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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Q&A with Kevin Gilgarbage- You Gotta Have Hope!

A few days ago Kevin Gilbride sat down with reporters for an interview. Ultimatenyg comments in red.

Q: How do you feel about receivers?

A: Good. It is hard to get a gauge this early for a couple of reasons. One, they are just learning what it is you expect of them; your system, your technique, fundamentals that we ask them to employ. And two, you are not really sure of the quality of opposition they going against. We will get a much better feel in another two weeks when they start going against the varsity - I think we have pretty good corners. We will get a pretty good assessment of how far along they are.

Q: When you look at the whole group of receivers – Jerry Reese talked before the draft about the level of panic outside your organization --- people kept saying you have to go get this guy or that guy. What is your assessment of what you have been left with Plaxico and Amani gone?

A: Losing Plax was huge. He is a special talent. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that I was incapable of adjusting. So the difference in the club was discernible to anyone who watched us. The 'panic outside' was because they knew it was me driving the bus. Hell, I'd be panicked too. Why do you think Reese got me three new kids?! I don’t know if you replace a guy like Burress. But hopefully, collectively, we have enough quality young players. We believe we do. We are looking forward to seeing some guys step into some roles that maybe they haven’t had to play before and see how they perform. I think we feel good about the guys we have. I think we are optimistic about the guys we have added, but you never know until you have to go out and do it. Oh, by the way, I won't utter that word Amani in this entire interview because he called me out for my deficiencies.

Q: Do you think that you have a number one type of receiver there? Do you have a need?

A: I think everybody is always looking for what. And in a perfect world you have more than a number one, you have two or three guys that you think are special, that anytime somebody matches up one on one that he is going to win that battle. If you only have one, usually that is not enough because they can roll to that and put another guy over there and take the guy out. So that is what made Plaxico. You guys used to constantly ask that question, …..number this or number that? I said, that is fine, his contributions are still very, very significant because we were able to run the ball much more easily. And that enables the other guys to have some success. So you have to have a couple of guys that win. If only one guy can win against one on one coverage, that is not enough to bail out my sorry butt, because they will take that guy away from you. But I think there are some things we can look at. I think Domenik when he was healthy early on showed some flashes. He has to do it on a consistent basis. But he certainly showed some – a couple of games where he played terrific. And we never really gave Steve Smith a chance to play outside because I routinely waste my resources. We used him as an inside guy where he is terrific. But I think he has earned the right to compete as an outside guy, too. And then we are anxious to see what Sinorice and Mario are going to do. And you have your fingers crossed that one of those guys will step up. I think they are working hard and doing all of the things that they can. This OTA, mini-camp, will be very, very important to them and therefore, to us – how they come along. And then of course training camp will be the next stage in the preparation and then you are waiting to see what these young guys can do.

Q: There are a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘hopes.’

A Yeah, no question. But that is the way it is every year when you got me as your offensive coordinator. Because you never know if an established guy gets hurt, what are you going to do? I can't make adjustments, so when guys get hurt we are stuck. You never know what is going to happen.

Q: You need guys who you ‘hope’ can, but usually you are ‘hoping’ with the third and fourth and fifth guys, right – not one or two?

A: Again, I think Plax is a big loss. And that one is hard to replace because I need excuses for why we fell flat on our faces with the best offensive line in football, a terrific TE with great hands, a 5th year Pro Bowl QB, a plethora of running backs, and good enough WRs that I simply had running the wrong routes. I don’t think that you can. There are not many 6-6 guys that can run and adjust to the ball the way he does. The other stuff we cannot handle.

Q: Q: So right now would you say that Hixon is your X and Smith is your Z?

A: Well, we are going to give them all a shot. But to start with, the first day of OTAs, that is the way it will start, yeah.

Q: In nickel, would you want to keep Steve outside…..?

A: Both inside.

Re: third receiver

A: Yes. The third wide will be very, very important.

Q: Have you started giving any thought to where Beckum fits in or how you use him?

