Success Over Time Equals Credibility

The Giants offensive line has earned the reputation as one of the game's best five-man units. They've had the same starting five since the Super Bowl season.

There's no position in football that requires more cohesiveness than the offensive line. As a result, the fact that they boast two Pro Bowlers and have grown so comfortable playing alongside each other has led to the all-important O-line becoming the least of Tom Coughlin's worries. Last season, the lack of talented depth was a concern, but the five starters were able to stay healthy, rendering that a moot point.

Of course Jerry Reese wasn't exactly ready to gamble again regarding Eli Manning's protective wall. So he went out and signed 10-year vet Tutan Reyes to bolster the middle of the offensive line. Then he spent a second-round choice on William Beatty, the man they hope will become the left tackle of the future as soon as possible. As the club looks for another division title and a return trip to the big dance they do so with a line that's accomplished as much as one could ever hope. They've really given credence to Chris McWilliams' favorite saying that success over time equals credibility.

How quickly can Beatty climb the chart?

The Giants have no doubts whatsoever that William Beatty will be holding down the left tackle spot for several years to come. The main question at this point is how long will it take for him to supplant David Diehl at LT? Diehl has been the epitome of a jack-of-all-trades and master of all as well. Wherever they've put him he's held up just fine. Before he took over at LT the prevailing thought was that the Giants needed to sign a replacement for Luke Petitgout. However, the organization put its faith in Diehl and they were rewarded. But Beatty's a smart, confident player with tremendous athletic ability with the all-important ‘left tackle feet.' They're certa inly not looking to rush him into the starting five but as he recently twittered, he didn't come to camp to sit on the bench. He's going to be pushing for Diehl's spot and if he can indeed provide an upgrade at LT the sooner it happens the better.

Can Reyes rule New York's interior?

In all fairness Grey Ruegamer did a good job when called upon. But it was no secret that the Giants were looking to upgrade their reserve talent level at guard and center. Insert Tutan Reyes, who was signed this offseason, bringing with him a whole bunch of NFL experience. Reyes can fill in for either of the guard spots, and he's already spelled Rich Seubert at left guard early in camp when Seubert's shoulder was bothering him. Reyes can also play center and, as a New York native, he feels like he's now in his dream job. A multi-year starter, Reyes would likely be able to step in and provide a minimal dropoff should Seubert or Pro Bowlers Chris Snee or Shaun O'Hara be felled by injury. The Giants definitely did not have that luxury last season. Little under-the-radar moves like signing Reyes helped Big Blue claim a championship two seasons back – and would likely be a main reason should they be able to grab the brass ring once again.

Will they be better in '09?

It's going to be tough to improve upon a season where basically the offensive line had no peers. They sent two guys to the Pro Bowl and really didn't have any weakness. With that said, this year's line has to be viewed as an improved unit. They added significant quality depth both inside and out. As for the starters, another year together should only help to increase their already-high level of play. While they might end up pretty much playing at exactly the same level they were last season, that'd be just fine as far as everyone in the organization is concerned.

The Giants Beat Top Stories