The Giants Offensive Line was a subject of many conversations the past two years, and it will continue to be one through training camp and the regular season. Many believe that the lack of an effective running game for most of the season, and the beating that Eli took in the NFC Championship game in San Francisco, shows this unit needs help. They have to find natural positions for some of these guys, and need to get a set unit in place.
Center David Baas was signed in Free Agency last year. He was hurt on and off during the season and missed some valuable games. He struggled throughout most of the regular season, but it can be said without argument that he had his best game of the year in the Super Bowl. His play that day against NT Vince Wilfork and LB Brandon Spikes was solid, steady, and contributed to the win in a big way.
Tackle Will Beatty started at Left Tackle last year and was uneven at best. He also had some health issues including a detached retina that cost him the end of the season and post season run. The Giants must wait on the doctors evaluation to determine his health, but it seems Will can be ready to compete for a job once training camp begins
Guard Kevin Boothe could be voted MVP of this team. while not always doing an outstanding job, Kevin was able to fill in at center, guard, and tackle, sometimes on a moments notice, and do a good job. Kevin will be back simply because of his versatility.
Tackle James Brewer was drafted in the 4th round last year. We will see where his development takes him this season. Another guy who didn’t get the experience of off season workouts, training sessions, and mini camps.
Tackle Selvish Capers is a young player that the Giants have re-signed to their practice squad. Another young man that needs some work this off season.
Tackle David Diehl moved to guard originally last season, but then went back to tackle when Will Beatty went down. Diehl is a valued part of this line and will be part of it in some capacity this coming year. He took most of his snaps in OTA’s at right tackle, but that doesn’t mean it’s set in stone.
For anyone who saw this video of Guard Mitch Petrus, how could you not love this guy? Mitch brings a tremendous amount of energy to the building, let alone the offensive line. Mitch is happy to play, and would run through a brick wall for this team. He is the kind of underdog guy everyone roots for, and hopefully can develop into a valuable part of the line. I was at Mitch’s first game for the Giants as he was called on to replace an injured player. He sprinted from the sideline to the huddle, and has been a fan favorite ever since.
Guard Chris Snee is the mainstay of this group along with David Diehl. He is the rock they like to run behind, and has built himself a nice career in New York. Chris had a few more penalties than usual this year, but he will get that cleaned up and remain a starter for this team.
Removed from the equation are names like Tony Ugoh, Kareem McKenzie and Stacy Andrews. Decent players and contributors all, but it is certainly time to have a look at some new faces.
Welcome into the competition rookies Stephan Goodin at 6′-6″ 310, Brandon Mosley at 6′-5″ 318, and Matthew McCants at 6′-5″ and 309. Also joining the competition will be Sean Locklear, a 9 year veteran, Chris White with 8 years experience, Jim Cordle entering his third year, and finally Joel Reinders entering his second season in the NFL.
This position is the part of the Offense that could use the most upgrading. With the Giants having an explosive offense now, the strength of the receiving corps, and one of the top QB’s in the league, this unit is imperative. Eli must be protected and given time to execute, the play action pass must mean something, which translates into the Giants must be able to run the ball when they want. Look for this position to be first and foremost on the minds of the Giants fans and coaching staff throughout training camp. These are the names on the current roster as of today.