Why the New York Giants’ offensive line might be better than we think

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart

Many are still concerned about the New York Giants’ offensive line heading into the 2021 season. According to PFF, their OL ranked near dead last in pass-blocking efficiency last year and average in run blocking, indicating upgrades are required. Still, there are a few factors we should consider before claiming this unit has terrible.

In fact, when you look at each individual position, you see plenty of reasons why they struggled in 2020, which is why last year isn’t a good sample size to utilize for their future potential. That is a primary reason why general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Joe Judge didn’t jump to conclusions and draft an OL with a high draft selection.

Going through each position on the New York Giants offensive line:

LT: Andrew Thomas

When looking at Andrew Thomas objectively, you quickly see that he allowed 10 sacks and 39 hurries last year in his rookie season. He struggled considerably at times, but after Marc Colombo was fired, he saw improvements across the board, especially in pass blocking.

However, Thomas dealt with an ankle sprain injury that required surgery in the off-season, which he suffered during training camp before the regular campaign even began. He battled the entire year with discomfort and having alleviated that pain, he should be 100% in 2021 with even more consistent coaching.

I believe Thomas will have a nice bounce-back season in year two, and having a bit of continuity in the trenches is also beneficial. The same offensive scheme under Jason Garrett, with additional layers added, will be helpful in his progression and harass coach Joe Judge made sure to get him the proper coach to help build strengths and not work backward with Rob Sale.

LG: Will Hernandez

One of the weaker players for the Giants in 2020 was Will Hernandez, who had trouble next to Thomas at left guard. When your left tackle is being beaten inside, a cardinal sin for OTs, it causes problems for everyone around him, including Hernandez, who was hit with one sack and allowed 19 hurries. In addition, Hernandez contracted COVID-19 and never returned the same, battling fatigue for the second half of the season.

Hernandez seems to have lost a bit of weight to fit the Giants’ schematics more appropriately. They like to utilize pulling guards across the formation, and Hernandez should have a bit more agility and quickness to his game this upcoming season, which I think will be an added benefit.

C: Nick Gates

Nick Gates spent his 2020 season adapting to an entirely new position he had never played before. Having played right tackle and right guard previously with the Giants, he made a swift transition to the interior, getting better as the season progressed. However, it was only fair to give him time to learn the ropes at his new position, and he ended up being one of the stronger points on the line to close the campaign. 2021 should offer a far more consistent season with more continuity around him.

RG: Shane Lemieux/Zach Fulton

The real problem is right guard, a position the Giants didn’t address in the draft after cutting Kevin Zeitler to leave a void. They currently have Shane Lemieux and Zach Fulton as their two options, and while there’s reason to believe that Lemieux can develop adequately, there’s not enough proof to justify him being the only option. Without a preseason last year or in-person training, Lemieux did not get the proper coaching entering the 2020 season. However, with a full off-season of work and a real training camp to get things going, I believe them you will take a step forward, which will prove to be beneficial.

Shane was PFF’s worst graded guard in 2020, but based on the factors that influenced not only him but every other player on the line, we should give him the benefit of the doubt going forward.

RT: Nate Solder/Matt Peart

The right tackle position is another one that might cause confusion for fans. Nate Solder opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, and Matt Peart contracted the virus, which limited his snaps down the stretch and hurt his stamina. I do believe a rotation at RT would be beneficial as they start the new season, allowing them to engage in a position battle. Solder hasn’t played right tackle since his rookie season, and Peart is going into his second year in the NFL, so the Giants are hoping for a nice jump in efficiency.

Ultimately, Matt did show prowess in the run-blocking category but struggled in pass protection. He has the adequate size and strength to be a great option on the right side, but he needs more live reps to get to where he needs to be.

I believe the Giants are higher on Peart than we think, and I see why based on his tangible traits. He’s another player that deserves another opportunity to show he can be an answer instead of a problem at right tackle.