A: Yeah, he is kind of easy. He is like a slot. We will put him in there. I don’t know that he is big enough to be an every-down point of attack tight end. In fact I know he is not big enough to be an every down point of attack. …….He has exceptional quicks and athleticism when you look at what he showed on film. So he is more of a glorified slot. I don’t know if that is the term that you want to use. When you look at some people and you are playing your best 11, sometimes your best 11 is a fullback and tailback and a tight end, two wides. Some people – Indianapolis, for example – on first and second down have made a living for years having that second guy instead of being in a fullback position, be a detached kind of Dallas Clark. But I would not know what to do with a Dallas Clark because I wouldn't know a TE if he bit me in the a**. I’m not comparing him to Dallas Clark, but you hope that he will grow into that kind of role for us and then you are fighting to make some decisions of how the hell I get that position the ball. Do you go with a fullback? Do you go with what we call a B-tight end, the second tight, a detached tight end, or is three-wides your best personnel grouping? So all of that starts to overwhelm my limited abilities as we go through training camp and in the preseason. As you guys know we will do certain things this next month. Then in training camp you will see some other things and then the preseason you hope you see some other things. And you hope they are always the positive. When you've got me on the sidelines, HOPE is important. ……. You see him develop, you see him grow and feeling good about it and then once the season starts, then you have to take the most important step of all. But I think he can do it. It looks like he can. But you don’t know until he shows it.

Q: You talked about your best 11. We are talking about how much you lost by losing Plaxico. But do you feel like while you have lost that, you may have gained some flexibility in this offense with guys that can play in a bunch of different places? Is that fair to say?

A: I don’t. If I admit that, then I admit I am the weakest link in this offense, so I don't. It is almost apples and oranges. You would like to always add as many parts to the puzzle as you can, but you still like to have a stud – one guy that you feel, “Hey, anytime he goes one on one…” And the other teams obviously knew it – and they were afraid to give us that opportunity very often. You see, I am a puncher, not a boxer, I need that stud or else I am screwed. I cannot box with all of these extra parts. But I do think we have added some parts; I do think that. How quickly it is going to play out is going to be interesting to see but it is also going to be very important that progress be fairly rapid. It is completely different but it is the same. (Hey, ya like that little ditty? I have the IQ of Yogi too!) You look at all of us in our playoff run on the Super Bowl year; I kept saying people don’t realize Steve Smith coming back was a significant role that was for us that he had to play. And all of a sudden he did. Now he didn’t play the whole year – from the Green Bay first series on – but he was a major part of the things. We still had other guys do their thing, but the thing that we needed from his position, he did. So I’m hoping these young guys -- when I say ‘young guys’ I’m not just referring to the two draft choices (I count Hakeem and Ramses because I already plan on wasting that Beckum kid... tell me, what position does he play?), I’m definitely referring to see what Mario can do and Sinorice – this will be kind of his big chance. He will start off in the three wides. He will be the starter. So now you just hope, because with me you need a lot of hope – I know he will hope, for sure – that he flourishes and does well. I know we are hoping that somebody does and I have no reason to think it won’t be him.

At this point in the interview, Kevin breaks out into the spotlight onstage, starts singing Heart from the play "Damn Yankees"

You gotta have hope
Musn't sit around and mope
Nothin's half as bad as it may appear
Wait'll next year and hope

Q: Do you have a preference as to how it is broken down because you don’t have Derrick Ward’s 1000 in that one body any more, whether it is Danny Ware or Bradshaw or the new kid, Brown. How do you mathematically break that down right now?

