On The Line

Offensive line coach Pat Flaherty spoke to the media on Sunday morning and discussed his veteran offensive line - and the possibility that a youngster could sneak in and steal a starting spot. Here's what Flaherty had to say.



Q: How are you going to handle reps here?
A: We're going to have as many of the offensive line be as versatile as we can be and even after reps I count each and every rep during the course of the practice and we plan that way going into the practice. You know we may be off a couple here or there but for the most part they'll all get even reps at various positions and that won't be a problem at all.

Q: Like Diehl will be moving inside and be taking reps at guard and that kind of thing?
A: Yeah and when you get to the point where you have some veteran guys, you want to have as much flexibility as you can because as you all know in the NFL you have to be able to play different positions when you only have seven offensive linemen on game day. Training camp, when we get the pads on is a time to challenge these guys to go from say a right guard position to a center position. We'll just throw them in there and even some of the younger guys we'll throw in there, too.

Q: Are you approaching it like a blank slate or do you have an idea of how this might pan out?
A: You get somewhat of an idea from the past and a little bit from the OTA's and minicamp but this is where it counts. You guys know how I feel, I mean this is where we find out how an offensive lineman can carry his pads day in and day out. It's not one day, be on top of the mountain and the next day not. It's about being consistent, being able to play and carry your pads, being physical and being the player we want on the New York Giants.

Q: When do you want these positions to be sorted out?
A: Well the final preseason game gives you a landmark and if it's not sorted out by then we still have a few practices to go to before the opener against Carolina. The main thing is to get whoever the starting five are going to be, is to get them to be working together and they will be working together during the course of the camp but you want to get more consistency. I don't know if it's going to be in the last preseason game because of the limited amount of snaps you get in the last preseason game but we'll surely have that detailed by our practice reps.

Q: What makes you challenge Diehl, a player that has basically solidified his spot and is now facing a training camp challenge?
A: That's a great question. The veterans that we have don't get comfortable at a position. Whether it's David, Sean, Chris, Rich or Kareem, there is always somebody that is going to try and take your job, whatever position you can play. Now he (Diehl) has developed good footwork moving from inside to outside. Can he move back inside? Or can anybody move back inside? With time they'll get that footwork down, it becomes a little bit like riding a bicycle, you just have to have time to be able to do that. The versatility with these veterans is tremendous and David had even taken some center quarterback snaps a couple years ago because of a situation against an opponent. That's what you need to be able to do and that is the way we approach them in meetings, where the players have to understand what each and every position does.

Q: What's your ideal situation?
A: The ideal situation is creating competition and having nobody sit back and say, ‘Well, I had this job' and it starts with me. There's 32 offensive line jobs in the NFL and there's a lot of people that would like to have my job and they're going to have to work for it because I'm not going to give it up and I think that's the mentality of our guys because you can tell when they come to work, that's the mentality that they have.

Q: Richie (Seubert) has been beaten up a lot over the past couple of years, is he physically in a position where he can compete on an even level and have a chance to keep that job?
A: Yeah he can. He's a guy that really understands his body, and I don't believe he has any limitations at all. You talk about a few years back when he had that injury against Philadelphia and I was here through his rehab and through him coming back and I was totally amazed. There are not a lot of people that could have done what he did. His mental makeup is really what carried him through that. So when you are strong mentally and have a strong desire to play the game and love the game that will carry you through. As an occupation Rich loves it but more so he just loves the game and I think that will carry him through many years down the road. I really do.

Q: What do you need to see out of Will (Beatty) that's really going to help him get a starting spot?
A: As a young player, there's a lot of things he hasn't seen yet. He saw a little bit last year but he's still scratching the surface. He's scratching the surface from a technique standpoint to a strength standpoint. He has been given a God-given ability to play offensive line but he still has a way to go. Now, that's my job each and every day to make sure that he gets a little bit closer to developing into the type of player he can be. We're going to see what kind of player he can be and he'll be challenged this training camp day in and day out. There's one thing that as a coach you need to do, you need to make sure you get all of the potential out of each and every player.

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