New York Giants: Drafting an offensive tackle should not be a priority

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart

The New York Giants are entering the 2021 NFL Draft with a clear weakness on offense: the offensive line. The Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win-rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below. So while the Giants did upgrade Daniel Jones’s weapons in free agency, fans feel like they still desperately need to fix the offensive line in front of him.

Many fans and analysts are predicting that the Giants will prioritize the offensive line in the 2021 NFL Draft. While the Giants should make it a point to add an offensive lineman or two in this year’s draft, they should focus on the interior of the line. New York is set at offensive tackle and should not make it a priority to draft one this year.

Last year, the Giants did make it a priority to draft an offensive tackle. They selected Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, then double-dipped at the position in round three with Matt Peart out of UConn. New York has already invested plenty of assets into its offensive tackles. The Giants feel comfortable rolling into the 2021 season with these two second-year tackles as their starters on each side of the line.

The Giants are confident in Matt Peart

According to Paul Schwartz of the NY Post, the New York Giants coaching staff “is high on Matt Peart, who will be given the first shot at the starting right tackle job.” Matt Peart was impressive as a rookie, albeit in a small sample size.

Peart played 150 snaps for the Giants’ offense in 2020. Ten of those snaps came in jumbo formations where Peart lined up as a tight end. 37 of those snaps came at left tackle. The other 103 snaps came at right tackle. The Giants used Peart in a versatile way and tested him out at varying positions to see where he will fit in their future plans.

Ultimately, New York decided that Matt Peart is their right tackle of the future. Peart posted a 69.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade as a rookie, allowing only 9 pressures on 84 pass-blocking snaps. He did not see any time as a full-time starter in 2020, but that will change in 2021 as Matt Peart assumes the starting right tackle position. The Giants are confident in what they have at both right and left tackle. The young duo of Matt Peart and Andrew Thomas should be the bookends on the Giants’ offensive line for a long time.

So while this is a talented and deep offensive tackle draft class, do not expect to see the Giants reach on an offensive tackle at any point in this year’s draft. They could take one as the best player available if that is how the board falls on draft night. But the Giants are unlikely to make drafting an offensive tackle a priority this year after addressing the position in last year’s draft.

New York Giants could roll into 2021 with an unaltered offensive line

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants are preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft, which takes place in just two weeks. The Giants did a tremendous job this offseason addressing their needs in free agency. New York signed wide receiver Kenny Golladay and tight end Kyle Rudolph to give Daniel Jones the weapons he needed. They also took a risk and signed cornerback Adoree’ Jackson to a big deal to solidify their secondary.

There is one area on offense, though, that went mostly untouched through free agency. Many consider the Giants’ offensive line to be the biggest weakness on the team’s roster. But, looking ahead to the draft and regular season, it appears that the Giants might not feel the same way. It seems like the Giants are confident in their young offensive linemen and expect them to thrive in expanded roles this season.

What will the 2021 offensive line look like?

The tackles

General manager Dave Gettleman and the Giants are confident in what they have at right tackle. New York went offensive line in the first, third, and fifth rounds of the NFL Draft last year. In round three, the Giants selected offensive tackle, Matt Peart, out of UConn. The rookie tackle looked like a solid contributor in his rookie season when he saw the field, albeit in a limited number of snaps. But Gettleman gave his public show of support to Matt Peart, saying he is confident that Peart can start at right tackle this season.

Additionally, the Giants are getting Nate Solder back on a reworked deal after he opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. Solder could be a key addition to the lineup, whether he ends up playing right tackle or kicking out to swing tackle. Regardless, the Giants are comfortable with what they have on the right side of the line and are unlikely to reach on a tackle at any point in the draft.

Andrew Thomas was the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft for the Giants. He had his ups and downs in his rookie season, but Thomas flashed enough and looks like he will turn into a quality long-term starter to protect Daniel Jones’s blindside.

The interior

On the interior of the offensive line, the Giants have some major question marks. New York cut their best lineman, right guard Kevin Zeitler, as a cap casualty. Now they are left with some questionable starters.

