Giants Twitter Mailbag Part I: Offensive line shuffle


Good Sunday morning and welcome to the first long weekend of the summer. I hope you're enjoying it.

@DanGrazianoESPN: The loss of left tackle Will Beatty to a pectoral muscle injury is a rough one for the New York Giants, who don't have any great options for replacing him right away. I think the key thing to understand about replacing Beatty is that the Giants have time to figure it out and will work during that time to find the right solution. Had the injury happened in October, they'd have had to find someone to play left tackle in less than a week. In this case, they have nearly four months to figure it out, and those are four months in which they will have a ton of practices, film sessions, meetings and teaching opportunities. So I expect the Giants to really look at every internal option. Assume Weston Richburg is the guy they want to play center and work off of that. Can Geoff Schwartz handle right tackle? Can Ereck Flowers' development accelerate to the point where he could be an NFL left tackle right away? Can Justin Pugh handle left tackle after an offseason in which he seemed bound for guard? Does John Jerry become a starter again at right guard, where he played the whole 2014 season? Does this Canadian kid get a shot at center or guard? Can Marshall Newhouse be more than the backup he was signed to be? Can someone like Brandon Mosley or Michael Bamiro elbow his way into the mix as a starter? The Giants have time and will try everything they can try to find the best combination of five starting offensive linemen for Week 1. My best guess at this point is that the L-R alignment to start the season will be Pugh-Jerry-Richburg-Schwartz-Flowers, but that's a wild guess and the ultimate answer depends on a lot of stuff that hasn't happened yet.

@DanGrazianoESPN: No, and people need to stop asking that every year. I really believe Giants fans are the most insistent that everything that happens with their team be tied to something that used to happen with their team. Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams and Shane Vereen are all different players from Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw, the fun combination that helped deliver the Super Bowl XLII title. Let them be themselves, and forge their own identity, and for goodness' sake forgive them if they can't deliver what the 2007 team delivered. It's almost an insult to the players on the title teams to keep comparing current players who haven't won one (other than Vereen) to those players who did. I see Jennings as the early-down back. I see Vereen as the third-down back due to his receiving and pass-protecting ability and the team's desire to reduce Jennings' injury risk. And I see Williams as a young player, still developing, who can be a goal-line back or fill Jennings' role in a pinch. But I don't know how it'll all shake out, and neither do you, and there's nothing that requires it to work out the way it did in 2007. That was organic, and that's why it stands as such a special year in Giants and NFL history. History doesn't repeat itself. These Giants need to be themselves, not the 2007 Giants.

@DanGrazianoESPN: I think this question assumes rookie Landon Collins as the projected starting strong safety for the Giants in 2015, because that's where he seems to fit best at this point. If that's the case, I'd say the most likely candidates for starting free safety at this point are Nat Berhe and Mykkele Thompson, their fifth-round picks from last year and this year, respectively. Tom Coughlin said after the draft that the team saw Thompson as a good complement to Collins, and if he shows enough in camp he could certainly earn a starting spot. Berhe seems more like a strong safety to me than a coverage guy, but at this point the odds are that the Giants will have to wedge either him or Collins into that free safety role whether they're ready for it or not. If Collins proves himself a worthy free safety in camp, then I'd say the answer to your question is Berhe.

Enjoy your Sunday.