Giants’ addition Joe Looney opens up a ton of new options on the offensive line

joe looney, new york giants

The New York Giants experienced a scare on the offensive line this past week when Shane Lemiuex was carted off the field with an apparent injury. As the team waited patiently on test results to return, luckily, Lemieux’s knee was cleared of any significant damage.

Head coach Joe Judge claimed that Lemieux was day-to-day and could return next week at some point. However, that didn’t stop the Giants from considering adding more depth, as former Kansas City Chiefs Center Austin Reiter came in for a visit. But the team had another player in mind, former Dallas Cowboys interior lineman Joe Looney.

Looney played in 12 games last year with Dallas, serving as a primary center and one game at right guard. He tallied 764 total snaps, recording a 50.6 overall pass-blocking grade and 50.3 run-blocking grade, per PFF. He was hit with 3.0 sacks allowed and 16 pressures, but his versatility and ability to perform at multiple interior spots gives the Giants a bit more wiggle room moving forward.

The former Cowboy brings plenty of experience in the trenches against NFC East opponents, and at 30-years-old he will be vying for starting snaps. Luckily for him, the Giants don’t have an established offensive front, giving him an opportunity to steal a starting job away from a player like a LeMieux or even center Nick Gates.

You can never have enough competition at any given position, and if Looney is able to snag the starting center job, Gates could end up competing at guard, which he’s better suited for after all. Gates stands at 6’5″ and 306 pounds, which is a bit tall for a center in the NFL. He held it down well last season after transitioning from the outside, but kicking him to left guard where he can compete with the Oregon product for starting snaps could end up being a solid strategy.

Having played several seasons under coordinator Jason Garrett, the team knows what they’re getting with Looney, which gives him an advantage. Garrett had great things to say about his former lineman last year, and the Giants nearly signed him, but he ended up sticking with Dallas for one more season. Having played 104 games in the NFL, starting 42, he’s a player to keep an eye on as training camp progresses.

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