A: I don’t because all I really care about is that somehow, someway, in one form or another, we move the ball. Can't you figure it out by now that I do not know how to leverage the specific strengths of each ball carrier? That I don't use Bradshaw on screens or flares, that I like running Brandon East-West vs Philly so that the 12 men in the box can string him out for a loss? We have shown some ability to do that on a consistent basis. The more balance you have, the better off you are. I believe in balance to the point of predictability. I don’t think anyone would argue with that. And by balance I don’t necessarily mean the way most people portray it or most people interpret it is that you are 50% run, 50% pass. I just mean we are good enough that if you are overplaying the pass we can run with consistency, or vice versa. The opposite of that is when you are loaded up against the run and we have one on one chances that we are good enough to win outside. Do you have that kind of ability, and to me that kind of balance. I think we do but certainly at the end last year we weren’t as consistent as we would like in that Dallas game (where I could not dial up more than one screen all night to beat all their pressure), that Philly game (where I could not throw a short pass, a flare, a slant, a screen to save myself) and then we were very good in the Carolina game. And really in the Minnesota game we were fine. But we didn’t do it again in the playoff game because I wasted the do-over from Week 14. So it always leaves you a little bit unnerved because you didn’t finish the way you would like to. But as I look at the guys – Domenik will be healthy again, we are going to give Steve a chance to play an expanded role with the additional new bodies from the receivers to Beckum and the other guys. I can’t help but think that we have enough parts that some way, somehow, we will find a way to move the ball the way we need to again like we did last year. Don't ya just love my new plan? Mix in one part some way, one part somehow, and two parts hope.

Q: With the running game, because your O-line has been so successful and is still intact, it kind of makes it easier for these new backs, whether it is Ware or Brown, to work in, correct?

A: Yeah, the fact that you have five guys that have been playing together is certainly a positive. But as you saw last year, if you don’t have those other parts to it, then no one guy can do it with me at the helm. In other words, you have the greatest quarterback in the world, if he can’t stand up and throw, or he doesn’t have a coach with a clue, he can’t perform. So the same thing – I think our running backs help our line just as I think our line helps our running backs. I also know the ability to force defenses to defend the pass also contributed very, very importantly to the success we have had running. So it kind of all plays in. It sounds like it is more --- it is not complicated but it is important to have the ability (which I lack) that they can’t just gang up on one thing and you are left defenseless. I don’t think we are going to be that way. I think we will have enough weapons. I’m anxious to see who is going to do what in a way that you feel confident about. (Ultimatenyg-So am I). But I think there are enough parts, which is what you guys were asking about. I think there are.

Q: What makes you think Sinorice Moss will flourish?

A: Because I think last year he had his best year and again, I said to him a couple of times at the end, “We are sitting you down but it is not because you are not contributing.” Because I think he was playing pretty good football. And every time we threw him the ball – I may be off by one – but I think every throw we made to him, he made; he made the catch. So we rewarded this success with less touches. There is a place for his speed and his quicks that I thought he did a much better job last year. And he always, for a little guy, gets after people blocking, which helps in the running game; he does those things. So I think his confidence is a little bit improved. I think our confidence in him is a little bit expanded. So I think it is reasonable to think that he can maybe take one more step forward as he did last year and become a guy that gets a chance to play. Last year it really just came down to the kicking game. We wound up just sitting him down because he wasn’t contributing as much as some other guys were on special teams. (Ultimatenyg-WTF? Heeelllpppp!)

Q: Smith has often said that he can play wide and get deep.

A: Oh yeah, I have no question that he said that.

Q: Did he show that in college and does his size mitigate against what you want from that position?

A: In a perfect world you would always like to have a 6-3, 6-4, 4.4 guy. How many guys are there like that? Not many. At Houston I had Buddy try to punch some sense into me. Steve is a little bit unique. Now he has very good body control, he has got great quicks. He has good speed. I wouldn’t say it is as good as he thinks he has, but he has good speed. But he just has a knack, he just has a way of making plays. And so I’m not going to say he can’t do it because quite honestly everything we have asked him to do, he has done. So he is going to get a shot; he is going to get a chance to be that guy.

Q: Do he and Manning have a feel for each other?

A: Yeah, he gets open so Eli feels very good about throwing him the ball. It is not real sophisticated, which is good for me. He is hard to cover, he is difficult to cover. He gets open. He does the right thing. He is courageous. He will make the tough catches inside. He is a quarterback friendly guy as a receiver. He is a guy you know is going to do the right thing. And the odds are pretty good that he is going to get himself some separation and give you a chance to complete the pass if you throw it accurately to him. In that sense, yeah, I guess they do have a good rapport.

Q: Eli had talked last year quite a bit in the offseason about getting the longer passes as part of the offense. It worked in spots but not in others. Is that still a point of emphasis?

