The offensive line will be a different one this year for the New York Giants, but it looks like center Jon Halapio will remain the starter, which is where he was last season before an injury cut his year short after only a few games. Halapio was ruled out for the year, which would be a punch to the gut for any player but especially one such as him, who was previously a journeyman who had trouble even staying in the NFL at all.
Halapio managed to go from that to the starting center of the Giants, with the team moving on from Brett Jones last year because of their preference for having Halapio at the position instead. Now, the former journeyman is faced with a different challenge: getting healthy again and returning to the starting position, rather than finding another team such as in past years.
“It was hard. I had my days where I would have a â€˜why meâ€™ type of feeling. [But] I never really lost confidence because I knew what I was capable of and what I bring to the table,” Halapio told the New York Post last week. Halapio has also said, however, that he feels one hundred percent.
He faces a competition with Spencer Pulley, and there’s no guarantees for anyone based on last season’s status or the expected depth chart. The coaching staff has shown so far that they plan on giving every player the same chance, with Chad Wheeler notably competing against Mike Remmers at right tackle despite the latter being the more well known player in the media.
And it looks like the return of Halapio, as well as the offensive line gaining more experience and new additions in general, should improve its performances greatly this season. Halapio spoke in particular about left guard Will Hernandez, who was only a rookie when starting last year.
“[Hernandez] is light years ahead from when he first started out. Two things that stick out to me are his awareness and his maturity. Having two solid guards like that, big bodied guys in there. The awareness and maturity that they have, and the wisdom, especially with Kevin, it helps a lot for me,” Halapio said, also referring to one of the Giants’ new additions this season, guard Kevin Zeitler.
The combination of Solder-Hernandez-Halapio-Zeitler-Remmers has never been tried before but it’s a far cry from when the offensive line had multiple big name flops in the starting lineup such as Patrick Omameh and Ereck Flowers. Will the new additions turn things around? We’ll just have to wait until the preseason and eventually the regular season to see.