John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Change has come to the Giants and nowhere is it more evident than along the offensive line. They opened last season with: Kevin Boothe at center (in place of David Baas), James Brewer in Boothe’s LG spot, Chris Snee at RG, Will Beatty at LT and rookie Justin Pugh at RT.
Currently, only Pugh remains in his rightful spot from Week One of 2013. Since then, Baas was released, Boothe signed with Oakland, Snee retired, Beatty broke his leg and Brewer’s name is not being bandied about with the ‘ones’ any longer.
“There’s a lot of new faces in that o-line,” Pugh told reporters on Tuesday. “I was talking to some of the older guys yesterday, and I said “hey, it’s a little bit of a different feeling in that room.” There’s no real veteran presence. I mean Will Beatty is a six-year guy but you know, there’s no two-time winners anymore with Snee, Diehl and Boothe all gone. But someone has to step up, we have to play well. The team can’t stop when guys leave so it’s the ‘next guy up’ mentality, I think that’s how the Giants have always been and will continue to be that way.”
So, what is this year’s starting group going to look like? Pugh is locked in at RT and big-ticket UFA Geoff Schwartz has been penciled in at LG. Michael Eisen of Giants.com projects the rest:
Among the issues to be resolved are: 1) who will replace Snee, the starter at right guard for the last decade? 2) Can Will Beatty recover from a broken leg and a poor season to stand tall at left tackle, and 3) Will free agent signee J.D. Walton (who hasn’t played since 2012) or rookie Weston Richburg (a second-round draft choice) play center when the Giants open their season on Sept. 8 in Detroit.
In Tuesday’s opening practice, Mosley was carted off with heat-related issues (later reported as an upset stomach) and Richburg was inserted at RG. From Ed Valentine of Big Blue View:
This was a really busy practice for rookie second-round pick Weston Richburg. With Mosley going down early and John Jerry taking only a few snaps in his first practice back from knee surgery, Richburg was a workhorse. He took quite a few first-team reps at right guard in Mosley’s spot, and took the second- and third-team reps at center.
A little like Jerry, left tackle Will Beatty took a handful of snaps. Charles Brown did most of the first-team work at that spot, though.
On Tuesday’s GEICO SportsNite, members of the Giants offensive line talked about how they are ready to step up despite losing some key veterans.