Shane Lemieux started the final 8 games at right guard for the Giants last season. He showed some potential as a decent run blocker but struggled severely in pass protection. There is a lot to like about Lemieux’s game and demeanor, and the Giants seem to be very high on Lemieux, but New York needs him to take a huge step forward to feel comfortable with him as a starting guard in 2021.

Assuming Lemieux continues as the starter at left guard, who will be the new man at right guard? The Giants potentially have that guy on their roster already. Through the first eight games of the 2020 season, Will Hernandez started at left guard, as he had the past two years as well. But Hernandez struggled a lot in the first half of the season and ultimately lost his starting position.

Could the Giants plug Hernandez back in the starting lineup this season? It is very possible that they go that route. Hernandez is a former second-round pick that showed a lot of promise as a rookie. But the Giants could potentially address the interior of their offensive line in the second round of the NFL Draft.

One position on the interior where continuity is expected is at center. Nick Gates impressed the fan base and the coaching staff in 2020. Last season was Gates’s first year playing center. Gates showed a lot of growth as the season went on and looks to be a quality starter going forward.

Why fans think the line is in need of an upgrade

The Giants seem pretty confident in this young group of guys that it has on the offensive line. But fans are skeptical. The Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win-rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below. So while the Giants did upgrade Daniel Jones’s weapons in free agency, fans feel like they still desperately need to fix the offensive line in front of him. It will be intriguing to see whether or not the Giants address the offensive line in the 2021 NFL Draft at the end of this month.

Who should start at right tackle for the New York Giants in 2021?

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants appear to have a position battle brewing on their offensive line. New York has its projected left tackle of the future in first-round pick Andrew Thomas. But on the other side of the line, the Giants have a giant question mark at right tackle.

In 2020, that position was manned by stop-gap journeyman Cam Fleming. Rotated into that position was also rookie offensive tackle Matt Peart out of UConn. With Fleming no longer on the Giants’ roster, many have assumed that Peart will take over the starting job.

But the Giants have a familiar face returning to the lineup as a potential starting offensive tackle. Nate Solder opted out of the 2020 season but will return in 2021 and compete at right tackle along with Matt Peart. It will likely come down to a camp battle between Peart and Solder. But the possibility remains that New York adds another right tackle candidate to the mix in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Matt Peart

The New York Giants selected Matt Peart in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Peart saw limited playing time in his rookie season, playing just 15% of the Giants’ offensive snaps (150 snaps). But Matt Peart looked good during his time on the field with the Giants.

Matt Peart finished the 2020 season with a respectable 69.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade. He allowed only 2 sacks on the year and recorded an elite performance in Week 6 against Washington (89.7 PFF grade). Peart also surrendered 0 pressures in the Giants’ second matchup with the Washington Football Team.

Matt Peart flashed a lot of potential as a rookie. Albeit, he did not see the field that much. But when he was on the field, Peart’s play was impressive. Dave Gettleman also stated that he feels comfortable going into 2021 with Matt Peart as the starting right tackle. If Matt Peart can build on his rookie season with more playing time in 2021, he could solidify himself as a long-term starter at right tackle for the Giants.

Nate Solder

Veteran offensive tackle Nate Solder has not played right tackle since his rookie season in 2011. In 2012, Solder made the switch to the left side of the line and never turned back. In 2018, the Giants paid him a historically large contract to be their starting left tackle. Solder never lived up to that contract, opted out in 2020, and is now looking to play a new role with the Giants in 2021.

Nate Solder will compete for the right tackle job this season. His contract numbers have been reduced significantly this offseason and the Giants want to see him remain with the team in an undetermined role. Solder could potentially win that right tackle job. But it is possible that he gets pegged into the role of a swing tackle.

Of course, the Giants could add a new offensive tackle to their roster before the season begins. The 2021 NFL Draft will take place at the end of this month and New York could land themselves a new right tackle to add to the competition. It will be interesting to see how the right tackle position shapes out for the New York Giants in 2021.

