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Giants to talk Thursday about fate of offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride

Kevin Gilbride and Eli manning discuss play selection

Kevin Gilbride and Eli manning discuss play selection during a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Credit: David Pokress, 2011

Thursday is D-day for the O-coordinator.

After taking a few days to allow the impact of the 2013 season to set in, the Giants are expected to begin a series of high-level meetings Thursday in which they will begin the evaluation of key parts of the organization. One of the more pressing issues undoubtedly will be the fate of offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who oversaw a unit that co-owner John Mara described as "broken" on Monday.

Mara did not divulge his opinion on whether Gilbride should return for an eighth season as coordinator, but he was clearly unhappy with the direction of the unit that finished near the bottom in almost every category and was the only team in the NFL to be shut out this season. And that happened twice.

Tom Coughlin, whom the Giants want back in 2014, is expected to make the case for Gilbride to stay on. "I have great confidence in this group of men that we've had here as a coaching staff and I believe in them very strongly," Coughlin said.

Coughlin will base his defense of Gilbride on the many injuries suffered by the offense, the line in particular, and the "disconnect" that some receivers described with Eli Manning after missing most of the offseason workouts. Also sure to come up are the two Super Bowl titles with Gilbride and that four of the five times the franchise has scored 400 or more offensive points in a season was with him calling the plays.

That means general manager Jerry Reese could have the deciding vote, although it is not expected to come down to a tally. Mara suggested he would not force any decisions on Coughlin, but that the group would come to a consensus.

"I have opinions and Jerry has opinions," Mara said. "I'd like to think that at the end of the day we're all going to be on the same page, so I don't think it would ever come to that."

If Gilbride is not retained, the obvious candidate to replace him would be former quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan, fired as coordinator Monday in the Bucs' coaching housecleaning. Sullivan would allow for the same overarching philosophies to be in place, but change the voice in Manning's ear.

"We obviously think very highly of him, but that has yet to be discussed," Mara said of Sullivan's availability.

Fewell on 'Skins' list. While the Giants discuss Gilbride's future, another team will discuss the future of Perry Fewell, whose defense ranked eighth. The Redskins requested and received permission to interview Fewell for their head-coaching vacancy, according to a source. In 2011, the coordinator was a candidate for head-coaching jobs in Carolina, Cleveland, Denver and Tennessee.

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