He said it’s been extremely challenging so far but that he and his guys will keep plugging away until something works.
“I think the thing that has been encouraging, yet disappointing, is you see glimpses, so you say we have a shot here,” Gilbride said. “We’re just not stringing enough of them together and that’s what we have to get better at. That’s that consistency thing and that’s where if you can keep doing the same things over and over, you’re going to limit or reduce the number of errors and you have a much better chance of stringing together those eight to 10-play drives that have been very characteristic of us, but not this year.”
Instead of being able to develop consistency this season, Gilbride spoke of how the Giants have had trouble adapting since the personnel has been constantly shifting. David Diehl has been medical cleared to play, but it’s uncertain what to expect from him in his first game back.
“Each guy can do certain things better than others,” Gilbride said. “When that guy is gone and the next guy goes in, you say, what can he do, still staying within the parameters of our offense, so we don’t confuse or drag down everybody else. It is a challenge. There is no question about it.”
This Sunday, the Giants take on an Eagles’ defense that had given up 138 points – second only to the Giants (146). Gilbride said Philadelphia’s defense uses odd-spacing and that the Giants will have to be ready to face plenty of pressure.
David Wilson still is not getting enough touches per game. Granted, he’s still trying to earn back Tom Coughlin’s confidence, but the best way to do that is to keep putting him in a situation where he can succeed – which involves giving him the ball more than 13 times per game.
“Certainly that’s why he (Wilson) was drafted and that’s what we’re looking forward to,” Gilbride said. “Like all of the new guys we have, David is one of many that they continue to progress far enough where we cut down on the mistakes, give ourselves the best possible chance of winning. Right now, we’re still making too many errors and not making enough plays. We certainly believe that those guys have the ability. They’re certainly working hard enough to get better, and it’s just a matter of hopefully it will come together for us.”
The one aspect of the Giants’ offense that actually is clicking is Victor Cruz. After all the contract drama this offseason, Cruz is going out there and earning his paycheck, and Gilbride almost wishes they could thrown to him on every play.
“We’d like to sometimes, but the other guys have to step up and make plays,” Gilbride said. “He’s playing great and we’re very proud of the way he’s shown up. We have other guys who have talent, too, and we believe that they can do it, too. We’re trying to give all of them a chance, just like we’re trying to give all of our runners a chance. They’ve all had opportunities, and we just have to continue to give it to them and believe that they are going to come through.”
As for Eli Manning, this could be the week where he breaks out against a weak Eagles’ secondary. But he will need his offensive line – whoever that may consist of this week – to protect him.
“If we give the quarterback time, I think very confidently he’ll throw the ball well and give our guys a chance,” Gilbride said. “I think we are getting better in the running game. The last two weeks, as bad as it’s been, it’s been improving, and it’s something we’re looking for to see continued development with. I think we’re headed in the right direction. Unfortunately it’s been painfully slow.”
Gilbride and the Giants hope that the pace of improvement will speed up this weekend. The season really depends on it.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.