WHAT TO MAKE OF THE GIANTS' OFFENSIVE LINE HEADING INTO 2012
"The New York
Giants managed to wade through the 2011 regular season with a revolving door
at most all positions along the offensive line before they finally settled in
during the later part of the season.
The team finished dead last in the NFL in rushing and were considered by ProFootballFocus.com to be the second worst
offensive line in the NFL.
In light of their underachievement, many think the offensive line is set to
undergo a huge overhaul.
(R) jumps into the arms of guard David
(66) after throwing a 37-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Hakeem
Nicks (88) during the second quarter of the NFC Divisional Playoff against the
Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 15, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Not so fast.
There were a number of factors that may have led to sub- par play along the
offensive front which not everyone has taken into consideration.
First off is the overall health of the unit.
Left tackle William Beatty suffered a detached retina during a game against
the Philadelphia Eagles which he also entered with a back injury. To that point,
he was having a fine season protecting Manning's blind side.
Diehl isconsidered "done" by Walterfootball.com and his move to left
guard was considered a disaster by ProFootballFocus. These two sources arbitrarily
assign grades to players across the NFL which measure how well a player is performing, surely
leaving off some very important factors (such as assignments, screen passes, and
First off, Diehl was dealing with a broken hand for a large portion of the
Secondly, he was constantly faced with new blood to his left and right in
David Baas, William Beatty, and Kevin
Boothe from game to game. Working with new and oft injured center David Baas
left some hesitation between the two which may have added to the interior
pressure that Eli
Manning faced during the season.
Diehl knows where he stands with the team and he understands the team
oriented nature of football.
“The game of football, the best critics are your teammates and your
coaches. Those are the guys who know what’s going on during individual plays,
that know what it takes to accomplish a job,” Diehl said.
a game where it takes all 11 guys to do their job in order to complete
something. Even though something may happen to somebody, it’s not always that
“But the thing is we’re all accountable guys. It’s not like you say, ‘This
guy did it.’ Everybody takes it like a man. You win as a team and you lose as a
On a number of plays where Diehlallowed a "pressure", it was a screen pass, a stunt that was mishandled assignment by a
teammate that allowed someone to cross his face, or even a tripping by a
teammate. The arbitrary "pressure" stat is next to meaningless the way it is
The group of Rich Seubert, Shaun O' Hara, and David
Diehlprovided the team with an incredible level of continuity and unspoken
communication that allowed a rather pedestrian group of guys to thrive as a
Center David Baas doesn't lack any of the physical tools needed to play
center. Center is one of the most cerebral positions in all of sports, and
having to learn the playbook in a months time while dealing with a serious neck
injury and a host of new faces around him, Baas was in a lose lose
Snee, typically one of the most rock steady players in the NFL, was dealing
with injury over the course of the season. He left the Seattle game with a
concussion and was also dealing with a number of other issues.
In fact, according to a source familiar with the situation, Snee is debating
So far, 4 out of 4 linemen have played seriously injured.
Right tackle Kareem
McKenzie had age creep up on him quickly and was not his usual rock solid
self this year. He also dealt with a toe injury this season.
Consider 2011 a perfect storm of bad circumstances along the line. With no
time to get to know one another, the line was left to deal with a rotating cast
around them while all dealing with injuries throughout the season.
While line is viewed as a priority for New York, it is likely that one between Diehl (who is one
of the most cerebral offensive linemen in the league) and Beatty moves to right
tackle next season while Kareem
McKenzie moves on. With the other taking over at left tackle, Kevin
Boothe and Mitch
Petrus will fight for the left guard position.
Adding depth is always important, but in terms of starters, the Giants will
likely begin 2012 with 5 men already on their roster. With more time in the film
room and hopefully less time in the ice bath, keeping the line together should
prove to be an economic decision for Jerry Reese that will likely see payoff in