Giants RT Evan Neal sheds weight ahead of crucial 2nd season

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New York Giants offensive tackle Evan Neal talks to reporters after the organized team activities (OTA's) at the Giants training center on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, in East Rutherford.

The New York Giants have high expectations for second-year right tackle Evan Neal. After drafting him with the seventh overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Neal struggled throughout his rookie season. Entering 2023, Neal has shown up to training camp noticeably leaner as he shed weight in preparation for his crucial second season in the NFL.

Evan Neal worked hard, shed weight this offseason

Neal has worked hard this offseason, changing his pass protection stance to ensure he is less “bunched up” and has a greater chance of stepping in front of oncoming pass-rushers. Neal also shared on Friday afternoon that he shed 10-15 pounds this offseason to help improve his agility and balance.

“I definitely put on more muscle and got leaner,” Neal said to reporters on Friday. “I shed a few pounds, but I put on a lot more muscle for sure.”

Neal said he weighed in at 345 pounds after training hard, hiring a personal chef, and becoming especially conscious of his diet this offseason. The 6-foot-7 right tackle looks ready to go for the upcoming season.

Neal worked hard to improve his pass-protection stance

Neal spent time this offseason training with former Cincinnati Bengals All-Pro Willie Anderson. The Bengals legend had Neal work on his stance this spring.

“I first saw his stance and I said, ‘That stance can’t be comfortable going against certain kinds of rushers,’” Anderson told ESPN. “I asked him if he had a problem with these kinds of rushers, and he said, ‘Yes!’”

Giants offensive line coach Bobby Johnson said to the New York Post that Neal’s stance was too “bunched-up” last season, causing too much wasted motion for the rookie in pass protection. Coach Johnson also said had no problem with Neal seeking outside help to train and improve his technique with Anderson this offseason. Both Neal and Johnson are hoping that the changes to his stance will lead to better performances this upcoming season.

The Giants need Evan Neal to take a big step forward in 2023

Last season, Neal struggled to get his footing in the NFL as a rookie. He surrendered 39 pressures and seven sacks and was statistically ranked as one of the worst offensive tackles in the league. New York needs their former top-ten pick to turn things around in his second season.

Fellow offensive tackle Andrew Thomas signed a record-breaking contract extension this week to ensure he will be the Giants’ blindside protector for years to come. As great as Thomas is, he cannot be the only excellent offensive lineman on the roster. Neal will need to take a big step forward to allow the Giants’ offense to open up the playbook and find success this season.

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