The New York Giants were hit with injuries again, their long time offensive tackle David Diehl will be sidelined for six weeks after receiving hand surgery.
Losing Diehl will be a big blow to the offensive line, but the Giants are capable of replacing him, especially with the emergence of their 2013 first round draft pick Justin Pugh.
“Obviously we have a lot of confidence in him or he wouldn’t be here, or his pick,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said about Pugh. “Certainly he’s got plenty to work on, he’s a young kid, but hopefully you put him in there now and we bring Chris Snee along, and Chris is there to help him. It’s a good move. The more they can work together, the better off we’ll be.”
Snee, the four-time Pro Bowler, has been displaying a leadership role by mentoring the Giants young offensive lineman.
Coughlin said about Pugh playing alongside Snee, “Justin’s a smart kid on his own, but he’s not ever been through this, so he’ll need a stable rock right next to him, so that’s what Chris can be.”
The Giants made a major change to the offensive line before Diehl went down with an injury. Coughlin moved his veteran Kevin Boothe to center and pushed Diehl inside to guard; which made room for Pugh at offensive tackle.
Coughlin feels this is the best line up he can put on the field right now, especially while his starting center David Bass is nursing an MCL sprain that he suffered during the Giants Sunday night loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Big Blue dodged a major blow with Bass, who expects to be back for week one to anchor the offensive line when they take on the Dallas Cowboys in front of the Sunday night football audience.
Coughlin will not have to shuffle his line for long, but for now it will work.
“Well, it’s the best way for us to play right now,” Coughlin said. We’re trying to get a group on the field now that can work together, hopefully to prepare for the regular season.”
As for Diehl, Coughlin feels like he can come back stronger and not even feel the injury.
“I think Diehl won’t even know he’s got a hand injury when it’s time to play," Coughlin went on to say. “He’ll just play, that’s just the way he is.”
The Giants looked slow on Sunday night against the Colts and struggle to light up the scoreboard. Big Blue is predicted to have one of the best offenses in the NFL during the upcoming season and will certainly have to follow through because of the question marks on defense.
In order for the Giants to be successful the offensive will have to open up holes for whoever will be carrying the rock during the course of the season, either David Wilson or Andre Brown. Also, they will have to give Eli Manning and the passing game time in the pocket.
The offensive line was a big part of the two Super Bowl runs the Giants have made in the past ten years. They need to be a part of the equation in order to make a run at the Lombardi trophy again.