To say it's been an interesting offseason for offensive lineman John Jerry would be a bit of an understatement. It started by being deeply linked to the Miami Dolphins BullyGate situation, which carried over into the NFL demanding a mental evaluation — an evaluation he must pass before being given the green light to play football in 2014. Then, shortly after signing with the New York Giants, Jerry found himself under the knife, having a lingering knee issue repaired that prevented him from taking part in the offseason workout program.
Despite all of that, the Giants remain hopeful that Jerry will be able to return by the time training camp begins in late July.
"I’m expecting to have John and am excited to have John. When that will be, the medical staff could answer that," offensive line coach Pat Flaherty said. "I’m hoping to have him for training camp."
Not only do the Giants expect to have Jerry back prior to the start of the regular season, but Flaherty also expects him to immediately vie for a starting job.
"We signed John in the offseason and, again, I say that we signed him and he signed with us for the opportunity to be a starter for the New York Giants. What do I see in him? I see to plug him right in and see how quickly he can make up the time that he lost in the past couple weeks," Flaherty said.
Where Jerry could potential start is the real question. Having never played center before, it's easy to eliminate that as a choice. And after the team blatantly put their foot down on a potential move for Justin Pugh, right tackle — Jerry's secondary position — is also crossed off the list. Meanwhile, the likelihood that he beats out free agent addition Geoff Schwartz at left guard is slim to none, leaving only two potential options: Left Tackle or Right Guard.
Although the team expects to have both Chris Snee (elbow) and Will Beatty (leg) back for training camp, neither player is a sure bet at this point. Lingering injuries and wild inconsistency doomed each player in 2013, and has been a bit of a curse for Snee in recent years. However, with Brandon Mosley improving and the addition of Charles Brown, competition for a starting spot is a bit of a logjam.
Even before the Giants could consider these battles, they'd need to have Snee, Beatty and Jerry all on the field and healthy. Until that happens, it's nothing more than hoping and dreaming, but it certainly has the potential for some tremendous training camp battles.
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