By Michael Stewart @golferbad
Introduction: GM Dave Gettleman’s main objective when he became the Giants GM near the end of the 2017 season was to fix the Giants offensive line. Despite efforts from former GM Jerry Reese, draft picks Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg and Ereck Flowers never fully lived up to what was envisioned. Gettleman signed offensive tackle Nate Solder and offensive guard Patrick Omameh, then drafted offensive guard Will Hernandez. The only surviving linemen from 2017 is Ereck Flowers who was moved to Right Tackle (released last week), then throw in journeymen Jon Halapio who emerged as the starting center; which led to a trade of center Brett Jones to reduce cap space. Fast forward to the present and the Giants are 1-5 thus far, the offensive line has not lived up to the expectations Gettleman had envision and to add to this nightmare, Jon Halapio is lost for the season with a broken ankle and Flowers has been replaced by Chad Wheeler. These series of events must keep Gettleman up at night and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he has begun to hear voices; very similar to the voices Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) heard in the classic move “Field of Dreams”.
- If you build it, he will come: The voice must be referring to the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Having a productive offensive line with the weapons the Giants have would be a blessing and give quarterback Eli Manning more options and time to make plays downfield. A more productive offensive line would make the Giants a legit playoff contender.
- Ease his pain: The voice is obviously referring to quarterback Eli Manning here as Manning has been subjected to arguably the worse offensive line in the NFL for the past 3-4 years. Manning has been criticized unfairly over the last couple years for his poor performance. Not even the great Tom Brady would be able to perform at his best if he played behind the Giants offensive line over the past several seasons.
- Go the Distance: The voice here is suggesting that Gettlema’s job is far from done as he must continue to improve the offensive line any way possible (Trades/Free Agency/Draft). Improving the offensive line would give the Giants a chance to have a playoff caliber team on the field.
Final Thoughts: Rome wasn’t built in a day, so how can we expect the Giants to transform their offensive line in just one off season. Time and patience is needed here and Gettleman understands that a lot more work needs to be done. Nate Solder has been slightly above average with a rating of 69.9 among all NFL linemen, but still a tremendous upgrade over Flowers at LT. Rookie Will Hernandez has graded out respectfully throughout the first six games (76.7), which is the highest among all NFL rookie guards and certainly on the Giants. However; the other three linemen Patrick Omameh (51.5), Jon Halapio (before the injury, 69.4) and Ereck Flowers (53.8) have been major disappointments. Recently additions of John Greco (55.1) and Chad Wheeler (43.7) are not any better, so neither are expected to be long term solutions. Look for Gettleman to continue his search to piece together an offensive line that will provide the protection in the passing game and the holes in the running game. Until then, the Gettleman will continue to hear voices.