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 Have a Solid Day in East Rutherford, More Signings

July 31, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants went back to work yesterday and continue to work on improving the team. They signed a few new players and have sent out offers to WR Steve Smith, RB Ahmad Bradshaw and TE Kevin Boss. None of the three mentioned players have signed yet but at least there is a starting point to negotiate. Signing those three offensive players is an absolute priority. Prince Amukamara still isn’t signed but the team expects to get him into camp soon, per Coach Coughlin. And NFL teams can now cease pursuing WR Plaxico Burress, who signed a one year deal with the Jets today. The Giants however, went out and signed three more players last night. Big Blue signed OL Chris White, who is a seven year NFL veteran, OL Brant Clouser who is a rookie from Villanova and TE Christian Hopkins who played a couple of years in the UFL.

Fans had an opportunity to see the players on the field last night, as the team started preparing for the season. There is a ton of work to do in a very short period of time due to the lockout. Nobody understands this better then the coaches and the players. Giants.com provided fans with some terrific coverage of the practice and activities yesterday. I encourage all of our readers to go to their site and look through the photos and videos they have there. It really gives fans an inside look at what is going on and a first look at the rookies wearing Giants blue.

All-Pro defensive end Osi Umenyiora showed up at camp last night after receiving a letter from the team notifying him they would be charging him the standard $30,000 fine per day he holds out from his commitment. Osi’s agent said he does not want to speak to GM Jerry Reese and that he still wants a new contract or trade. Osi must realize how deep the G-Men are at defensive end and the fact that they are all signed already. He must feel disrespected by this fact but continues to approach the situation the wrong way. It’s easy for us to speculate because it isn’t our money tied up but Osi still needs to have a cool head when talking to his bosses. The Giants will be back at practice this evening and I hope we see some of these guys signed and suited up to play ball.

GM Jerry Reese really deserves some credit for dealing with a bad situation. Fans have to understand that the team was $6 million dollars over the salary cap when the free agent frenzy began. I continue to see fans throwing darts at Reese for not doing enough but I ask those fans to really take a long hard look at what he has accomplished with little wiggle room. I think they will see that he addressed a lot of areas that needed work including the offensive line and punter situation. Yes, he isn’t signing the flashy names but he is certainly signing solid players who keep their mouths shut and go to work. I applaud you Jerry Reese for handling team business with a visionary approach in gaining quality players.

What do you think about the state of the New York Giants as of today?

RD – nygreporter.com

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