The New York Giants have started to address their offensive line struggles by signing Canadian Football League’s stellar offensive lineman Brett Jones on Wednesday.
The 6-2, 318-pound center may not be the solution to all Big Blue’s problems, but he does have some upside. His size and age (23) give him a good chance at sticking around with an aging and inconsistent Giants’ offensive line.
Jones was drafted in the second-round (16th overall) of the 2013 draft by the Calgary Stampeders.
In his rookie year, Jones won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie Award and just this past season he was named the league’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman.
The Stampeders were 15-3 this season and went on to win the Grey Cup, the CFL’s Championship Game.
Not only is Jones athletic, he’s durable. The CFL All-Star started all 20 games at center in 2014. In his rookie season, he started in all 18 regular-season games, 17 at center and one at left guard. However, the lineman has plenty to get used to in the NFL. There are a lot of differences between the two leagues, not just athletically, but fundamentally too.
In the CFL, defensive linemen have to be one whole yard off the ball before the snap meaning Jones is going to have a lot less reaction time than he is used to.
Canadian football rules also differ in that the offense only needs three downs to advance the ball ten yards whereas in American football they need four.
With the Calgary’s head coach being former Giants offensive coordinator John Hufnagel, Jones has had experience working with someone who knows a thing or two about the NFL.
It is not safe to say Canada’s star lineman has a starting job with the New York Giants; in fact, he is far from it. Jones is going to have to prove himself in training camp and might even have to shift positions along the offensive line.
Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin seemed to have been leaning towards making second-round pick Weston Richburg the team’s starting center.