Jump to content
SportsWrath

Ereck Flowers remains serious concern for Giants at left tackle


Tempest
 Share

Recommended Posts

http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/244768/ereck-flowers-remains-serious-concern-for-giants-at-left-tackle

 

The Ereck Flowers concerns are real. The New York Giants can cross their fingers, pray and hope for the best, but it's not going to mitigate the risk they're taking by throwing Flowers out as their left tackle for a third straight season. The first two did not go so well.
The risk was never more evident than on Monday, when the Giants' left tackle had five or six awful reps (out of maybe 30). Defensive end Olivier Vernon, a second-team All-Pro, was doing as he pleased with seemingly little resistance.
To verify Flowers' struggles, I showed a handful of the lowlights to several ex-NFL offensive linemen and some independent offensive line coaches. They all agreed it was brutal. One said: “Worst I’ve seen, period.”
They confirmed what my eyes have been seeing throughout most of training camp. Flowers and the left tackle position remain the area of biggest concern for the Giants less than a month before the start of the season. Many of the problems that plagued him his first two seasons (poor hand placement, balance) still exist.
The Flowers problem is one that could stall a promising offense. The Giants have the weapons to catch passes with Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. They have the quarterback with Eli Manning, if he has ample time, which he didn’t for most of last season.
That’s in part because of Flowers’ struggles. Under constant pressure off the edges, the Giants' offense and Manning were an inconsistent mess despite finishing 11-5. They were 26th in the NFL in points scored.
The Giants returned all five starters on the offensive line this season. The hope is that Flowers, right tackle Bobby Hart and the entire offensive line will improve. Hart has looked better this summer. He has held his own against Jason Pierre-Paul and the Giants’ defensive ends.
Flowers, meanwhile, seems to have two or three really awful reps per day. That doesn’t seem like much, but it’s not OK when it comes in 20 to 30 reps. The Giants are looking to run 60-plus plays per game. That measures out to six or seven free runs at Manning every game. It's dangerous living.
But it has been the Giants’ approach to handle Flowers with extreme caution this spring and summer. They’ve praised his work ethic, his conditioning, his desire to train at the team facility and his growth on the field. When asked about Flowers’ practice on Monday, that continued.
“I thought [defensive end] Olivier Vernon came out with his A-game [Monday], and I thought he had some great reps versus a lot of players,” coach Ben McAdoo said.
When it was noted that there are other teams and players who are going to bring their A-game this season, McAdoo went in harder on his young left tackle.
“I think Ereck [Flowers] did some good things at practice [Monday] too,” McAdoo said. “It wasn’t all one-sided.”
It was clearly a different perspective after watching Vernon dominate. So I went back Tuesday (the Giants were off Wednesday and return to practice Thursday afternoon) and again watched Flowers closely, during individual and team drills, to see if Monday was a fluke or a sign of things to come.
Some observations:
10:55 a.m. -- Practice starts. The Giants are stretching. Flowers looks like he’s having some fun. He’s dancing, or just head-bobbing, whatever you want to call that move. He’s lined up behind Hart. Those two never seem far apart throughout the practice.
11:12 a.m. -- They’re in the individual buildup portion of practice. That involves running offensive-line drills. Flowers is first up to a drill where a tackle practices working off the tight end. Flowers is first to go on almost all drills for the next 10 minutes.
11:28 a.m. -- They’re running half-line running drills. Flowers does OK in this in his five or so reps. He seems to play a little high, though, which prevents him from having the necessary power and getting significant push.
11:44 a.m. -- They start team drills. Flowers gets 19 snaps against competition.
Some notables:
He had three bad reps in pass protection. That’s on 11 pass plays. One could’ve easily been a hold, when he was beaten by defensive end Devin Taylor. Another likely would have subjected Manning to a big hit when Vernon beat him clean off the edge.

There were six quality pass-protection snaps and two in which Manning threw the ball so quickly he didn’t have to do much other than make sure his defender didn’t knock it down.

Flowers' run-blocking was fine. There were eight runs. Five of them were to the opposite side, the right side.

12:45 p.m. -- The team is running wind sprints (or timed interval striders) in the rain late in practice. They’re divided among the three fields by position groups. The offensive line is running together. Flowers is almost always one of the last to finish. Hart is beating him easily each run. Flowers, guard D.J. Fluker and center Jon Halapio were generally the three toward the back on most of the sprints.
Overall: It wasn’t a terrible day, but there was enough to reiterate the reason for concern. There were more than a few moments when Flowers' shoulders hunched and head sagged after plays. Three bad pass-protection reps out of 19 means around 9 or 10 over the course of a full game, if you scale it out to 60 or more snaps. That's not going to be good enough.
But the Giants seem to be crossing their fingers. They’re selling Flowers hard, hoping his offseason work pays dividends come the season.
“He was working from, I want to say, maybe a week and a half after the season, he was in here grinding it out, just trying to improve,” defensive tackle Damon Harrison said. "And when you see somebody, they’re willing to get better.
“Obviously it has to translate out there on the field, but as long as the want-to is there, I think he’ll be fine.”
This line of thinking remains a risky proposition.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah I don't think Jordan plans on getting on Flower's good side this season. Don't think it is as bad as Jordan makes it out to be. Now if you need to make a molehill out of an ant hill, this article is all the evidence you will ever need.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there wasn't two years of sub-average LT play I might be inclined to agree with Temp. Unfortunately, Flowers hasn't shown he can be a quality NFL tackle. I hope the light goes on for him but this is why you don't try and scrape by with the poor players you have in the offseason.

