Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News
Kevin Gilbride, after seven seasons as the Giants’ offensive coordinator, is expected to retire.
Kevin Gilbride isn’t getting fired, but he is set to leave the Giants.
The Giants’ embattled offensive coordinator is expected to announce his retirement soon. While nothing is official, a source said Thursday afternoon that things were “headed that way.” The news was first reported by FoxSports 1.
Gilbride, the Giants’ offensive play-caller for the last seven years, came under fire this season as a loaded unit underperformed throughout 2013. Quarterback Eli Manning somehow morphed into a Mark Sanchez-like turnover machine, throwing a franchise-record 27 interceptions, and the offense was shut out twice during the season.
Kevin Gilbride looks on as Eli Manning practices during the season.
Injuries played a role in the decline of the offense, and both coach Tom Coughlin and Manning publicly supported the 62-year-old Gilbride, even as fans nicknamed him “Killdrive” and reviled his game plans.
But in the end, that wasn’t enough. Giants owner John Mara openly expressed his displeasure over the offense, calling the unit “broken” in his Monday meeting with the media, and he promised change. Things happened swiftly, too; the Giants began meeting to evaluate the entire franchise on Thursday morning, and by the afternoon, word was filtering out that Gilbride would ride off into the sunset.
With Gilbride gone, the Giants must now search for a new offensive coordinator, although the job isn’t exactly an appealing one. While the franchise quarterback is in place, and Victor Cruz provides a reliable receiving weapon, the running back position, with injured David Wilson and fumble-prone Andre Brown, seems like a mess, the offensive line is in need of dire rebuilding, and deep threat receiver Hakeem Nicks may be on his way out of town.
Recently fired Tampa Bay Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, Manning’s QB coach until 2011, seems like the frontrunner at the moment.