Kevin Gilbride is finally starting to adjust. It took long enough. In fact, it took many calling for him to be fired.
Those that complained about Gilbride pointed out a few major issues: a lack of quick, short, easy passes, a lack of no-huddle offense and not enough help in blocking for Eli Manning. Manning has been constantly under pressure all season, partially because of a terrible offensive line. Another problem was Gilbride’s insistence on simply blocking with offensive linemen while sending only deep routes. Manning would take his seven-step drop and then be on his back.
In the last two weeks, that has changed. Gilbride has used both John Connor and Peyton Hillis as help blockers, and both have shined. They were needed with a weak offensive line, as David Wilson and Brandon Jacobs simply are not good enough in pass protection. Gilbride often relied on them or Brandon Myers to help block when none of them could do that job. Finally, with capable assets, Manning has had more time to operate.
The other move Gilbride made was calling shorter passes. In the last two games, Manning has targeted running backs over 10 times, something he rarely did before. Furthermore, more short routes were in his reads, which let him get the ball out faster and not turn the ball over nearly as much. Manning took a few deep shots, but did not rely as heavily on them.
These adjustments have been crucial for the New York Giants in getting their offense going. It still has not been as dominant as in the past, but it has eliminated turnovers and been at least competent. Gilbride should not be totally out of the clear though, as it would still help if he tried more no-huddle and improved the red zone offense, which has been a disaster all season. However, it is time to give credit where credit is due.