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Tom Coughlin was Prepared to Fight for Kevin Gilbride’s Job as Giants Offensive Coordinator

January 6th, 2014 at 9:00 AM
By Douglas Rush

Before Kevin Gilbride decided to announce his retirement from the NFL and walk away from his duties as New York Giants offensive coordinator, there was a lot of speculation that Gilbride was going to be fired by the team.

'Tom Coughlin watches from the sideline' photo (c) 2012, Marianne O'Leary - license:

The reports came after the Giants finished 7-9 and struggled terrible on offense this season and Giants co-owner John Mara finally hit a breaking point in which he called the offense a broken unit after the season concluded two weeks ago and while Tom Coughlin was safe from getting the axe as head coach, Gilbride was far from safe and it looked like he would be shown the door.

However, as Ralph Vacchaino of the New York Daily News reported, even though Eli Manning regressed a bit in 2013 and the entire offense was extremely predictable, the 67-year-old Giants head coach was ready to fight to keep Gilbride around before he retired.

Tom Coughlin knew John Mara wanted to shake up the Giants’ “broken” offense by firing Kevin Gilbride. But Coughlin apparently wasn’t willing to let his offensive coordinator go without a fight. That fight never happened, because Gilbride decided to retire instead, but according to two sources familiar with the situation, Coughlin was prepared to defend his embattled offensive coordinator in his sit-down with Mara and GM Jerry Reese on Thursday. Knowing Mara’s intention to replace Gilbride, Coughlin told at least one person “I’m not going to let that happen.

The battle between Coughlin and Mara never transpired during the team's organizational meetings, as Gilbride decided to take the graceful way out and essentially, may have saved Coughlin from either walking away and quitting or even worse, getting forced out by Mara if push came to shove an Coughlin wouldn't budge on a coaching change from his staff.

Shortly after the season, Coughlin had met with Gilbride to discuss his plan to fight for Gilbride's job, but as Vacchaino had pointed out, Gilbride had already made up his mind and wanted to be closer to his family back in Rhode Island; the same family that he was away from because Gilbride's wife was taking care of their daughter and granddaughter.

The 62-year-old Gilbride had been with the Giants dating back to the 2004 season when he was the quarterbacks coach until 2006, then was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2007 after Coughlin relieved John Hufnagel of his play-calling duties on the team. Gilbride's ties to Coughlin go back as far as 1995 when Gilbride was the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995-1996.


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

2 Responses to “Tom Coughlin was Prepared to Fight for Kevin Gilbride’s Job as Giants Offensive Coordinator”

  1.  JimStoll says:

    so now he can fight for gilbride jr and tom quinn!!

  2.  William says:

    This is the type of story that in my opinion may have cost us another SuperBowl over the last few years. Its the disfunction inside the organization of the NY Giants. The owner is the “check” on the coaching staff and that should be respected if not at least feared. Here we have the owner finally regain some of that control that is healthy and the “coach” is still running his mouth on the topic…not good and part of why we have struggled to make the playoffs over the years.
    The ownership has done a good job by hiring a staff and then stepping back to let them do their thing, thats unlike a lot of teams. But, the coaches then will answer when you come up short. TC has had a for far to many years an emperor status where he answered to nobody. That has been written about by many reporters thru the years.
    The end result is things like KG’s inabilities to get plays in on time, red zone issues go unaddressed and they never get fixed because the “owners” did not wield their power as they should. A KG forced to address his faults and getting them fixed is most likely a better choice than bringing in a new unproven OC. The same holds true about Coughlin himself, he has never been held to the fire outside 2007 and the result is Mr. Stubborn won a title because he had to change a few things on how he ran the team. Unfortunately that success based on a healthy corporate structure was then thrown out the window and the coach went back to an emperor status with no checks n balances to address his faults. If the correct power structure had remained intact maybe the “owners” put the heat on TC for his struggles in special teams and then the Desean Jackson punt return never happens.
    I’m sure that Mr. Mara did not become frustrated just this last year by TC’s lack of playing young talent. This has been a obvious source of frustration with many of us for years now and when you look at 4-5 years of just missing the “dance” you have to wonder for examlpe; what if Cruz was given a chance to play after perhaps the greatest pre-season showing ever. The owner’s did not flex their muscle and balance the power in the organization until this very poor year; I hope they learn from it.

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