Ereck Flowers might be getting a second chance (or a third one) at a first impression.
The former first-round pick may not be living up to the hype that made him the ninth-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he absolutely has a chance to contribute to the Giants and win a starting spot along a revamped and improved offensive line. Flowers has disappointed for much of his NFL career, being handed the starting left tackle job three years ago when he clearly wasn’t ready for the most important position on the offensive line.
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But now Flowers has the chance at right tackle to reclaim some of that promise. The battle at right tackle is wide open and Flowers, who has been saddled with unreasonable expectations and has underwhelmed to date in his NFL career, can perhaps see this fourth season in the league as being a chance at redemption.
And so far, the Giants seem pleased enough with his work.
Offensive line coach Hal Hunter rattled off the obligatory praise about attitude before settling into some specifics about what he has seen as training camp enters its second full week.
“He came back in OTAs and he had a great attitude, the first thing I noticed when he came back, he was the lightest he’s been since he’s reported, he came back in great shape. We did the conditioning test, great shape,” Hunter said. “So all of a sudden, the first thing he does, he makes a great impression. He has his weight under control, right where you want it to be, strong in the weight room, in good condition. It’s been hot outside, he doesn’t bat an eye. He goes and goes and goes. He’s been great in the meeting room, a little bit of the Socratic method in there, so we’re watching tape this morning and I’ll fire a question to this guy, fire a question to that guy, I fired two questions at him today and he had the answers, one, two, engaged in the meeting, that shows a lot. The number one thing that I’ve been really pleased with is his attitude, it’s all a fresh slate, and I’ve never even coached him.”
The Giants may have helped Flowers simply by bettering their team. The addition of left tackle Nate Solder allowed Flowers to move to the right side, away from the pressure of protecting quarterback Eli Manning’s blindside.
Also adding a veteran guard in Patrick Omameh and drafting Will Hernandez in the second round should help the line as a whole. As such, Flowers won’t have to carry as much of a burden.
The presence of a ground game, especially the addition of first-round pick Saquon Barkley at running, should help unsettle opposing defenses and also lift Flowers.
“He’s had the right attitude. That’s the thing, when you don’t have to worry about a guy’s attitude, then you just coach. He’s been very responsive, my technique is a little bit different, he tries to the best of his ability to do exactly what I want him to do and doesn’t bat an eye, and if I ask him to do it again, he’ll do it again,” Hunter said. “So, again, it’s like anything. When you’re trying to coach any player, like anything we’ve ever done, sometimes you have to erase that tape to start with a blank tape, so we’re working on things and he’s making good progress. There’s a lot of technical things to work on, run and pass, and everything is completely opposite at the right tackle position than the left.”