USA TODAY Sports
Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty.
When a team is still tinkering with its starting offensive line going into late August, that’s usually not a good sign.
Yet that’s what the Giants were doing as late as last week, trying different combinations at every position except center, which has been manned from the start by J.D. Walton.
On the surface, the goal of trying out so many different combinations could be looked at as nothing more than contingency planning now while the coaches have the time to experiment.
However, it’s probably more of a sign that the coaches are still not satisfied with how their offensive line looks, and that is alarming if true.
There’s evidence to suggest the coaches are still not being satisfied. According to Pro Football Focus’ signature stats, the Giants offensive line has given up 28 pressures this preseason, tying for eighth most in the NFL (with Cleveland).
What’s also alarming is that the Giants, who have run 128 passing plays this summer (third-most in the NFL) have the 26th-ranked passing offense in the league.
Looking at things more closely, quarterback Eli Manning is 19-of-37. Per PFF, Manning has been under pressure on 17 of his dropbacks, completing just seven (46.7 percent).
The sad thing for the Giants is that things might just get worse before they start to get better. Right tackle Justin Pugh is the only one of the projected five starters with a positive overall grade from PFF (1.7).
Also, the injury to left guard Geoff Schwartz, which head coach Tom Coughlin told reporters could keep the veteran guard out for a while, now necessitates the team putting promising but inexperienced rookie Weston Richburg in at the left side. Meanwhile, Brandon Mosley, another relatively inexperienced guard, tries to hold off John Jerry for the right guard spot.
Circling back to tackle, while left tackle Will Beatty has played OK in limited snaps, he’s still not anywhere close to being the player he was in 2012, and might not be, depending on how he continues to recover from that leg injury.
Don’t be surprised if the Giants are very active on the waiver wire in the coming week with an eye on adding to the offensive line.