With Luke on move, OL finally appears set

It appears the Giants finally have their offensive line plan in place.

While C Dusty Zeigler has often said that he'd prefer to play guard, he'll be the only member of last year's offensive line to return to the same spot in 2002.

New players will man both tackle positions. Luke Petitgout, who started at RT the last three seasons, is expected to switch over to the left side by the start of veteran mini-camp, which is held May 29-31. The Giants originally envisioned Petitgout as a left tackle when they selected him in the first round in 1999.

Chris Bober will then slide into Petitgout's vacant right tackle position. "I actually prefer the right side better," said Bober, who is New York's physically strongest offensive lineman. "I think I'll be fine there."

So do the coaches. OL Coach Jim McNally absolutely loves Bober, and after some possible concerns, the Giants appear ready to let Petitgout, who's entering the final year of his contract, play on the left side. The coaching staff has not told the two tackles exactly when the switch will take place, but it appears that the move is imminent.

Both guards are also going to be new, with Jason Whittle taking over for two-time Pro Bowler Ron Stone at RG and Rich Seubert supplanting Glenn Parker at LG.

"I want to play whatever side Whittle isn't," Seubert joked. "That's the only way into the starting line-up."

The two main reserves will be four-year veteran Mike Rosenthal, who can back up at both tackle and guard, and third-round pick Jeff Hatch, who will start out at left tackle.

In related news, the Giants made a few small roster moves. The club released three players they had signed right after the draft – Montclair State QB Ed Collins, Hofstra OT Michael Curry and Duke CB Ronnie Hamilton. All three performed poorly enough in the rookie mini-camp to warrant walking papers so quickly.

New York signed Idaho QB John Welsh and Josh Hotchkiss, a LB from Western State College in Colorado. Welsh, 6-1, 223, easily outperformed Collins during the mini-camp. The 6-1, 244-pound Hotchkiss is the all-time leading tackler at Western State and a two-time Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.


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