Though typically polite, Petitgout redefined boring during his eight seasons as a Giant, rarely giving an answer that was worth printing, much less any insight into his life off the field. Koets, however, was refreshingly forthcoming during his initial meeting with media members during the team's recent rookie minicamp. The former Oregon State standout talked candidly about being an adrenaline junky, a Southern California thrill-seeker who skis, skydives, surfs and bungee jumps every time he hits Vegas.
Koets (pronounced like ‘coats') quickly noted, though, that his daredevil days are behind him, now that he is about to sign a prohibitive professional contract.
The Giants wouldn't mind Koets continuing to live on the edge, of course, at least in terms of his alignment along their offensive front. NFL franchises don't often find reliable left tackles in the sixth round, but the Giants' decision-makers like Koets' athleticism and pass-protection prowess enough to consider him Petitgout's potential replacement. While other teams thought Koets could benefit from a move to guard or even center, positions he has never played, the Giants intend to take a long look at him attempting to protect Eli Manning's blind side.
"They're having me play left tackle," Koets said, "so I've got to show them they made the right decision."
Their decision to release the proficient yet injury-plagued Petitgout made left tackle one of the Giants' primary positions of concern as training camp approaches.
David Diehl is undoubtedly better-suited to start at guard, although he handled substitute left tackle duty decently late last year when Petitgout succumbed to a season-ending leg injury. Beyond Diehl, improving second-year player Guy Whimper, a fourth-round pick out of East Carolina in 2006, represents Koets' competition for training camp reps at left tackle.
"It's great just to have an opportunity to play the position that I love, you know, the premier position on the offensive line," said Koets, a three-year starter at left tackle for the Beavers. "I'm a pretty good pass-blocker, but run-blocking is one of the things I'll have to improve on the most to play in this league."
Beyond finishing his blocks and the other technical improvements he'll have to make to become a better run-blocker, the Giants will also try to add weight to the 6-5 Koets' relatively lean 300-pound frame.
"He is a guy who is athletic, who has done a good job in pass protection," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "We think he's a guy that has great upside and has it all in front of him. He's very smart. You want to put a little strength into his game and teach him to be a run-blocker as well as a pass protector. So there is some (development required) in this player, but I think it can be accomplished."
The Right Man for Left?
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