Who will be the New York Giants' backup offensive linemen in 2009? It isn't a sexy topic, but we have spent time looking at other positions, and this is one where I do believe there are some questions.
- T Guy Whimper
- T/C Adam Koets
- T Andrew Carnahan
- G/T Kevin Boothe
- T Cliff Louis
- G/T Terrance Pennington
- G Tutan Reyes
- G/T Orrin Thompson
- T Will Beatty.
We know that, when the starting five is healthy, the Giants have one of the best offensive lines in football. In fact, some people will tell you that it is the best in the NFL. Knock on wood the line has been healthy the past two seasons. A key injury or two, though, and all bets are off.
So, if any of the starters go down, who will the Giants be turning to in an effort to plug the gap, and continue to create holes for running backs and keep Eli Manning in one piece?
Beatty, of course, is a lock to make the team. He was drafted in the second round, and the Giants hope he is their franchise left tackle of the future. They also hope he doesn't have to play much, if at all, as a rookie.
Boothe was the primary fill-in at tackle last season after Whimper was put on IR with a foot injury. He is probably serviceable at guard, but the 6-foot-5, 315-pounder showed last season he is overmatched at the tackle slot. Because he has experience at multiple positions, though, Boothe should make the team.
Reyes is a 10-year veteran the Giants signed to replace veteran backup Gray Reugamer, who was not re-signed. Unless he shows that he has nothing left in the tank, he will make the team.
Koets has been working as the backup center throughout the spring and summer, a new position for him. If he can handle center that, theoretically, means Koets could play anywhere on the line in an emergency. The thought of Koets, a sixth-round pick in 2007 who has played in one meaningless game, playing center gives me agita. Right now, you would think Koets makes the team. I am hoping for the Giants to pick up a proven backup center near the beginning of the regular season, however.
Whimper is the only other player you would think has a real shot at making the team. Before he missed last season with a foot injury the Giants were hoping he might one day develop into a starter. Now, unless the Giants somehow keep 10 linemen he likely has to beat out Boothe or hope for an injury to give him a shot at a roster spot.
As for the rest of those guys, they are likely pretty much just training camp bodies. If any of them impress maybe one or two could sneak on to the practice squad, but that's about it.