Despite the phenomenal star power that the New York Giants have on their roster this season, anyone that really understands the game of football knows that it all begins and ends in the trenches. The teams that play into January and February have great offensive lines, and Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari believes that his guys, who were ranked in the bottom half of the league in both pass-blocking and run-blocking, have the chance to be a dominant force throughout the league.
This is Solari’s first year with the Giants after brief stints in Green Bay, San Francisco, Seattle, and Kansas City, but he likes what he sees so far despite the fact that he’s still getting to know his players.
“We’re improving," noted Solari. "We have a long way to go and they’re coming, we’re working hard. Very good group of men that are working hard.”
Solari was also happy about inheriting a line where all five guys essentially are returning from last season, but emphasized that it would be great if it were the other way around.
“It’s great. If it wasn’t the same five, it’d still be great,” he said, also adding that “My job is whoever I have at that position, coach him so he can play at the highest level and we can win a championship.”
He didn’t go into too much detail in regard to specific players, but did praise the efforts of T Ereck Flowers, saying that “It’s exciting to work with someone like Ereck” and that he has “a lot of ability” but the just have to “develop the consistency.” RG John Jerry and RT Justin Pugh received a lot of scrutiny last season, but Solari has had nothing to complain about and noted that they work just as hard as the left side, saying, “They’re doing everything I ask."
"They have experience, they’re knowledgeable football players, and they’re getting better,” noted Solari.
One thing that Solari mentioned that should get Giants fans excited is his focus on every single aspect of his guys’ form and technique, saying, “We’re very, very specific. Hand points, footwork placement, it’s all critical. To execute at the highest level in the NFL, you have to be on your game. It’s just in the little things.”
With such an emphasis put on the little things, it’s hard not to expect big things from this offensive line. They’ve all played together before, but have never had a coach like Solari—a coach who sees no limit to how good his unit can be. “I think the offensive line here, when you look at them, you’ll see a very good technique, very good fundamentals and an unbelievable relentless effort to finish.”
Yet another reason to look forward to Giants football this fall.