 

On the plus side, Devin Taylor should be an awesome fifth DE and Dalvin Tomlinson should be awesome in 2018.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there wasn't two years of sub-average LT play I might be inclined to agree with Temp. Unfortunately, Flowers hasn't shown he can be a quality NFL tackle. I hope the light goes on for him but this is why you don't try and scrape by with the poor players you have in the offseason.

 

On the plus side, Devin Taylor should be an awesome fifth DE and Dalvin Tomlinson should be awesome in 2018.

 

There is room for improvement without a question. To me Flowers isn't the weakest link on the offensive line. I need to see more this preseason before jumping on the bandwagon to move him out of the LT position. I think Justin Pugh can do the job and doubt the Giants move him to the position. It's a contract year for him, they don't want to pay him Tackle money when there are already Guards making $10 million a season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah I don't think Jordan plans on getting on Flower's good side this season. Don't think it is as bad as Jordan makes it out to be. Now if you need to make a molehill out of an ant hill, this article is all the evidence you will ever need.

I think you mean 'mountain out of a mole hill'?? :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you mean 'mountain out of a mole hill'?? :D

 

lol that will work too. Just don't want to hit the panic button in week 2 of the preseason. The fans are skittish and look for every reason to go 4-12.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

well we've seen Pugh at LT, he wasn't better than Flowers (you can't put t-rex arms at LT!), and Fluker wouldn't be better than Pugh, so all this does is make two positions weaker.

I thought he was much better than Flowers, but two games is a pretty small sample size.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I always like to put myself in JR's shoes... The guy drafted Flowers in the 1st round... and back then most of us thought Flowers would be a great LT for us... (I know I was one... afterall I predicted the pick). So for the past 2 years, shit hasn't panned out... JR tried to fix the LT position but really there wasn't anyone in FA that would be a fix.... (the guy from the Browns wasn't coming here anyway)... so what do you do? You play with what you have. I still think Flowers can be a very good LT.. it's the coaching he doesn't have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I always like to put myself in JR's shoes... The guy drafted Flowers in the 1st round... and back then most of us thought Flowers would be a great LT for us... (I know I was one... afterall I predicted the pick). So for the past 2 years, shit hasn't panned out... JR tried to fix the LT position but really there wasn't anyone in FA that would be a fix.... (the guy from the Browns wasn't coming here anyway)... so what do you do? You play with what you have. I still think Flowers can be a very good LT.. it's the coaching he doesn't have.

 

I don't think it is the coaching, if it was coaching more players would be having problems. This might very well be the last season he plays LT if he continues to struggle. I still don't see a finished offensive line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I don't think it is the coaching, if it was coaching more players would be having problems. This might very well be the last season he plays LT if he continues to struggle. I still don't see a finished offensive line.

 

That's not a very good measure... he's the only starting LT on the team... I remember a DT who left us to join the Vikings and he's playing lights out since... I also see a drop in performance at the OL level since we switched coaches.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

That's not a very good measure... he's the only starting LT on the team... I remember a DT who left us to join the Vikings and he's playing lights out since... I also see a drop in performance at the OL level since we switched coaches.

 

Solari coaches more than one player. I see Solari having about as much of an impact as Flaherty did on Flowers. You can teach him everything there is about playing tackle in the NFL but it is on Flowers to utilize and apply that knowledge when the ball gets snapped. Flowers gets it right most of the time and when he regresses that point gets emphasized. I haven't seen a significant difference between Solari and Flaherty so far and I do remember so many fans were quick to jump on the Solari bandwagon because Flowers and Flaherty weren't BFFs.

 

As far as drop in performance of the offensive line that can be easily attributed to half a dozen other factors besides the offensive line coach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought Flowers held his own against the Browns. The sack on Smith at the end of the half was on Smith IMHO. You can't hold the ball that long, especially in the 2 minute drill.

 

What concerned me the most during the Browns game was the inability of Pugh or Richburg to get any push at all in the run game. Those guys are supposed to be the strong point of the OL and they played like shit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought Flowers held his own against the Browns. The sack on Smith at the end of the half was on Smith IMHO. You can't hold the ball that long, especially in the 2 minute drill.

 

What concerned me the most during the Browns game was the inability of Pugh or Richburg to get any push at all in the run game. Those guys are supposed to be the strong point of the OL and they played like shit.

That and the basic stunt off the right side that nearly got Eli killed on the first drive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...