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Gilbride: Giants need 'significant upgrade' to offensive line

Retired offensive coordinator talks about Giants' offense, says offensive line woes were biggest issue.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Former New York Giants' offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride spoke on Sirius XM NFL Radio Tuesday night, and was pretty forthcoming about the issues that caused the Giants' offense to unravel in 2013.

Gilbride said he had been "concerned about the depth on the O-line for a while" and added that "It kind of all came to a head this year."

'The offensive line first and foremost has to be addressed.' - Kevin Gilbride

"It just made it impossible for our quarterback to function," Gilbride said on SiriusXM's Late Hits. "(Eli Manning) is a guy where if you give him enough time, he's always going to be throwing the ball to the right person. He's going to know what you're doing defensively, he's going to see through your disguises, he's going to be an accurate passer. But he's not a scrambler and you've got to give him some help. And if you give him some help he's proven that he can win a championship for you."

Part of the Gilbride interview is below. This is taken from Sound Cloud, which only made a portion of the interview available.

Here are more snippets of Gilbride's commentary.

Contrary to the belief that Gilbride did not adjust, he said the Giants "modified substantially" what we normally do."

"We've been a dynamic, explosive, throw the ball down the field ... a lot of vertical read, stretch principles and we had to abandon those," Gilbride said. "You can't do it because your quarterback would be on his back while you waited for those things to happen."

Gilbride did not mention Hakeem Nicks by name, but said the struggles of receivers on the outside also hurt the offense.

"Victor Cruz still played very well on the inside for us, but it became readily apparent to defenses that we weren't playing as well on the outside," he said.

In a portion of the interview not available via the Sound Cloud clip, Gilbride said Brandon Myers would be an ideal second tight end, but that the Giants need a bigger, faster player at the position.

Gilbride also said said there is "no question" the Giants "have to get a running back that can be the bell cow."

The former offensive coordinator said the team was disappointed by the play of left tackle Will Beatty, who surrendered 13 sacks in his first season after signing a five-year, $37-million contract.

"We made the gamble that Will Beatty would be the guy. He played very well last year. This year he did not have as good a year, he was much more inconsistent," Gilbride said. "There's no question that he has the physical skills to play the left tackle position. I just think he has to demonstrate again the commitment and the toughness that you have to have on a play-in and and play-out basis."

Gilbride closed the interview by saying that the Giants must focus on improving the offensive line.

"The offensive line first and foremost has to be addressed," he said. "I think they need a significant upgrade in the O-line and certainly some added depth."

Valentine's View

I know many of you will simply pass off Gilbride's remarks as excuse-making for his own failings. There is, however, a great deal of truth in what Gilbride said, and now that he is no longer affiliated with the Giants he is free to say it. I took his comments about having been concerned about the offensive line "for a while," as meaning multiple seasons -- and as being a veiled shot at general manager Jerry Reese for failing to address it. I can't disagree with the rest of his assessment, either.