Our position-by-position breakdown of the teams in the NFC East takes a look at the offensive line of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
Potential strength: Hmm. I think they could be really strong at guard. Snee's only 30, so it's not as though he should be in serious decline. I think we can give him the benefit of the doubt and say he had a down year and was physically not 100 percent. So I say he bounces back. Boothe looked really good at left guard after becoming the starter there last year, and if for some reason he can't build on that, Petrus showed a lot in the playing time he got. And I think it's unfair to write off Baas after one year in New York. The Giants obviously saw something they liked in him last year as a free agent, and they'll give him another chance to show what it was. So yeah, I think the interior of the line has the potential to be a strength.
Potential weakness: Beatty. They gave him the starting left tackle job last year on the premise that it was time for him to be ready. He didn't look, in the 10 games he played before an eye injury ended his season, as though he truly was. His success seemed to hinge on the extent to which he could get away with grabbing defenders, and he was easily pushed around by the better pass-rushers in the league. He's also already dealing with injury issues this offseason. It's possible he'll get healthy and make a leap he hadn't made by the time his season ended last November, but it's also possible he's not the answer, either now or in the long term, for the Giants at left tackle.
Keep an eye on: Brewer. The 2011 fourth-rounder is someone for whom the Giants have high hopes as a long-range project. But with Beatty a question mark at left tackle and Diehl a solid but imperfect solution on the right, the opportunity could arise for someone like Brewer to work his way into more playing time. If physical issues limit either of the Giants' starting tackles in the preseason and Brewer fills in well, he could move himself to a more prominent position on the short-term radar screen.