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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