The New York Giants should target offensive linemen early in the 2021 NFL Draft

new york giants, wyatt davis

The New York Giants are on a mission to rebuild and revamp their offense this offseason. New York’s offense was terrible in 2020. The Giants averaged only 17.5 points per game this past season, an average that cannot translate to a winning season in today’s NFL.

Dave Gettleman and company have vowed to add playmakers to the Giants’ offense. But in addition to New York’s lack of playmakers, they also had a lack of pass protection. The Giants’ offensive line was nearly incompetent in pass protection last season.

The Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win-rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below. So while the Giants prioritize upgrading Daniel Jones’s weapons, they, maybe more than anything, need to fix the offensive line in front of him.

Daniel Jones was a much-improved quarterback in his second season. But if the Giants want to see Jones take that next step and have that year-three breakout, they need to fix the offensive line. Daniel Jones had a Pro Football Focus 91.5 passing grade when kept clean in 2020. That is an elite grade. When under pressure, though, Jones’s grade was 46.9.

Unfortunately, Daniel was under pressure more often than not. The Giants should make it a top priority to find competent offensive linemen and keep Jones clean in 2021. As we inch closer to the NFL Draft in April, there are a number of offensive lineman prospects that the Giants should target within the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.

NFL Draft offensive line targets

The 2021 NFL Draft class is filled with offensive line talent. This is one of the best offensive line classes in recent years. At the top of the class is a premier offensive tackle talent in Penei Sewell out of Oregon. Penei is an elite prospect who is unlikely to fall to eleven, but the Giants should pray that he is there for the taking.

With New York seemingly destined to go wide receiver in round one, it is in the second and third rounds that they should focus on the offensive line. Prospects like Wyatt Davis and Creed Humphrey stand out on the interior. Jackson Carman and Walker Little could be options in those rounds as well.

Of course, the Giants already have young, promising players on their offensive line that need to develop. Nick Gates flashed great potential in his first season starting at center in 2020. Rookie Matt Peart also looked good in limited playing time at right tackle. But general manager Dave Gettleman has said before that he is not afraid to draft over players. So if one of these offensive linemen, like center Creed Humphrey, is the best player on the board when the Giants are on the clock, they are realistic options.

Regardless, the offensive line is not a positional group that the Giants can wait on. They need to address it and fix it immediately. Taking chances on late-round prospects rarely works out on the offensive line. If Gettleman and the Giants are serious about amending the offensive line, they need to target prospects within the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.

New York Giants should see further offensive line improvements in 2021

New York Giants, Cleveland Browns

The New York Giants‘ offensive line was inconsistent in 2020. The Giants have had struggles across their offensive line for years now. It is a problem the Giants seemingly cannot fix. However, they are slowly working towards improving the offensive line, investing plenty of assets into the unit over the past two years.

The Giants traded for Kevin Zeitler in 2019 and signed Nate Solder to a huge contract in the 2018 free agency period. These are the two moves New York has made to acquire veteran talent on the offensive line. In 2020, though, the Giants shifted towards a more youthful approach on the offensive line.

New York spent the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on left tackle Andrew Thomas. They then doubled down at the position in the third round, selecting offensive tackle Matt Peart with pick number ninety-nine. But the Giants were not done there. They also spent a fifth-round pick on offensive guard Shane Lemieux in 2020.

These rookies saw plenty of playing time in the 2020 regular season. However, their performance was not always consistently good. However, there are reasons to believe that the Giants’ offensive line will improve further in 2021.

Continuity is key

The New York Giants’ offensive line severely lacked continuity and experience in 2020. Along with the rookies that saw extensive playing time, the Giants started second-year lineman Nick Gates at center, a position he had never played before. Gates was practically a rookie as well.

Taking that into consideration, the Giants had experienced players at only two of the five offensive line positions last season. Right guard Kevin Zeitler is an excellent, veteran player. Right tackle Cam Fleming is also an experienced veteran. However, the rest of the line was comprised of rookies and inexperienced players for the majority of the season.

