The Raiders on Sunday confirmed that managing general partner Al Davis spoke with New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride on Saturday. However, it was Gilbride who contacted the Raiders and not the other way around, Raiders senior executive John Herrera said.
"We did not seek permission to interview Kevin Gilbride," Herrera said. "The Raiders received a letter from Gilbride's agent seeking a phone conversation with Mr. Davis."
The NFL Network reported Saturday that the Raiders requested permission from the Giants to interview Gilbride for their coaching vacancy. Herrera said the conversation between Davis and Gilbride wasn't necessarily an interview.
Davis is contemplating whether to hire Tom Cable on a permanent basis — Cable replaced the fired Lane Kiffin after four games this past season — or turn over the reins to a new coach for the fifth time in six seasons.
Gilbride is the first person Davis has spoken with since the Raiders season ended Dec. 28.
"Mr. Davis has known Kevin for a long time and was more than willing to oblige and have that conversation," Herrera said. "They had an interesting hour-and-a-half conversation Saturday at Gilbride's request. End of story."
Gilbride has been the Giants offensive coordinator for the past two seasons. He is credited with turning the Giants offense into one of the league's most-balanced attacks.
Of particular interest to Davis, no doubt, is the way Gilbride has incorporated three top-tier running backs into his offensive game plans. All three — Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw — averaged at least 5 yards per carry this season. Jacobs and Ward surpassed 1,000 yards and combined for 17 touchdowns.
Kiffin, Cable and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp struggled to find a system that worked well in terms of using Justin Fargas, Darren McFadden and Michael Bush on a consistent basis.
Per league rules, Gilbride no longer is allowed to interview with teams until the Giants' season ends. His lone NFL coaching experience came in 1997-98, when he guided the San Diego Chargers to a 6-16 mark before being fired.
Gilbride has worked in the NFL in some capacity every season except 2001 for the past 20 years.
Contact Steve Corkran at firstname.lastname@example.org.