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New York Giants Beginning to Experiment with Different Offensive Line Combinations

August 20th, 2014 at 11:00 AM
By Dan Benton

As the New York Giants offensive line continues to struggle midway through the preseason, head coach Tom Coughlin, offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and offensive line coach Pat Flaherty decided to mix things up a bit during Tuesday's practice. In addition to having the line take reps in their normal alignment, they began to mix and match other potential combinations, including one that saw Justin Pugh at left tackle, Brandon Mosley at right tackle and Weston Richburg rotating at all three interior positions.

"They’re all playing pretty much everywhere," Coughlin said on Tuesday. "You guys usually see everything, who was the right tackle? Mosley was the right tackle when that happened. You always attempt to be creative, flexible. As many people as you can have to be centers, you never know about that either."

Somewhat interestingly, Geoff Schwartz stayed at left guard — whether it be first or second team — as opposed to switching over the right guard, where he played most of his snaps while with the Kansas City Chiefs. Still, Coughlin wouldn't rule out the potential switch or any additional potential shuffles in the future.

"We would consider him to play any spot. There’s no restrictions on what a guy can do. The combinations haven’t reached out to that for him, but if he had to go over there and play over there, I’m sure he could," Coughlin added.

The early training camp/preseason alignment that has been featured in all three preseason games to date has seen Will Beatty at left tackle, Geoff Schwartz at left guard, J.D. Walton at center, Brandon Mosley at right guard and Justin Pugh at right tackle with Weston Richburg seeing snaps at left guard, center and right guard.

Beatty is recovering and has played relatively well at left tackle so far this preseason, while Pugh has performed well at left tackle. Accordingly, what the Giants may eventually do is switch Schwartz from left guard to right guard and insert Weston Richburg, who perfectly compliments their new West Coast-style offense, in at right guard.

However, all of this is merely speculation at this point. The only certainty we have is that the Giants are not satisfied with their performance thus far and are now testing out several other options with the start of the regular season looking.

Also…

Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at TicketScore.com, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: Ben McAdoo, Brandon Mosley, Football, Geoff Schwartz, J.D. Walton, Justin Pugh, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Pat Flaherty, Tom Coughlin, Weston Richburg, Will Beatty

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17 Responses to “New York Giants Beginning to Experiment with Different Offensive Line Combinations”

  1.  James Stoll says:

    sounds like chaos

  2.  skinnydoogan says:

    I don’t know about any of you, but when I attempt to solve a problem, I solve the “obvious” things first, then work on the less obvious things. I am stumped as to why we don’t start with the obvious and move Schwartz where he belongs, where he proved most effective in the past, then we could start shuffling the others around. Seems to me we have some decent pieces. I really have to wonder about this coaching staff more often than not.

  3.  skinnydoogan says:

    Being stubborn, more often than not, is the same as being stupid.

  4.  Krow says:

    Pugh at LOT … we’re going to see GOAT’s O-face when he hears this.

    •  skinnydoogan says:

      He will also be dismayed to not hear about his other favorite player, James “three toed sloth” Brewer.

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    C’mon, this is NOT chaos. It’s moving guys around to get some versatility by making players familiar with enough positions that you can have depth available at all positions (and possibly go without whomever would be the last player on the depth chart in order to create an additional spot for another position).

    I readily admit I don’t know why they haven’t tried Schwartz at RG, but have posited that it might be because they are worried about the LT spot and want to make sure a veteran plays LG in order to make that side of the line more reliable.

    In the end, they’re going to go with the best five players up front and that’s what everyone should want.

    Truth be told, if they are thinking about having Richburg play RG and sitting Mosley (something I assume is at least contemplated) then there’s logic to keeping Schwartz where he is because Richburg is almost certainly quicker than Schwartz and therefore better adapted to pulling to either side in run support than would be Schwartz, who might struggle a bit in pulling all the way to the right side from his LG position but might not be as necessary since normally the right side would overloaded with the tight end (and would still serve the purpose I noted above of being a security blanket next to the left tackle….if he does his job well then Beatty would have less to worry about in regard to a defensive end getting inside him and could balance better against those bull rushes that destroyed him last season).

    But I don’t want to over-think this. It is probably mostly about versatility, and not much different from what has been done before on the offensive line. It’s just that fans are paying more attention now because of their concern that the O-line isn’t up to their task.

    •  skinnydoogan says:

      Slightly chaotic?

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Or we could just say “an intelligent response to what has been seen on film and in practices” and thereby conclude that we have a good staff that refuses to stand pat when what they see suggests other approaches might make sense.

        Would you rather that they make a decision in July and stick with it no matter what?

        I think people are making way too much of this. It’s probably about versatility, and even if not, then it’s a GOOD thing since it is a valid response that is intended to improve the team.

    •  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

      55 if they are having difficulty configuring to their present position, why confuse them by teaching them another??

      •  fanfor55years says:

        I think it’s less about the players being unable to “figure out” their responsibilities than it is the coaches trying to secure the five best players as starters while maximizing flexibility because they have to assume there will be injuries along the way.

        For me, it comes down to “If Richburg is one of our five best, then where do we play him and who do we move, or do we just push Mosley out and have the kid slide into that RG spot?” and “Can we get versatile enough to do without the last spot on our normal depth chart without that coming back to bite us.”

        That doesn’t seem a failure on the part of the staff. Just good coaching because they’re responding to what they’ve seen from a rookie who is apparently coming along much faster than expected.

  6.  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

    And here I was always told that the OL was the brightest members of the team. Guess Not!!!!!

  7.  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

    I wonder why no one has ever experimented with bringing in SUMO wrestlers for the Guard position.

    •  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

      They would not be able to pull. But I would not want to stand in front of them. While I am wondering do use suppose some of their skills could be taught to foot ball players. Man those guys have fast feet.

    •  Krow says:

      We could dominate the rine of scrimmage with a giant sumo wrestler at reft tackle. Ret’s do it !!!

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