With the Giants having agreed to a one-year deal with ex-San Diego Charger offensive tackle Shane Olivea, I reached out to the folks over at the popular Chargers blog, Bolt Talk, to get the scoop on the newest Giant.
The review I got back on Olivea is a mixed one. Talented and versatile, but some questions about his work ethic. Anyway, here it is.
Olivea's a 7th rounder from Ohio State, drafted in '04 by the Chargers. Was thought of as a guard initially (could still play there in the end) but surprisingly won a tackle job in '04 and hung onto it. Tolerably good pass blocker with short arms, has trouble with real speed rushers (did succeed in holding Dwight Freeney to one sack in '04, one in '05 and one in '07 per game played). Had a very nasty attitude and hung on like a bull dog; joke among the Charger bloggers is that in '04/05 interview, he would imagine the person he was blocking had abused his mother and that would fire him up. Solid run blocker. Is prone to some mental mistakes but not many. Rewarded with big contract after '05 season, after that started to get lazy (got into partying and drugs). Lost job in '07 after it was believed he didn't care about working ahrd and improving (something hard to believe just a few years earlier). Is getting the help he needed. Solid player with ok attitude.
This sounds like a bit of a gamble by GM Jerry Reese. If it works out, the Giants have another versatile, experienced backup for their offensive line. Especially as a tackle, Olivea could be useful if he comes in with a good attitude. I can't imagine Olivea's contract will be for huge money, though, so if the Giants don't like what they see when camp opens cutting Olivea wouldn't be a big thing.