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Giants' Kevin Gilbride 'Wanted' Steve Smith, Settles For Brandon Stokley

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) -- Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was hoping for wide receiver Steve Smith.

He'll have to settle instead for Brandon Stokley, thanks to the "powers above" him.

"We had wanted all along Steve Smith back and that was the objective, that was the hope and the expectation," Gilbride said after Big Blue announced the Stokley signing. "But when that didn't happen, then we have two young guys that we think can do it. How fast will they be able to evolve into the experienced receiver that you need at that spot where everything is happening so quickly inside? The powers above me made that decision and we needed to add this additional receiver."

Is there a controversy brewing?

"That comment appeared to be directed at GM Jerry Reese," the New York Post's Bart Hubbuch wrote on Thursday.

The Giants' lack of depth in the slot was evident in the 28-14 season-opening loss to the Redskins in Washington. They were a woeful 1 of 10 on third-down opportunities and the bad performance started on the opening drive, when second-year pro Victor Cruz dropped a wide-open pass on third down.

The depth at the receiver position also got a little murky when leading wideout Hakeem Nicks bruised his left knee. Nicks said Thursday that his leg is feeling better and he expects to take part in the team portion of practice on Friday.

It's not all Smith-wishing for Gilbride.

"I feel pretty good about this particular guy because he is an intelligent guy who has shown the quickness that you need to react to with all the different variables," Gilbride said. "I think he will bring something to the table that we are looking forward to having, and what we were really in need of since Steve Smith's injury."

Coach Tom Coughlin hopes Stokley can be ready for Monday night's game against the Rams. The advantage is he has 12 years experience with Baltimore, Indianapolis, Denver and Seattle.

He started both of the Seahawks' playoff games last season, in fact, and had 12 catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns.

Do you think Gilbride's comments are a big deal? Sound off below...

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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