New Chicago Bears Tight Ends Coach Brings Unheralded Teaching Prowess

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The first thing most football fans will think about in regards to hearing the name Kevin M. Gilbride is the former New York Giants offensive coordinator. Of course that would be a mistake. He is in fact the father of the man in question. Kevin Jr. served as an assistant on the elder Gilbride’s and later Ben McAdoo’s staff with the New York Giants from 2010 to 2017. Now he is slated to become the Chicago Bears’ new tight ends coach.

Most people will chalk this up as a reach on a legacy coach, somebody mooching off the strong reputation of his father. Indeed Gilbride Sr. had a long, great NFL run that included two Super Bowl championships. However to say that his influence alone is the sole reason his son is getting jobs would be doing the young coach a disservice.

In truth Gilbride Jr. has steadily build his own respectable reputation. One that could have an underrated influence on the cast of young tight ends the Bears have collected, particularly Adam Shaheen.

Kevin M. Gilbride proved himself to be a tremendous teacher in New York

After two years as an offensive quality control coach, Gilbride got his first big assigment in 2012 when the Giants made him their wide receivers coach. He got a Pro Bowl out of Victor Cruz his first year. After two years though the team decided to shift him to manning the tight ends in 2014. While he never produced a proper superstar, Gilbride shined with an ability to get the most from unheralded names.

That year he got a career-high 693 yard out of Larry Donnell. A year later undrafted rookie Will Tye became an unexpected contributor with 464 yards. This past season though was when New York finally gave Gilbride something to work with in 1st round pick Evan Engram.

Despite some early drop issues the rookie became arguably the most reliable pass target the Giants had. He finished second on the team with 722 yards and led everybody with six touchdowns. Considering the injury situation at receiver for them throughout the year, it’s a testament at the job Gilbride did to bring him along so well.

One could argue that Shaheen may be even more talented than Engram is. He’s just as athletic but is considerably bigger and stronger. This has to excite the young coach who is eager to make his own name in the league. Matt Nagy wants them hungry. Seems he got another one.