The Giants also had no continuity along their offensive line. In terms of calling protections and passing off stunts, continuity and chemistry is crucial. No one on the Giants’ offensive line in 2020 lined up next to a teammate that they lined up next to in 2019.

Kevin Zeitler was placed between a brand new center and a brand new right tackle. The absence of Nate Solder left rookie Andrew Thomas as the Giants’ starting left tackle, sandwiching the left guard position between two newly acquired players.

The 2021 season will see the Giants’ offensive line play with far more chemistry and continuity than they did in 2020. There is not likely to be much overturn at all along New York’s offensive line. There could be a change made at the right tackle position, but the other four positions will likely be manned by the same players from last season. Additionally, the Giants made a change at the offensive line coach position midseason in 2020. Hopefully, in 2021, New York’s front line can enjoy the coaching of a singular coach. This second-year together could allow the Giants’ offensive line to grow and develop into a more continuous and consistent unit.

New York Giants getting everything and more out of 2020 rookie class

New York Giants, Tae Crowder

The New York Giants are on a four-game winning streak. This is the longest winning streak the Giants have been on since 2016. New York is also in first place in the NFC East after beating a tough 8-3 Seahawks team on the road this Sunday. The Giants look poised to make a playoff run this season, proving their legitimacy while beating one of the best offenses in the NFL in Seattle.

One of the biggest difference-makers on the Giants this season has been their 2020 rookie class. New York has seen early returns on nearly every single rookie they drafted or signed this offseason. These rookies have been crucial to the Giants’ success in recent weeks.

Rookies on offense

On the offensive line, the Giants have been seeing their young, inexperienced players improve every single week. Andrew Thomas had the best performance of his young career so far this week against Seattle. For the second week in a row, Thomas did not allow a single pressure in pass protection. He also recorded the highest single-game Pro Football Focus grade of his career at 87.1 overall. Not only was this his highest-graded single game this year, but it was also the highest single-game grade among all first-round offensive tackle picks this season (PFF).

Right beside Andrew Thomas is Shane Lemieux, the Giants’ fifth-round pick from Oregon who has been starting at left guard for the past few weeks. The entire offensive line has played significantly better since Lemieux entered the lineup. Lemieux has had his fair share of ups and downs, but he has been very impressive when considering where he was drafted. Lemieux has also been improving week-by-week and looks like he will be with Big Blue for a long time.

In addition to the two rookies on the offensive line, Nick Gates has gotten better every week playing a brand new position. Initially, a guard, then a tackle, Nick Gates has transitioned to the center position and played at a high level in recent weeks after some great struggles early in the season. Gates is basically a rookie as he is learning and playing a brand new position this year. He has shown tremendous progress, though, and is already locked into a contract extension that should keep him as the Giants’ starting center for years to come.

Undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Austin Mack also has a game this season as the Giants’ leading receiver. The Giants’ other rookie offensive tackle, Matt Peart (selected 99th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft), has not elevated to starting status yet. However, he has seen playing time while rotating in at both left and right tackle this season. He has been super impressive whenever he is on the field and could play his way into a starting role sooner than later.

Rookies on defense

The defensive side of the ball is where the Giants have really seen their rookies contribute this year. New York has been starting rookies at multiple defensive positions this year. Darnay Holmes, New York’s fourth-round selection out of UCLA, has started at slot cornerback all season long. Holmes has, like the rest, improved every single week. He certainly has not been a liability like the slot cornerback position has been for the Giants in the past. Holmes had his first career interception against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks this week. A promising future seems to be laid out for Darnay Holmes and the Giants’ defense.

The second half of the Giants’ 2020 NFL Draft class was filled with defensive selections. New York drafted the likes of Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, and Tae Crowder in the sixth and seventh rounds. Whether earned through merit or obtained through injuries, these rookies have all seen significant playing time in the Giants’ defense.

