The Giants offensive coaching staff underwent mass changes this winter following the team’s first losing campaign since 2004.
Among the coaches who will be transitioning to new roles is the familiar face of Kevin Gilbride Jr. The son of former Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride (2007-2013), KGJ worked quality control for the Giants in 2010 before taking over as WR coach in 2012. He will be asked to replace career Giant and four-time Super Bowl champion Mike Pope as TE coach in 2014.
At the ripe old age of 34, the pressure is on Gilbride Jr. to mentor a pair of young and inexperienced tight ends — Adrien Robinson (ZERO career catches) and Xavier Grimble (UDFA) — both of whom need confidence and direction. Upon first bringing Gilbride Jr. aboard in 2010, Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin made this positive assessment of the football lifer:
“Kevin is very aggressive and a very energetic young coach. Quite frankly, I investigated him three or four years ago. He’s busted his tail to get where he is.”
40 years the junior of Pope, Gilbride Jr.’s energy level has won him a fan in projected TE starter Adrien Robinson:
“It has been great. He’s kind of younger so he relates on a different level. Not that Coach Pope didn’t relate, but it’s different when you have a guy closer to your age. It helps some.
“He’s always willing to meet extra, whenever you want. So that helps too.”
With that said, it will take more than vigor to transform the raw talent of Robinson and Grimble into Sunday producers. Gilbride Jr. needs to be a teacher first and foremost, because in both cases overall skill level needs advancement in a hurry. But the cupboard certainly isn’t bare from the context of physical tools.
General manager Jerry Reese labeled Robinson the “Jason Pierre-Paul of tight ends” after drafting him in 2012… former USC head coach Ed Orgeron was quoted as saying, “I think Xavier (Grimble) is going to be an All-Pro in the NFL“. Gilbride Jr. will play an instrumental role in turning those promises into football realities. Or…
Giants Nation — will the ugly exodus of his father affect your future outlook for KGJ and the TE position in 2014? Can he cultivate talent?
See for yourself by getting New York Giants tickets for the upcoming 2014 season today!