A: It always is every year. The long pass or the short pass/long run has not been something -- we are actually better at the long pass than we are at the short pass/long run. That is an area that we would like get a lot better in. We are hoping (ya gotta have hope!) some of those young guys will do that. Certainly Mario, when he was in college, looked like that kind of guy. Hakeem looks like he is that kind of guy. So hopefully (ya gotta have hope!) we have added a few more to that type of receiver that does that. It is – as you guys all know – I’m not telling something you don’t know, throwing the long pass is not just the receiver. You have to protect long enough to throw the long pass and sometimes it is other factors that are involved. When you get to late November or December here it is a little tougher to throw the ball condition wise. So there are a lot of things we should do, but don't, like throwing flares, screens, slants, dumpoffs. But is that a goal? No question. Is it something that we feel like we need to get better at? Absolutely, absolutely.


Motown Blue said...

How does anyone get a job in such a high paying and high profile position based on an interview like that. My jaw would drop in the room in amazement at the stupidity of his comments and responses.

Just like A., I went ballistic with his comment about Moss and special teams. The fact that he couldn't contribute to the weakest unit on the team as a reason for his lack of touches makes so much sense, if your Kevin Gilbrown. If I am drafted by the Gs with a turd of an OC as a WR I am a little concerned. Just ask Moss about his comments and Smith not being utilized outside.

Wake up TC! This guy is a joke. His responses to what happened last year scares the brown out of me about our chances this year.

Nature said...


PLEASE have your way with this guy...you dont have to say BROWN on my site....LOL!

GoodPunk6 said...

today's post....crap.

xtian said...

like most coaches, kg pretty much said a lot of nothing. interviews are like that. funny, how you never get on eli because he is best/worst at giving generic answers.

the moss comments were poorly stated. basically, kg didn't want to throw him under the bus. bottom line, moss's only position on special teams is return man and it was judged that other guys were more effective overall to the giants winning, that's all.

as far as smith, he was in the slot with burress, toomer, and hixon outside. this year will be different, but don't be surprised if he mainly plays slot cuz he's so damn good at it. i expect the other guys to be outside cuz ultimately they will be better at it. nothing wrong with being a great slot receiver.

tc has as much to do with the giants offensive ineffectiveness at the end of the year as did kg; remember tc is an offensive coach.

ny fans always have some guy to pile on--kg--and some guy to get on their knees to--ab. kg is not as horrendous an oc as you state and ab is not the godsend. the truth is somewhere in between.

ny fans overreact and do not help the situation. all this negative energy and overreaction hurts their team like when they boo some guy such as the mets carlos beltran who is a damn good player--baseball is easier single out.

i know everyone has their favorites. that's great cheer like hell when they get on the field, but don't destroy the players you like least cuz they are on your team! you should want them to do well.

don't you think reese would insist that kg be gone if he was as horrible as you suggest. after all, jr is amazing, right? he's not going to let some boob be the nyg oc. [kg is not a boob, but if he doesn't perform he will be replaced. many of you would have run eli and tc out of town and we wouldn't have a super bowl.] a more measured jerry reese response is deserved and gets better results in the long run. thank god you guys aren't the giants gm.

xtian said...

btw, i realize the ny fans overreaction comes from their passion about their team. that's great! but more awareness of their effect on players and the team is what is needed. boo the play, not the player [or coach].

Andrew Nisinson said...