Tae Crowder, Mr. Irrelevant from the 2020 NFL Draft, has been starting on the Giants’ defense this year when healthy. Crowder has been so impressive for a player who nearly went undrafted. Crowder recorded a clutch sack against the Seahawks this week and recorded a game-winning scoop-and-score fumble recovery against Washington earlier this season. He has exceeded all expectations as a starting inside linebacker for the Giants this year.

Crowder was one pick away from going undrafted. When speaking of undrafted rookies, it is hard not to talk about Niko Lalos, the Giants’ undrafted gem out of Dartmouth. Lalos was elevated to the Giants’ active roster last week before their matchup with the Bengals. In his first NFL game, Lalos recorded an interception and earned more playing time this week. Of course, the Ivy League animal went ahead and recovered a fumble this week against Seattle. This undrafted rookie has been forcing turnovers left and right.

Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin were two under-the-radar linebackers that the Giants found late in the 2020 NFL Draft. Coughlin has seen increased playing time with EDGE Kyler Fackrell recently placed on injured reserve. Coughlin has played 79 defensive snaps this season, already totaling 6 combined tackles, 1 sack, 8 total pressures, and 6 hurries. Cam Brown has played 48 snaps, recording 5 pressures 3 hurries, and 8 combined tackles already.

Second-round pick Xavier McKinney has yet to see expanded playing time after returning from a fractured foot, but he is sure to be part of New York’s long-term defensive plans as well.

The Giants have seen early returns on nearly every rookie they drafted or signed this offseason. It was a job fantastically done by Dave Gettleman, Joe Judge, and company, acquiring young, talented players this offseason. The future is bright in the Big Apple.

New York Giants: Kyler Fackrell to IR, three players return from reserve list

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants have the odds stacked against them when they face Seattle on Sunday, to try to remain in first place in the NFC East. However, they’ll have three players back even as they lose one player to the injured reserve list after their last win.

The player that’s headed to the IR is outside linebacker and pass rusher Kyler Fackrell, who went out during the Bengals game with a calf injury. The more significant injury from that game was of course the one that took down QB Daniel Jones, but Jones didn’t need to be placed on the IR because it’s believed he could still return for the Seahawks game – and if Jones doesn’t come back then, his return should be shortly after.

It’s not all bad news for the Giants. The team does gain three players back after they were previously placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Those players are tight end Kaden Smith, offensive tackle Matt Peart, and receiver Dante Pettis.

The most significant of the players to come back may be Peart, who was in direct competition with top draft pick Andrew Thomas earlier in the season. Considering his status as a third round pick, Peart has been one of the overachievers for the Giants this season.

Kaden Smith, on the other hand, has seen less use this season compared to Evan Engram but offers further depth at the tight end position.

The latest round of roster moves also includes dropping punter Ryan Santoso, who was primarily signed to the team due to the temporary loss of Graham Gano.

New York Giants: Offensive line shows out in clutch Week 12 win

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

The New York Giants are now in first place in the NFC East. The Giants’ clutch 19-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals put them on top of their division. The Giants barely scraped out with a win in this game that saw starting quarterback Daniel Jones go down with a hamstring injury.

The Giants’ offense struggled to get anything going once Jones exited the lineup. But while Daniel was playing, New York’s offense was efficient, minus a couple of miscues that held them back. The Giants’ offense looked primed to breakout in the second half before Daniel Jones suffered his injury.

The reason why the Giants’ offense was performing so well: the offensive line. What has been the Giants’ biggest weakness for years was arguably their biggest offensive strength this week.

Offensive line stats and highlights in Week 12

For the first time this season, the Giants’ offensive line did not give up a sack. This comes just over a week after Joe Judge fired offensive line coach Marc Colombo and replaced him with coach Dave DeGuglielmo. In DeGuglielmo’s first game as offensive line coach of the Giants, the offensive line had its best performance of the season.

