Giants Offensive Line is the Elephant in the Room

August 2, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants have been outstanding at the offensive line position for many years now. These guys have done such a good job protecting QB Eli Manning, that they have become almost an after thought. Fans could always rely on those guys to do their job and NFL fans acknowledged their superiority by voting the big guys into multiple Pro Bowls. We now find ourselves in an interesting predicament and completely unfamiliar territory with having to be concerned about the offensive line. Yes, the offensive line is the elephant in the room that nobody has talked about at length. If Eli Manning is going to continue his Iron Man streak for the most consecutive regular season starts, the offensive line is going to need a seamless transition into the new season.

One of the biggest player moves that really made me nervous was the acquisition of QB David Carr. I mentioned this is a previous article but I would like to explain to you why I am nervous. Eli Manning hasn’t really needed a true backup QB so far because he has proven to be extremely durable. A quiet tough guy if you will. With all due respect, Jim Sorgi and Sage Rosenfels aren’t exactly they guys you want running your team for any long period of time. Are the Giants concerned about Manning’s safety with this new offensive line? Do they lack confidence in the new group who will be taking over for Rich Seubert, Shawn Andrews and Shaun O’Hara? Are they concerned with the depth at that position if one or two guys fall to injury? Or did GM Jerry Reese just see an opportunity to sign a quality player familiar with the system?

The starters most likely will be William Beatty, David Diehl, David Baas, Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie. The others include Mitch Petrus, Adam Koets, Kevin Boothe, rookie James Brewer and newly signed Chris White who appear to be the primary backups. There are a handful of other players on the team who will be competing for a role on the offensive line but the players I just mentioned appear to be the front runners. This is going to be the year that certain players will have to step up. I know that is an overused term but it is quite literally what will need to happen in 2011 for the Giants to stay competitive. Some have speculated that Seubert, Andrews or O’Hara could return and play for a smaller contract. With the Giants issues with the salary cap, it is a possibility but unlikely at this point.

In summary, I am very concerned about the offensive line this year. I have faith in the players talent but the lack of experience concerns me. I am also wondering how long it will take QB Eli Manning to become familiar with a new center in David Bass. If those two guys can’t get on the same page quickly, the team is going to be in trouble. If not for the salary cap issues, I would like to see the team bring in another veteran to help out this very young offensive line. Even if it were just to add depth, I would feel much better.

Are you concerned about the Giants offensive line for the 2011 NFL season?

RD – nygreporter.com

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Update: Giants Sign More Players, Continue Training Camp

August 2, 2011

NEW YORK – Giants fans across the country let out a collective sigh of relief yesterday, when RB Ahmad Bradshaw agreed to the terms of a new four year contract worth $18 million dollars. This is very good news for Big Blue and basically locks down the running back position, as far as being set for the season. After the G-Men made so many moves on the defensive side of the ball, it was clear that some work had to be done on the offensive side. The Giants are set at QB with Eli Manning and they brought in former Giants QB David Carr to back him up this season. They are fine at the WR spot, even without WR Plaxico Burress returning to the team. WR Steve Smith is the final priority signing at that position and I expect that to get done soon. So the QB, RB and WR positions are set. The special teams group has also had a significant upgrade and I’m very excited to see them perform on the field.

The two offensive areas that still need work are the offensive linemen and the tight ends. The Giants did address the tight end position yesterday by signing the very good blocking TE Ben Patrick. Patrick is a big strong man who comes to New York via the Arizona Cardinals. His one year deal could mean that the team is skeptical about re-signing one of their other tight ends. Kevin Boss is still unsigned and Bear Pascoe will mostly be playing FB according to sources. That leaves TE Travis Beckum as the likely odd man out. The team will have to figure out what role Beckum will be play during training camp and make a decision based on his willingness to adjust.

We also have the DE Osi Umenyiora situation heating up to record highs. Osi made it very clear that he prefers to stay with the Giants but wants a fair contract offer. I have to say that I want Osi to stay too. Fans seem to be split on the topic of Umenyiora. Half would love for him to stay, while the other half perceive him as a trouble maker. Osi spoke to the AP last night via email and wanted to clear his name and let the fans know that it bothers him to be perceived as a “bad guy” for simply wanting a fair contract. I have to agree with him. But there is no denying that there seems to be something wrong with either his communication skills or the public relations people giving him the advice. I can understand both sides of the coin and hope the team can work something out with him.

First round draft pick CB Prince Amukamara, WR Steve Smith and TE Kevin Boss remain the big three players who have yet to sign new contracts. The team has been battling the salary cap this entire free agency period and I’m sure that GM Jerry Reese is working on a creative way to sign these three guys. With the first preseason game just 11 days away, I hope they can agree on something soon. Be sure to check back today for any updates on team transactions.

Have you attended a New York Giants training camp practice this year? Do you plan on attending one?

RD – nygreporter.com

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