The New York Giants’ offensive tackle, Ereck Flowers struggled at the Left Tackle position over his first three years with the team. No team can afford to have a weakness in the Left Tackle position. Their job is to protect the quarterback’s blindside. And while Flowers did play right tackle in college at the University of Miami, the New York Giants, in their wisdom, felt that he would be better suited at Left Tackle.
The Giants’ organization had good cause to place Flowers as guardian of the blindside. At 6’ 6’’ and currently 315 pounds, Flowers is a monstrous presence. Not only is he big, he is fast. So why did Flowers give up so many quarterback touches over the last three years? Why was he ranked nearly last in the league at the left tackle position?
As former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said, ‘he can’t turn.’ Ereck Flowers doesn’t pivot well. Right off the snap, the left tackle needs to be pushing away while moving their feet. They need to see the rush coming on either side of them, and they need to square up those feet and meet the enemy face to face. If they’re not moving quickly enough, it’s easy for a fast defensive-end or linebacker to get past him.
Clearly, the New York Giants have had a problem at the LT position which they may have solved by scooping up veteran free agent Nate Solder from New England. Solder’s proven himself at the LT position. But now they have Flowers learning the Right Tackle position. Everything changes. The muscle memory changes, the stance position, the movement off the ball; it all must be learned. It’s an adjustment. The question is, how long will it take?
Reports from pre-season reveal that Flowers is improving every day. And the man will work at it. Flowers was a first-round draft pick. The lineman was selected 9th overall in the 2015 draft. Unlike Solder, who went in the 1st round of the 2011 draft, Flowers has not yet lived up to his hype, his expectations, or what his size implies he can do: block.
That said, Flowers is dedicated. He is optimistic. He believes in himself and loves the game of football. He will do whatever it takes to play and play well.
I like a kid with heart. And I like that the New York Giants are not giving up on a kid who is still young and filled with potential. but will Flowers bloom in the right tackle position?
Ya never know.