New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo defended embattled left tackle Ereck Flowers. He still believes Flowers has room to grow.
Over the course of the past two seasons, no player has become a more polarizing figure to New York Giants fans than Ereck Flowers. Heralded for his upside when he was drafted in 2015, Flowers has failed to live up to the hype in his two NFL seasons.
Though some have called for Flowers to be moved to a different position along the offensive line, the head coach hasn’t yet lost faith in his tantalizing left tackle.
The Giants selected Flowers at No. 9 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. He was selected one pick before Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley, which inevitably added salt to the wound of New York spending a draft pick on a player who regressed between 2015 and 2016.
According to Paul Schwartz of The New York Post, head coach Ben McAdoo remain supremely confident in Flowers’ ability to develop into a high-quality player.
"“I have a ton of confidence in Ereck,’’ McAdoo said. “He’s a guy, he’s all in, he’s working at it, you can make a case he could be here right now preparing to go out there and run at the combine. He’s a young player that has a lot of room to grow and we expect him to grow. I have confidence he’s going to grow. Where he ends up is where he ends up. Right now he’s playing left tackle like he’s always played for us, and we’ll go from there.’’"
There are no shortage of areas for criticism, but the reasons for optimism are somewhat intriguing.
Flowers is a 6’6″ and 315-pound Goliath of an offensive tackle who has the raw athleticism to be a force of nature. He’ll be 23 years of age at the start of training camp, which means he still has what could be a decade of experience ahead of him.
Before Flowers can become the anchor to the Giants’ offensive line for years to come, however, he’ll need to be stronger in the short-term.
No matter how confident McAdoo may be in his alluring offensive lineman, the time is now for Flowers to step up and execute. In 2016, he was ranked No. 57 amongst offensive tackles by Pro Football Focus.
He was strong in run protection, but was one of the worst players in the NFL at preventing edge rushers from getting to the quarterback.
In 2017, Flowers will be tasked with proving his long-term value as either a left or right tackle. It’s possible that he could be moved inside to guard, but McAdoo appears confident in Flowers’ ability to play outside.
If the Giants are going to extend Eli Manning’s career and make a push for the Super Bowl, then Flowers must step up in 2017.
New York Giants fans may be skeptical, but Ben McAdoo remains confident in his mercurial young left tackle.