What is the story with Flowers and Hart (pictured)? This is the question that almost every Giants fan asks. The answer is cloudy, but today we got an update.
The stakes are so high. Reese went ‘all-in’ on the offensive weapons (WR Brandon Marshall and Round 1 pick TE Evan Engram). He did next to zero at Offensive Tackle (Round 6 T Adam Bisnowaty, Guard DJ Fluker with additional insurance backing up at Tackle if Hart or Flowers fail).
Jerry Reese says “..we expect (Flowers and Hart) to make a significant jump this season.”
Enter the mainstream media, who are putting forward the Giants management view…
Paul Dottino earlier this week: “OL doesn’t have to be ‘best’ in the NFL – just has to be ‘improved’ and, based on the off-season, the arrow is pointing up.”
So we asked Dottino what has been taking place this offseason…
Ultimatenyg: “What has happened with Hart and Flowers in the offseason to make us believe that Tackle is improved?”
Dottino: “They enhanced their efforts this off-season – I realize it’s not tangible to the fan base, but it’s true and expect to see the results.”
We have no doubt Dottino is sincere in reporting was he has been told. Our question is- what are the enhanced efforts?
Ultimatenyg: “Footwork/technique w coaches? Thanks Paul for replies. Really helps understand this critical component.”
That’s where the Twitter discussion ended. Mr. Dottino gives fans confidence that Flowers and Hart are working this offseason to get better, but how?
Adding to the idea of these two Tackles getting better is David Diehl, who (via Kratch of NJ.com) also chimes in that they will be “a pleasant surprise… those guys went to work this offseason.”
It is fairly well understood that Flowers and Hart have the physical gifts to be good Tackles. What they lack are sound footwork and technique. Because of the CBA of 2011, players can’t work with coaches in the offseason. So how are these players improving their technique and footwork? If they are getting tutelage from private OL coaches, that would fit neatly.
Enter today, and Jordan Raanan is quick to update the issue with “the latest reason for optimism.” The ESPN reporter notes, via Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan:
“..both Ereck and Bobby have spent a lot of time here in East Rutherford working out in the weight room,” Sullivan said Friday during the first day of rookie minicamp. “When you see Ereck, his body looks a lot leaner.”
So right now, it looks like not much on the tutelage and more on the fitness. Wonder points out that this is still okay. “Getting trimmer and losing the baby fat are important. It will help make him a bit faster and aid the speed of his footwork. He will still need to work on the mechanics to go along with being in better shape, but it is a plus.” This site’s analyst continues. “This is Flowers’ make-or-break year. If he can’t turn the corner in his third year, it is not going to happen. I was very high on him out of the Draft, so I still believe he can get it done. It has to be now. The track record at OT indicates that they have 3 years to make the adjustment to the pro game, and if it does not happen by then, it is unlikely to happen.”
What we need to see next, as Sullivan points out, is more work against defensive linemen. AND HELP FROM OL COACH MIKE SOLARI. Get it done.