The Giants did not allow a sack and were great in the run-game, helping running back Wayne Gallman total 94 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground. The Giants gained a total of 142 rushing yards against Cincinnati.

According to Pro Football Focus, rookie offensive linemen Andrew Thomas and Shanne Lemieux were particularly impressive. PFF states that neither rookie allowed a pressure on the day. This is encouraging for the Giants to see their young linemen continue to improve with a near-flawless game in pass protection.

The Giants saw great improvement from their offensive line this week. But it still was not perfect. Right tackle Cam Fleming struggled against the Bengals, committing a number of costly penalties. This could lead the Giants to start rookie tackle Matt Peart in Fleming’s place once Peart returns from the reserve/COVID list.

This was an encouraging performance from the Giants’ offensive line. New York’s front line has struggled all season long but has seen drastic improvement in recent weeks. As New York pushes for a playoff spot in December, it will be crucial for the offensive line to continue to play at a high level.

Will the latest New York Giants news stunt the offensive line’s growth?

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants have had one crazy bye week, to say the least. The Giants have made a major change on their coaching staff which also led to some serious drama and rumors surrounding the team and its head coach. The Gmen are also dealing with a small COVID-19 outbreak amongst their team, placing three more players on the reserve/COVID-19 list today.

Amongst those three players, one of them was a key offensive lineman. Rookie offensive tackle Matt Peart tested positive for COVID-19 and will go on the reserve/COVID-19 list, likely keeping him out of next Sunday’s game against the Bengals. The Giants have slowly but surely been working Peart into the lineup on Sundays. He has played a total of 107 snaps this season, rotating into both the left and right tackle positions, seeing limited playing time this regular season.

But Peart has been impressive in his small sample size. He seems to have a bright future ahead of him, as do many of the other young offensive linemen on the Giants’ roster. New York’s offensive line struggled greatly at the beginning of the season but has seemingly improved its play over the past couple of weeks.

But now, the team’s offensive line coach, Marc Colombo, has been fired, and there seem to be some reports indicating that the offensive linemen might not be pleased with this decision. On top of that, the Giants’ new offensive line coach, Dave DeGuglielmo, does not exactly have a reputation for being a likable guy. Maybe the Giants’ offensive line needs a change in coaching philosophy. But could this stark change lead to even more struggles up front?

The potential repercussions of this coaching change

According to reporter Michael Silver, there had been tensions surrounding Colombo and Joe Judge for weeks now. Art Stapleton confirmed this portion of Silver’s report, as both reporters mention a disagreement between Judge and Colombo regarding center Nick Gates’s technique.

Where Silver’s report differs from Stapleton’s and others’, though, is when he mentions the team’s reaction to this move. Silver reports that Judge’s personality has been “off-putting” to some and that Judge and his assistants that came with him from New England “have exuded an alarming aura of haughtiness.”

Art Stapleton responded to this portion of Silver’s report, saying it sounds “like sour grapes” and was “completely unrelated” to the Colombo firing.

Regardless, Silver makes a good point at the end of his report. Silver refers to this Colombo fiasco as an “open sore” and notes that the Giants’ offensive linemen are “unsure” what this sudden coaching change will mean. The linemen are wondering “whether they’ll have to relearn techniques on the fly” amongst other things, which is definitely a fair concern.

Could this whole situation lead to further struggles along the Giants’ offensive line? These young linemen have been coached one specific way since training camp began with Colombo as their coach in the summer. Since then, they have been practicing and learning Colombo’s way of offensive line play. Now, Dave DeGuglielmo will have to step in and try to correct the errors that Judge has seen from his offensive line in the 2020 season.

With so many of the Giants’ offensive linemen being young players, still learning the NFL game, it is fair to be concerned whether this sudden change will affect their growth and development. Losing Matt Peart to the reserve/COVID-19 list for the time being also does not improve the situation. Peart is a young, promising player that the Giants want to see more of, not less. Hopefully, he makes a quick and full recovery and can seamlessly rejoin the Giants as they welcome a new offensive line coach.