Week 1 of the 2020 XFL season saw the successful return of former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who made his way back to the sidelines for the first time since 2013 and did so with an upset victory.
After the game, New York Guardians quarterback Matt McGloin presented Gilbride with the game ball and the coach received a rousing ovation from his players.
But this is New York and things can — and often do — change on a dime.
Week 2 of the XFL season was far less fruitful for Gilbride, who saw his Guardians become the first team to be shutout this year, but that was really just the tip of the iceberg.
Things went from bad to ugly in no time flat on Saturday, as McGloin, who was playing like someone who had never thrown a football before, ripped into Gilbride and the offensive coaching staff on live TV during a sideline interview just prior to halftime.
“We need to change the whole entire game plan at halftime,” McGloin told ESPN’s Dianna Russini. “There’s a lot going on right now. It’s embarrassing for us for an offense. There’s a lot of things for us to fix and correct.”
McGloin would return in the second half with a pick-six before finding himself benched in favor of Marquise Williams. After the game, he took his criticism of Gilbride & Co. to the next level.
“We need to clean that up. Communication is especially is one, and it showed today,” McGloin said.
“At no point in time did I think we were comfortable out there. At no point in time did I think we were in a position to try to be successful. I think it was pretty easy to see.”
Asked about the incident during his post-game press conference, Gilbride refused to add any fuel to the fire, dismissing McGloin’s critical comments and claiming they merely went to Williams for a spark.
“We started off slow on both sides of the ball,” Gilbride said, via XFL.com. “I thought our defense picked it up and played well. Offensively, it seemed like every time we started to get something going, we shot ourselves in the foot.
“ was more just to get a spark — try to generate something. We weren’t doing anything with any consistency on offense, so I said let’s make a change and see what happens.”
Gilbride also admitted that situations like the one we saw on Saturday could “splinter” a team, but he believes his unit will rally instead, becoming a more close knit unit moving forward.
The Guardians will travel to St. Louis on Sunday of Week 3 where they’ll take on the BattleHawks at 3:00 p.m. ET (ESPN).