New OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo defended beleaguered RT Wayne Hunter on Wednesday. Actually, he played defense better than the '85 Bears. DeGuglielmo not only backed Hunter as the starting right tackle, but he staked his reputation on him.
"This guy is the starting right tackle," DeGugliemo said in his first session with the media. "Until they tell me otherwise, until they ship him out of this building or until they shoot me dead in my office, that sonofagun is going to be the starting right tackle. And he's going to play well."
DeGuglielmo was just getting started on the Hunter issue.
• On Hunter's physique: "They (should) strap shields to this guy and put him in The Coliseum."
• On Hunter's skill set: "I see many, many more great things, and I see the upside, I see the movement skills, the explosiveness. Those are the things I see on film. How it all worked out? I don't know, but I know this much: The guy I have in that room right now, the guy that communicates with me, is nothing like the guy people explained that I would have. He's not introverted, he's not any of the things people say he is. He has a great personality, great energy, great desire and great skills. It looks like the makings of something great."
• On why Hunter struggled so much last season: "You'd have to ask (former OL coach) Bill Callahan. I think he's in the directory in Dallas."
• On why he's so effusive while management has issued lukewarm endorsements of Hunter: "I speak my piece to people in power. I don’t make those decisions, but I'm telling you, this guy has skills. If you find one out there better than that playing that position, bring him to me."
DeGuglielmo, who has Rex Ryan-like candor, also tweaked his predecessor, the well-respected Callahan.
"I'm not worried about the ghost of Bill Callahan," he said. "The difference between me and Bill: I have a Super Bowl ring, and he doesn't."
DeGuglielmo won a ring as the Giants' assistant OL line coach in 2007. Callahan didn't miss by much, winning an AFC title as the Raiders' head coach in 2002.
DeGuglielmo is a piece of work. His best line of the day came when he was asked to compare the current line to the one that ranked among the NFL's elite only two years ago.
"I’m not going to compare them to what they did two years ago," he said. "Two years ago, I was 230 pounds. Now, I’m 290. So, you could say, ‘Hey, Guges, used to look good in that suit.’ But right now I can’t put one leg into it. It doesn’t matter what I was like two years ago ... I fluctuate 60 here, 60 there. It’s like peeing in a pool. Nobody knows the difference."