So after it's been confirmed that Chris Snee played through injury this season I think we need to reevaluate the issue that was the offensive line this season. I for one will not make any excuses for the ability, or lack there of for the run games woes this past season. But let's take a look at the starters.
David Diehl- Confirmed that he played with a broken hand during the season.
Chris Snee- Offseason Elbow surgery procedure.
David Baas- Missed several games this season with neck and other issues.
William Beatty- Missed the 2nd half of the season with a detached retina. Put on IR.
Kareem MacKenzie- Released in the offseason following the Super Bowl. No reports on if he was suffering any injuries. However PFF had him graded among the best RTs in the league in 2010 and he took a tremendous fall in 2011 from what we all got used to in 2010. I'd put my money on that he had his ailments.
Some injuries, guys attempt to play through like say for instance our very own Justin Tuck. But as we all could see this year Justin was not his usual self. He struggled mightily throughout the season. Heck the dude even called himself out for his play. He did not perform up to expectations for most of the season. But at the end of the regular season it seemed as if Tuck got healthy. His game certainly elevated and he was the player we are accustomed to watching on Sundays and throughout the playoffs.
Now getting back to where this started. Several Giants fans have been clamoring for an infusion of talent on the Oline. Petrus should be ready to step up and start at guard. Brewer may not be ready for a starters spot quite yet either, but he is on his way. Some may point to the obvious fact that these players were not "1st" round products and won't be that good. However the Giants normally groom later round draft picks into viable starters in the future. If the line returns healthy we may not actually need to worry about the position as much. Sure they are getting older, we all are and we have 8 picks in this draft. At least one will be used on the line but unless a top guy falls in round 1 we will look to bolster another area on the team.
I believe that if this unit can stay healthy and not have to be reshuffled for long stretches of the season that they will become much more fluid and capable in 2012. The running game did look better in the playoffs and the line as a whole played much better during that time period as well. Save for the San Fran game, but sometimes the other unit is just superior and in that match up it was clearly obvious that the 49ers had an elite front 7. The Giants will not make any drastic moves as we have no cap space to sign a lineman worth more than the leagues veteran minimum.