The New York Giants drafted James Brewer in the fourth round in 2011, expecting him to be a long-term project who might one day become an important pieces of their offensive line. This past offseason, general manager Jerry Reese indicated it was time for Brewer to pay some dividends on the Giants' investment, saying "It's time for him to get in there and play."
With injuries to starting offensive linemen David Diehl and David Baas, it should not then be looked at as any sort of surprise that the Giants have finally appeared to settle on a re-configured line that includes Brewer, now entering his third NFL season.
The surprise is that Brewer is in the new starting lineup at left guard, a spot that isn't familiar to him. In fact, until this week he had spent all of his time this season on the right side at both guard and tackle.
"I wasn't on the left side at all during the summer. I haven't been on the left side since last preseason when they had me do some left tackle," Brewer said on Tuesday. "I haven't really played it (left guard) that much, but after this week, Flats (offensive line coach Ray Flaherty) feels I'm actually a natural at left as far as my footwork, technique and how I bend, so if he's confident in me, then I'm confident in it as well."
Go back in time to when the Giants made Brewer the 117th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, and you find that the Giants drafted Brewer believing he could play on the left side. Speaking about Brewer after selecting him, Reese said "he does have left tackle feet for us."
Brewer was moved into the lineup after Saturday's preseason game against the New York Jets during which Jim Cordle struggled at center. In the new lineup, normal left guard Kevin Boothe is now at center.
"We'll see how this is," head coach Tom Coughlin said of the new alignment. "He's (Brewer) naturally played tackle most of the time he's been here, but he can also play guard and he's going to have to."
Brewer played only 34 offensive snaps last season, all on the right side.
"I'm very excited to be playing left guard. Honestly, just the chance to start is big for me and whether or not I'm on the left side or right side, as long as I'm on the field," Brewer said. "I think now, I'm just kind of showing that I can do more than just one side. I can play left guard, left tackle, right guard, right tackle, so wherever they need me."
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