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  • Vincent Zahler

Why Everyone is Wrong About the Giants O-Line


Everyone from the fans to the media and everywhere in between are wrong about GM Jerry Reese and the Giants offensive line woes. Once again, the storyline of the New York Giants is issues with the offensive line. Virtually no push for the running game, and pass protection so lacking, that it has left Eli Manning with no time to scan the field, and happy feet the very few times he does. The offensive lines deficiencies are the main culprit for the Giants offensive ineptitude the last few years. Not since 2010 have the Giants had any semblance of a consistent running game and Eli has been on a statistical roller coaster for much of the last decade. Jerry Reese has been everyone's favorite scapegoat on the matter of the offensive line. Media and fans alike haven't hesitated with the pointing of their fingers at the General Manager and his reluctance to invest into the offensive line. The problem with that is that it couldn't be more wrong. Since the days of the physically dominating offensive line that featured all-pro level linemen Shaun O' Hara, Chris Snee, and David Deihl began to age and fall apart in the 2011 and 2012 seasons before utterly collapsing in 2013, Jerry Reese has invested heavily into the offensive line with draft picks and free agent signings. Current Giants offensive line.... LT Ereck Flowers: 2015 1st round pick-9th overall. LG Justin Pugh: 2013 1st round pick-19th overall. C Weston Richburg: 2015 1st round pick-43rd overall. RG John Jerry: 2014 free agent signing from Miami. RT Bobby Hart: 2015 7th round pick-226th overall. Backup G/C Brett Jones: 2015 free agent signing from CFL. Was best OL in Canada. Backup G/T DJ Fluker: 2017 free agent signing from San Diego. 2013 11th overall pick and solid starter As we can see, the facts simply don't line up with the narrative. Much attention has been placed into building the current offensive line between free agent signings and high draft picks. However, the results have not been satisfying. Ereck Flowers has had more than his share of struggles at left tackle since being thrusted there following Will Beatty's essentially career ending pectoral injury. That being said, he has improved more than most acknowledge. Flowers is no longer the Achilles heal that many pundits would have you believe at this point. Even when he was as an overwhelmed rookie, the Giants offense was ranked in the top 10. Justin Pugh and DJ Fluker were both named 2013 PFWA all rookie tackles and both have been solid at worst, starters at guard and tackle. Weston Richburg was the league's 2nd ranked center per Pro Football Focus in 2015, while 2015 free agent signing Brett Jones was the first offensive lineman to be named CFL's most outstanding rookie in 2013 and followed up his rookie campaign with being named CFL's most outstanding OL. In truth, few teams have invested more in their offensive lines than the Giants have since 2013. The pieces are there. It's up to the coaching staff to make them work. Fingers that are pointed directly are Jerry Reese, should be redirected to the likes of the offensive coaching staff. Stubbornness by Head Coach Ben McAdoo, Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan and Offensive Line coach Mike Solari, are what's holding back the Giants offensive line from the necessary adjustments. The "fix" is simpler and easier than most think. Sunday night's dreadful performance from the offensive line was highlighted by the inadequacies of two linemen in particular. Right tackle Bobby Hart and right guard John Jerry. Both of whom were vastly outplayed by their backups Brett Jones and DJ Fluker in preseason. For some reason, it appears that McAdoo and co. value seniority over ability. DJ Fluker is a proven starter at both guard and right tackle while Brett Jones' CFL and preseason performances speak for themselves. Bobby Hart has shown little to suggest he's earned so starting spot and John Jerry has been getting blown up into the backfield regularly. It's an absolute mystery on how and why Hart and Jerry opened the 2017 season as starters over the likes of Jones and Fluker. Regardless, it's time for Head Coach McAdoo to make the needed changes on the offensive line by promoting Brett Jones and DJ Fluker over John Jerry and Bobby Hart before the season becomes yet another year of anemic offensive production thus wasting a tremendous defense. Make it happen McAdoo...


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