Boy... everyone is about to disagree with me... lol... but... I actually don't think Gilbride came across that badly in that interview. In fact, he's doing some things that I like a lot. First of all, as I have said for a while... Sinorice Moss was great every opportunity he got last year, and he could be a hell of a weapon. Also, I feel like Gilbride isn't saying anything about which receivers are going to be the starters next year, which is good. I mean, yes, it'll most probably be Smith and Hixon... BUT... competition is key, especially with young groups like this. There are a lot of guys with skill, talent and upside in our receiving corps, they could be better than we think. Also, yes Gilbride has historically had no clue when it comes to TE's, but he HAS been getting better. He used Boss a lot more last year than he used Shockey the previous year, and he definitely used Boss well in the red zone. We all have to remember, we were the number one offense in terms of points scored for most of last year. We all moaned about Bradshaw not getting enough time, and about not doing well after plax went down. However, I don't entirely blame gilbride for those things. In terms of Bradshaw, to be honest, he has tons of upside but it would have been premature to give him carries like Ward got last year. He had a serious problem holding onto the ball (might still be a problem). Also, it wasn't just gilbride who seemed out of step when plax went out, the whole team was effected. In an interview with Jacobs, he said that the whole team lost its identity. I think Coughlin et all are just as much to blame for what happened there. Also, Hixon was the shit when he knew he was just a placeholder. There were no expectations, he just had to go in there and be the backup until plax got back. However, as soon as he got that starter role, and the added pressure of essentially being our big play receiver... he just stopped getting separation. This is odd for a guy who can take kickoffs to the house on a pretty regular basis. Also by the end of the season, Toomer was almost a waste of space. I mean I love the guy, Amani will always hold a special place in my big blue heart, but he just wasn't what he used to be. I feel like next year, smith and hixon will be the starters, but we're gonna see a lotta guys gettin in and out of the game. Gilbride is getting better, he definitely is not the world's quickest learner, I will grant that... but... before plax went down, our offense was pretty sick last year. I feel like this year could be even better. It's not like Burress was even producing that much when he was in, and sure his presence makes a difference but... we got a lotta guys who can do a lotta things, and Gilbride will be working on essentially creating a new offense this year, geared around the talent we have in place, so I'm cautiously optimistic. Besides, if teams start stacking the box with 8 men, and we have Steve Smith in on every play, we'll make opponents look foolish for trying to do that. Smith gets open fast and has great hands. Eli needs to work on a quick release though. THIS IS KEY.

Andrew Nisinson said...

The men of Troy:
I think that Gilbride can learn a lot from my alma mater, USC, this year. Over the last two years, Pete Carroll has had offenses loaded with freshmen and sophomore standouts at the WR and RB positions. These are guys who were hot recruits and were highly touted in high school, but you never know how such players are gonna do in college (just like we don't know how our new guys or even second/third/fourth year guys are gonna do in the NFL. What Pete did was use his most experienced backs (Washington and then Stafon Johnson) as a mainstay at RB and then cycled through groups of up to four RB's and up to six WR's. This was great in so many ways. First of all, there is tons of competition, which pushes players to work harder. Second of all, FRESH LEGS are key. Third and most importantly, using many guys on offense at WR and RB positions really keeps other teams off balance. I like the idea of a multi-headed skill position offense (except for QB obvi). We will have so many different groups for different situations. If we need to make quick passes and run a west coast offense, we could put in Bradshaw at HB and Smith, Moss and Manningham at WR. That is a seriously fast unit. If we need power, we can stick Jacobs at HB, Hedgecock at FB, put in Beckum and Boss at TE 1 and 2, and maybe throw in Hixon/Nicks (depending on how he adjusts) out wide. If Nicks is NFL ready, and every scouting report suggests that he is, Hixon and Nicks out wide with Smith in the slot and Boss at TE is quite nice. Next year is going to be a passing year. Every year it switches, last year was all about the run, the year before was all about the pass (next year will be as well). Teams are going to be guarding the run hard AND going after QB's hard. Therefore, what will be the best way to counteract that? West coast offense. Now, I'm not suggesting that we completely alter who we are on offense, BUT... to keep teams honest next year... to allow us to play OUR game. We're gonna need to make a lot of quick passes. This is what really worries me... because even Gilbride is saying it. Eli is not very good at quick short passes, they're actually his weakest. If we're gonna succeed next year, Eli really needs to work on it. Our defense fell flat because Hixon was playing kind of hurt, he had lost confidence as a starter, teams were gangrushing the box, and Eli can't throw quick short passes... yes gilbride also did a poor job, but he is not solely responsible.

Andy F. said...

Andrew/Xtian- I have never contended that Gilbride was the sole reason we lost this past season. I merely contend he was the weakest link. Sure, Eli was bad in the Philly playoff game; if he plays better the Giants win. Everyone knows quite well how Burress cost the Giants. Coughlin, as the head coach, ultimately takes the credit and the blame for coming up short, and no one understands that more than he does.

