The Giant Insider Online

Offensive Tackle Still a Concern for Giants This Summer

The New York Giants ended last season with a clear mandate to upgrade the offensive line, especially on the edges at offensive tackle.

New general manager Dave Gettleman went out and shook things up by signing left tackle Nate Solder and guard Patrick Omameh and then selected Will Hernandez in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The middle of the line is shaping up nicely but at the tackle position, things are still in the balance. Earlier this year, the Giants announced they were shifting Ereck Flowers to the right side to make room for Solder.

That was after they couldn’t find any takers for him in the trade market. He is acclimating, but he’s still Ereck Flowers and that makes Giants fans nervous.

“I think it’s going well, I’m getting better at it every day just trying to get comfortable,” Flowers told reporters on Saturday.

Both Flowers and Solder have been on learning curves this summer. Solder is with a new team in a new system while Flowers, who struggled mightily at times at left tackle, is learning basically from scratch.

“When you move over you kind of have to switch everything, your muscle memory, a lot of different things,” Flowers said. “It’s going pretty well though I have gotten a lot better at it since I first started. Its different footwork, it’s different everything. There’s different ways of looking at silent counts, everything is a little bit different.”

Solder and Flowers have both taken turns getting scorched by the Giants’ outside linebackers in camp. Olivier Vernon, Connor Barwin, Lorenzo Carter and Kareem Martin have made them look bad at times.

“I’ll you what – you look at some of this edge – OV coming off the edge. I’ve seen a lot of pass rushing. I think he’s as good as there is in the league”, said offensive line coach Hal Hunter. “Who’s the best – I’m amazed. He’s got power, he’s got speed. He can go speed to power, power to speed. He’s really, really good. He’s testing Nate Solder now. He’s really testing him.”

What is more alarming is how that group is abusing the backup tackles, Chad Wheeler and Nick Becton.

“I think they have been playing very well,” Flowers said of the defense. “In Arizona, they also had a lot of looks when we played them last year so I kind of expected that. I can’t wait to see it in the preseason and the regular season games.”

There’s not much the Giants can do at the moment to further improve the quality of the line. There could be a veteran tackle made available as rosters around the league shape up, but right now this appears to be it.

Eli Manning, who had the second quickest release time in the NFL last season (2.35 seconds), may still have to be prepared to ditch the rock way before he has to although many are predicting his comfort in the pocket will increase this year.

It has to or all of those offensive weapons they’ve been collecting the past few years won’t amount to a thing.

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