Carolina’s DE Greg Hardy went up against the Giants’ challenged offensive line last Sunday and emerged with a NFC DPOW award. He and his cohorts tossed Eli Manning around pretty good, to the tune of seven sacks and 10 QB hits.
Three of those sacks came against LT Will Beatty, who was signed to a 5-year, $38.75 million deal before the season to be the future anchor of the offensive line. He was simply schooled by the Panthers.
The line suffered a complete meltdown on Sunday and there is no light at the end of the tunnel (outside of strapping a mattress to Eli Manning’s back to soften the blows he’s in for).
Pro Bowl G Chris Snee had a hip procedure during the offseason. He does not resemble the Snee of old. Now we’ve learned his other hip has become an issue. C David Baas has rarely been healthy since arriving here two seasons ago. Well’ he’s hurting again and the Giants’ offense, which needs exceptional play at center to run properly, is now scrambling for answers.
OL Kevin Boothe was brought back on a one-year deal. He has been a pleasant surprise in previous seasons but this year he’s just not bringing it. David Diehl took a huge pay cut to stay with the team, then injured his thumb and just began working out again yesterday. He is in the last year of his contract and is not expected to be back.
Rookie Justin Pugh is still learning. He is slated to be a good player in this league. Unfortunately for him, the Giants might need him to be great.
“You have to go out there and, like I said and I’m going to keep saying, I’m going to go out there and fight, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got,” Pugh told reporters yesterday. “When I come off that field I’m going to know that I fought that guy and he’s going to know that we had a good day out there.”
Pugh brings a mean streak with him from Syracuse. Many believe he is more of an effort guy than a natural talent. The Giants aren’t going to nit pick. They need him to get begin getting the better of defenses and pronto.
This week Pugh will be going up against Justin Houston, the NFL’s current sack leader with 7.5.
“He’s similar to the guy I went against last week, very physical player,” Pugh said of Houston. “He’s got a good motor so it’s a good challenge for me. I’m going out there and practicing. We’ve got some good guys playing defensive end here so they definitely give me good looks.”
It would bode well for the Giants and Eli if Pugh can handle Houston and future pass rush threats. They need a star on that OL, an a**kicker. There’s no one else around to pick up that mantle. Snee, Baas, Boothe and Diehl are all on the way out.
The future is now and it all begins with him. The Giants will give some of their other young linemen a shot to join Pugh on the line this season. Brandon Mosley, Jim Cordle and James Brewer will all see more time going forward. Not all at once, mind you, but don’t be shocked if you see these guys more and more from here on in.