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Bobby Hart on bond with Ereck Flowers, grandkid stories, 'love' for New York media | Giants Q+A


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EAST RUTHERFORD — Bobby Hart is striving to prove himself the kind of player the Giants have sorely lacked in recent seasons.

General manager Jerry Reese has been criticized for the team's lack of success finding contributing players in the later rounds of the NFL Draft. But the Giants hope Hart, a 2015 seventh-round pick out of Florida State, is on his way to becoming a rare third-day find.

After appearing in nine games as a rookie with one start, Hart has been the Giants' starting right tackle for the last eight games. He stepped in when veteran Marshall Newhouse went down with a calf injury in Week 2 against the Saints, and he has held onto the job since - even after Newhouse returned from injury.

NJ Advance Media caught up with Hart, who had one of his better games Sunday in the Giants' 22-16 win over the Bears, to discuss playing in New York, his relationship with left tackle and fellow Florida native Ereck Flowers, and more. Here's this week's Giants 4 Downs interview:

FIRST DOWN: Every week, it seems, you are going up against a heralded defensive end or linebacker. How do you approach that on a week-in, week-out basis? There's always a big name across from you. Does that fuel you?

BH: "I love that. You see this guy, and everyone's talking about how he's going to affect the game, how you got to watch out for him. And then you get to the game time, and you're the person who's going to stop him from doing that. Each week, you've got a big defensive end, they say this guy is going to wreck the game. And it's just fun, you know. Why would you want it any other way? It's what you play for. For it to be easy? There's no fun in that. You can't tell your grandkids about that. Anyone can do that."

SECOND DOWN: What is your relationship with Ereck like?

BH: "That's my boy, man. We help each other. We're going through the same thing, and two heads are better than one. We bounce things off each other, and try to get better together. Chase greatness. It's always good to have someone to talk to, just as a human. See how they look at things, and stuff like that."

THIRD DOWN: You've been here for a while now. How do you like playing in New York?

BH: "I love New York. I love everything about New York. I love Jersey. I love the atmosphere, I love the city. Everything about the Giants. I love the media, you know, because you know how the media here is. They're going to tell you what they see, how they view it.

"Most of the media, they don't know about football, they don't know about the real Xs and Os. They can just go off on what they see. Did you block your man or did you not? Did you catch the ball or did you not? Did you make the throw or did you not? Did you tackle them or did you not? To me, New York, it brings the simplicity back to the game. You try to play so much Xs and Os; this play was this, and I was supposed to block him this way, and the running back was supposed to go left, and he went right ... did you block your man or did you not? So that's what I like about it."

FOURTH DOWN: Do you carry a chip on your shoulder as a seventh-round pick?

BH: "Of course. I watch film, and I see a lot of the guys that went before me, and it's just like ... But God doesn't make any mistakes. So I just take it day by day, stride by stride. It's not where you start, it's where you finish."

EXTRA POINT NO. 1: What has this experience been like? You've become entrenched as a starter, the team is winning, the playoffs are in the picture ...

BH: "It's felt normal. Every level I've been on, I've been a starter, we've been a good team, made a playoff push. So it feels like what I'm supposed to be doing."

EXTRA POINT NO. 2: When Marshall got healthy, and they kept you in the lineup, what was your reaction?

BH: "I feel like the coaches kept me there, because I feel like I earned it. ... Wally Pipp, that's what was in my mind."

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