As for your remarks about USC, Pete Carroll has obviously been recruiting a lot of talent. So that gives him more weapons to use. In an ideal world the players on our roster at WR/RB/TE will be deep. Considering the 'pedigree' of our WRs, one would think there would be someone who can step it up. Coincidence or not, that person at this moment in time is Steve Smith.

On the subject of Steve Smith, someone can explain to me why this guy did not get more involvement in the offense once Burress went down. He averaged 4 receptions per game before Burress went down, and 3 after. No, he was not gtg doubled.

xtian- 1) We called Eli Mr. Platitude for the yogurt he routinely dispenses to the media. 2) Reese and the Giants are far above him meddling in Coughlin's business, which is where Gilbride's status resides. 3) Re Moss, can you explain what exactly happened that specials cost him playing time with the offense? I would assume he was making the kind of mistakes on specials which demoted him to the bench.. Thanks. 4) Agreed on Smith. 5)I don't think it is an overreaction when we say things and then thereafter they are corroborated by Banks and Toomer. I cannot speak to his time with the Oilers and Steelers, but fans there did not like him, so I connect the dots.

6) As far as coaches being replaced, tomorrow's blog will offer a little color on that one.
Thanks for your constructive comments. We all want the same thing, a Giants Super Bowl.

Bob said...

I thought this interview showed Gillbride as a confused, indecisive OC. He showed no qualities of creative decision making or leadership.

Just the sort of OC who would look good when all things were going his way, but would have great troubles when things went bad.

I am NOT optimistic about the NYG offense under his confused, weak leadership.

Bob said...

I thought this interview showed Gillbride as a confused, indecisive OC. He showed no qualities of creative decision making or leadership.

Just the sort of OC who would look good when all things were going his way, but would have great troubles when things went bad.

I am NOT optimistic about the NYG offense under his confused, weak leadership.

Pablo said...

Hopefully we have a good year and he actually gets taken from us next year.

Russ Wellen said...

What disturbed me is the way Gil Brown-Garbage kept emphasizing Burress and his role in the Giant offense. It's like he wants to have his excuse ready-made for when the Giants offense starts to sputter.

xtian said...

andy f: first off, while you obviously don't like kg, your column was humorous and well done. actually, lots of my comments were intended for others who froth at the mouth at the mere mention of kg, and that maybe they need to take a chill pill and see that the guy did help get us a super bowl. i'm certainly not a huge fan of kg, either, but we were one of the best offenses until plax went down and he had lots to do with that. now to your points:
1: the point was that kg gets crucified for a stupid interview--aren't they all--while eli is only labeled bland or boring.
2: lol are you kidding? gms have insisted on getting rid of a coach. if a particular coach is not performing well, you can guarantee the gm is talking to the hc about it. i'm sure reese has discussed with coughlin some of the questionable play calling and what happened to the offense, but they are looking for solutions and to learn from it, not just to get rid of kg or play a blame game. so, yes, i agree reese doesn't meddle per se.
3: i said kg was trying to compliment moss to keep him motivated, but basically the giants were better off with other players playing. moss is limited to only returns as a special teamer, so if he is not gonna return he is a waste--he's not gonna tackle or block well compared to others. he was only a situational receiver, so he needed to be on coverage and return specials.
4: yeah!
5: it's not that fans cannot be critical of certain calls, that is expected. i do it myself. especially when the nyg don't adjust or stay with their bread and butter: ie. jacobs up the middle or off tackle on 4th and 1. it's the loathing and hate spilling out their mouths that i object to. i know some fans need to have someone on the team to hate--this pattern goes on through out their lives, too. i dated a gal who absolutely hated phil simms!!! she loved to bitch about him, even when he did well. i could never understand not rooting for everyone on your team. needless to say, we split up even though she loved the giants.
6: amen to that: giants super bowl victory.

Andy F. said...

Coughlin is ultimately responsible for the success of ALL the members of his coaching staff. He hires them, he fires them. Reese and the Giants have too much class and self-respect to want to climb into one another's duties. From everything I have seen over the years, if Reese were ever going to have a problem with an assistant coach, he would simply have a problem with the head coach and that is where it would begin and end.

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