the New York Giants. He helped win two Super Bowl championships. Kevin was the play-caller in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. He has done a great service to the franchise.”

Tom Coughlin wasn't alone in his praise of Gilbride, being joined by co-owner John Mara, who only a few days earlier had much more harsh things to say about the Gilbride-led offense.

“Kevin is an outstanding coach who made enormous contributions to this franchise,” said John Mara. “He helped us win a lot of games over the past 10 years, including two Super Bowls. He will be remembered as one of the best coaches to ever represent the New York Giants.”

Although his career ends on a sour note, Gilbride says he'll be able to look back upon his Giants tenure with pride. In addition to two titles, the long-time coach recalls fondly watching Manning develop into the elite leader he is, as well as the development of both Steve Smith and Victor Cruz, who became the first two Big Blue Pro Bowl wide receivers since 1968.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of coaching,” Gilbride said. “Certainly the last 10 years with the Giants has been a special time, to be part of the bringing the Super Bowls to New York and New Jersey and the Giants organization. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the development of some of the young players that we brought along, certainly starting with Eli. But (also) Steve Smith and Victor Cruz; they hadn’t had a Pro Bowl receiver since 1968 and we brought two back to them. That’s been fun. And I thoroughly enjoyed being part of those exciting last-minute drives that we seem to excel at. That 2011 season, we had six or seven of them, including the Super Bowl.”

Under Gilbride, the Giants' offense scored 400+ points three times — something that has only happened five times in the organization's history. And with the exception of 2013, had finished in the top 10 in total offense for five consecutive years (2008-2012).

At the end of the day, despite his flaws, Gilbride led one of the most high-powered offenses in franchise history and helped lead Big Blue to two Super Bowl titles. For that alone, a tip of the cap and best wishes are due. Like the owners, GM and coach, we thank Gilbride and wish him the very best moving forward.

Photo credit: AJ Guel / Foter.com / CC BY

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Tags: Football, John Mara, Kevin Gilbride, New Jersey, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Steve Smith, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz

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9 Responses to “New York Giants Owners, Front Office Praise Kevin Gilbride Following Retirement Announcement”

  1.  kujo says:

    Brandon Jacobs, who announced his retirement Thursday night, had this to say to prospective Giants free agents:

    “I won two championships here and its never going to be the same anywhere else, and I tried telling these guys that,’’ Jacobs said earlier this week. “This is the time when guys are making decisions whether or not they want to do this or that, think they’re being disrespected by this or that. I told them you better sit down and realize and take it from somebody that’s been there, if this is the only place you’ve ever been you better stay here, because it’s not going to be the same anywhere else.”

  2.  GIANTT says:

    First , I think that both retirements are the right personal AND corporate decisions . I will take the PR that Gilbride wants to spend time with his family . I will also take that BJ knows that he wont be able to rehab and play to a standard next year .
    I , like many others saw BJs career as one of unfulfilled potential considering his size but then again he didnt end up badly with over 5000 yards and a long career for a running back so Im going to look back with a smile on my face remembering his enthusiasm .
    I just hope someone like Nicks sits down with BJ and takes to heart that sometimes money isnt everything . Nicks just has to look at the careers of guys like Manningham and Steve Smith who , although they went for more money immediately , saw their total careers cut short b/c of the decisions made on the teams they went to .I put Boss in this category also . How much better off would they and the Giants been if they had renewed contracts with the Giants ? I dont know how anyone else feels but I definitely think their careers would have been better and longer if they had stayed .
    Got to go and supervise my snow removal team (my wife and daughter ) dig out . Such responsibility !

  3.  Dirt says:

    No way Killdrive retires had ownership not been on his tail. If he wanted to retire, he would have done it Monday. Before everyone started talking about his future.

    Cute story we’ve conjured up, though.

    •  Sonny Mukhopadhyay says:

      Do you think his decision to retire had anything to do with his son keeping his job ? I.E. You retire and your son keeps his job or we fire both you and him ?

      It sounds cruel to do, but it looks like his son is keeping his job (and Maras shot about Jernigan could have been applied to both of them).

      •  buljos says:

        Plausible. I was thinking more of a deal to work with the new OC to see if Gilbride Jr. could have one of the staff coaching jobs, but not necessarily WR Coach. No promises, because the new OC undoubtedly has his own ideas about his staff… especially since the WRs lost their connection with Eli (per Cruz and Randle). I’d rather see Gilbride Jr. go back to Quality and Sean Ryan go back to WR Coach where he was a couple seasons ago. They do need a much better QB Coach for Eli, like somebody who was an All-American QB in college, won championships at pro level, tutored Aaron Rogers and coached Bret Favre down from 29 INTs to 18 the following season… Tom Clements. Certainly can’t get him, but he’s the benchmark for that job. Sean Ryan doesn’t stack up, and given Eli’s performance in 2013, the new OC shouldn’t settle for anything less.

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