New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was the offensive coordinator of the Houston Oilers 20 years ago when the Oilers went 12-4, winning their last 11 games after starting the season 1-4. This Oilers team of 1993 was featured on NFL Network’s “A Football Life,” and it was clear from the interviews that Gilbride took part in that he still holds ill feelings towards Buddy Ryan, who was the defensive coordinator of that team.
Ryan is the father of Rex Ryan, head coach of the New York Jets and Rob Ryan, defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints. Running back Brandon Jacobs made a reference to the Gilbride-Ryan saga after a Giants’ win against the Jets back in the 2011 season when Rex told reporters the Jets were the team in New York.
It was revealed in the show that Ryan said Gilbride would be selling insurance soon and be out of a coaching job in the league. After things went sour in the 1994 season for the Oilers, the Oilers cut ties with head coach Jack Pardee and Gilbride, and Ryan, then a head coach for the Arizona Cardinals, decided to take shots at the departing Gilbride.
Ryan comes off as a jerk in the show, but many people who watched football back in the 1980s and 1990s probably already felt that way about him. It was known when Ryan was defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears during their Super Bowl-winning season of 1985 that he clashed often with head coach Mike Ditka.
While Gilbride and the Oilers missed out on a chance to win a championship, he has won two championships leading the Giants’ offense. Despite those championships, he still seems bothered by the fact that he is forever attached to that infamous incident with Ryan.