One of the key storylines surrounding the Giants’ two practices in Cincinnati this week was the health of the offensive line. New York has already lost Will Beatty for an extended period of time due to a torn pectoral muscle he suffered back in May. More recently, the team has come under fire for letting first-round draft pick Ereck Flowers sit out of practices with a minor hip injury.
That’s why it was so important that Flowers and the rest of the offensive line perform well in scrimmages with the Bengals. If the offensive line gets off to a bad start this season – no matter whether that’s because of poor health or not – the entire offense could suffer.
Of course, even if the line isn’t playing well at this stage in the preseason, there’s no need to panic. Fans always like when the team is playing its best, though.
“I have to watch the film but he seemed to be good,” said quarterback Eli Manning about Flowers, “We did some cadence stuff, changed some plays, and he did a good job, I think, understanding what was going on, and understanding the looks and what his assignments were. It seemed like he had a good day.”
Manning knows that these practices will help Flowers and the rest of the team prepare for the preseason opener on Friday in Cincinnati.
“I think it’s good for us to get work in these practices,” he said. “Come out and you never know how advanced their defense will be in the game. The first preseason game, you usually stay pretty bland on the scheme, so I think practices you’ll get some more of the blitzes, more different looks that’ll challenge us, and get us on the same page. I think they’re all important. Practices are obviously very important but the game on Friday will be good for us as well.”
During the preseason, fans and critics ought to be more concerned with the process a team goes through than the results. Last season, the Giants went undefeated during the preseason but still got off to an 0-2 start once the games started to count.
“I thought the offensive line did well,” said Manning, “We did some no-huddle stuff, we did some stuff at a good pace, and I think that helped us. It seemed like we had some good runs and the protection seemed to be good on most of the plays. I’ll go back and look at the film but sitting right here, I feel like we had a good practice.”
As long as the line continues to play solidly, you can count Friday’s game as a win for the Giants.