Dave Gettleman’s introductory news conference as New York Giants general manager ended with a definitive statement about a hazardous offensive line.
“We’re going to get it fixed,” he said just days before the 2017 season finale.
Gettleman tweaked and dumped massive loads of cash into the line last season. The results were mixed, at best. The Giants’ offensive line was a mess the first half of the season when quarterback Eli Manning was sacked 31 times. It stabilized in the second half and became a serviceable unit. As did the Giants’ offense, centered around running back Saquon Barkley.
The left side of the line was fixed with big-money free-agent left tackle Nate Solder and second-round pick Will Hernandez at guard. The right side remained a work in progress.cheap nfl jerseys china nike
So Gettleman went back to work this offseason. He added what the Giants hope will be a new right side of the line with veteran guard Kevin Zeitler being acquired in a trade and tackle Mike Remmers as a free agent.
The bar is low, but this could be the Giants’ best offensive line since 2010 or 2012, when they still had core players such has Chris Snee and David Diehl in the lineup. It’s not the Super Bowl-winning line of Kareem McKenzie, Snee, Shaun O’Hara, Rich Seubert and Diehl, but this year’s hog mollies should be a significant improvement from recent seasons.
“It’s the best they’ve had in years,” said one pro personnel scout with an NFC team.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
There will be no more excuses for Manning, who hasn’t been protected well in years but also hasn’t finished with a top 10 QBR since 2012. No more excuses for coach Pat Shurmur, who had a hand in shipping Odell Beckham Jr. out of town. No more excuses for the offense as a whole, which hasn’t been good in several seasons.
This year the Giants have $37 million of the $188.2 million salary cap currently committed to their offensive line and 61 percent committed to the offense overall, compared to 38 percent to the defense. It will be on the offense (and the offensive line in particular) to carry the team this season. They’re building a team that will be reliant on the run with Barkley as the centerpiece.
“[The improved line] can do big things for that guy we have in our backfield,” tight end Evan Engram said last week at CC Sabathia’s Celebrity Softball Game benefiting his PitCCh In Foundation. “He’s a special talent and those guys, the offensive linemen, they’re in the building each and every day and they literally walk around the whole building together. You can see the talent growing. You can see the chemistry growing. And they’re hungry as well. I can’t wait to see those guys start putting their hands on people.”