EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Last offseason, Jerry Reese addressed the Giants’ defense. This year, it was their offensive skill positions. However, one area that he did little to improve since last season was the offensive line.
After having the NFL’s 29th-ranked rushing offense in 2016, the only notable offensive-line signing was former Charger D.J. Fluker — and he’s trying to fight off the label of first-round bust.
But Reese told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Friday that he believes the O-line is ripe for success.
“We have a nice group of young players, and those guys have a lot of snaps together under their belt now,” Reese said. “And quite frankly, the free agent market and the draft didn’t have a ton of high-caliber offensive linemen in it, and we feel like these guys have played together. They have one more year of maturity under their belt. They worked really hard in the offseason, all of them. And they’re a prideful group. So we really think these guys will come together and play well.”
Left tackle Ereck Flowers is perhaps the biggest wild card on the line. The ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Flowers has struggled in his first two seasons.
“He’s played basically every snap for two years, and he’s only 23 years old,” Reese said. “Again, he been here virtually every day during the offseason. He’s working hard. I think he’s really going to come into his own and be a really good player for us. And it won’t be because he hadn’t worked hard, and his coaches coach him hard. And people around here have a lot of confidence in him, and he’s putting in the work, so I believe he can do it.”
The Giants’ GM added that he feels confident the running game will be better in 2017, adding that former Vikings tight end, Rhett Ellison, known mostly for his blocking, should play a key role.
“I think that will definitely help us, having a guy like him who can play the fullback position, he can play the H-back, he can play a lot of different thing,” Reese said. “So we expect to be able to run the ball.
“(Paul) Perkins did a nice job as a young player, and we have some other players around him. Shane Vereen will be back from an injury that he had. He’s a really good football player. And we have some young guys that we like as well.”
To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.
To listen to Francesa’s other interviews from Giants camp, click here.