New York Giants tackle Will Beatty realizes 2013 has not gone as planned. After signing a five-year, $37.5 million deal, he came into the season looking to live up to the contract he had just inked; looking to reward the Giants for their loyalty and faith. But after suffering through his worst game of the season against the Washington Redskins, Beatty owned up to his struggles on Wednesday, admitting that he's tried to do too much and has been routinely over-thinking.
"I know I came into this year trying to do too much," Beatty told ESPN's Dan Graziano. "Last year was a good year for me because I was just focused on the task at hand. And then you get the contract, and you know the eyes are on you, people are expecting more from you. And I'm out there thinking, 'I want to earn that contract, I want to make sure they know I wasn't a fluke.' And I end up blowing it out of proportion."
Just how poorly Beatty has played is somewhat remarkable. In only 12 games this season, the left tackle has given up 10 sacks — leading the NFL at his position — which is more than his previous four years combined. In fact, the downfall is made only that much more shocking after he ranked as one of the top right tackles league-wide in 2012.
Beyond just the money aspect of things, Beatty admits his struggles are, in part, a result of some technique changes; changes that were made in an effort to improve his overall production.
"It's all footwork, sitting low in my stance. It's a leverage game," Beatty said. "Me being tall, I've got to make sure I stay low in my stance. I've got to make sure I'm eye-to-eye or lower all the time."
Perhaps more than anything else, Beatty's primary concern rests with his quarterback, Eli Manning.
"Eli Manning, I admire him a lot," Beatty said. "Because we've all seen how great he can be with a clean pocket. And unfortunately, we haven't been giving him as clean a pocket as we have in the past, but he's still improving as a quarterback and making some great throws. As an offensive line, we know we have to give him that clean pocket. We want to give him that five-, six-game streak where he's not being pressured.
We know what he can do when he has a pocket and we think, 'Oh, how great would it be if we could give him that pocket again?'"
Despite the struggles, head coach Tom Coughlin isn't ready to give up on Beatty just yet. He feels that consistent practice against some of the most athletic defensive ends in the league will only serve to help Beatty over time and that with a few technique adjustments, he can return to the dominant tackle he once was.
"He practices against [our DE's] and he works on his technique and his skill in that regard," Coughlin said. "So whoever you matchup on him he’s gone throughout the course of the year basically against JPP and he’s gone against Damontre Moore and sometimes it’s just a speed linebacker that works with him to allow that he sees as much speed as possible during the course of the week, so that’s all being done."
Expect to see a more determined Beatty over the remaining four games as he pushes to return to form, in an effort to prepare himself for a make-or-break 2014 campaign.
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