Players expected to participate: David Diehl, Kevin Boothe, Will Beatty, James Brewer, Bryant Browning, Selvish Capers, Chris DeGeare, Jim Cordle, Stephen Goodin, Eric Herman, Michael Jasper, Matt McCants, Brandon Mosley, Justin Pugh Not expected to participate in team drills: Chris Snee (hip), David Baas (elbow)
Overview: The Giants have all of their key contributors from 2o12 returning with the exception of T Sean Locklear. The unit allowed the least amount of sacks in the league last season but that statistic is somewhat misleading. QB Eli Manning was under constant pressure and ended up avoiding sacks by using a quicker delivery, reading blitzes, checking down as well as throwing the ball away when in trouble. The run game was greatly improved from previous season. The Giants were seventh in the NFL averaging 4.6 YPC in 2012 as opposed to their league-worst 3.5 in 2011.
The team walked out of the draft room with two potential future starters in top pick Justin Pugh and seventh rounder Eric Herman. Both are still getting acclimated. No one will really know their capabilities until the pads are strapped on.
In looking at the starters from last season, The only player from the group that is projected to be here past this season is T Will Beatty, who signed a five-year deal over the winter. Diehl, Baas and Snee are on the other side of the proverbial hill. It is still unknown how all three will respond form their offseason surgeries, Boothe has been brought back on a one-year deal which helps eases some concerns.
In OTAs, David Diehl and several others have lined up at RT. Pugh, who is expected to challenge for the spot, has spent most of the early gong with the seconds and even thirds. Former fourth round pick James Brewer – a tackle by nature – has been lining up at RG in place of Snee. Jim Cordle, the backup center, is taking the first team reps in Baas’ absence. Beatty is in his natural spot at LT and Boothe has been at LG.
OL coach Pat Flaherty the competition for open spots on the line: “There’s a lot of open spots. You have William Beatty back at left tackle and Kevin Boothe at left guard and David Baas and Chris Snee have been injured and David Diehl is limited along with Kevin Boothe. So you have really four spots there that guys are in and out and this gives an opportunity for the younger guys to step up and see if they can take the bull by the horn. In the long run, it will be nothing but really secured at most positions.”
On Pugh: “He’s working extremely hard. He comes to work everyday. He’s still finding some things out about the NFL, which he will continue to do for a long time. But he’s conscientious, he gives good effort. He’s guy that wants to learn football, wants to learn the techniques of the NFL as much as anyone.”
On Snee and Baas: “I’m not concerned about it. I think they’re going to be ready (for training camp). They’re out there. They’re doing what they can do on the field right now. In the classroom they’re doing everything they need to do. They’re focused. They’ve seen all of the cutups. They’ve actually done extra work in the classroom when they couldn’t be on the field. I anticipate them being ready for training camp.”
On Brewer: “James has an opportunity here in the OTAs to get a lot of reps. He’s getting the most reps of anybody because we have him at right guard and then swing him back to right tackle because David Diehl is limited with the amount of reps he can do right now. That’s helping him and he has some good days and he has some bad days. So right now we have to get more good days than bad days.”
On last year’s draft class of McCants and Mosley: “They are progressing in the OTAs and each day they progress, but they’re still behind because… Matt was able to get some work in on the practice squad last year and Brandon missed the whole training camp with surgery and everything. So he’s really more or less still a rookie. But I see some good things out of both of those guys. As we do with most people on the offensive line… being able to be versatile and play multiple positions… We have Matt working at center and both guards and Brandon working at tackle and guard. Right now it’s hard on them, difficult because they have to be able to play both positions but they’re settling in with techniques getting a little bit better and they seem like they’re learning the offense very well.”