We have speculated quite a bit this off-season about what the New York Giants' offensive line will look like in 2010. Well, we can stop. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride clarified the picture during a meeting with reporters following Thursday's final mini-camp practice.
Provided everyone is healthy, it comes down to this. It is left guard Rich Seubert vs. left tackle Will Beatty for one spot. Either the line will remain as it has for the past few seasons, or Beatty will outplay Seubert in training camp, earn the left tackle job and push David Diehl into Seubert's guard slot.
"It is the best five guys playing. So it is not that Will would beat out David at left tackle, it is can Will play well enough at left tackle that you would move David in? But he is really beating out Rich Seubert - that is who he is beating out. And whether that will happen or not remains to be seen" said Gilbride. "Has Will played well? He has played real well. He has had a good spring. And that is good to see. But you are beating out a guy that may be the heart and soul of your offensive group. As I mentioned before, he is not surrendering that position without a fight. That is not going to happen."
Beatty, a second-round pick from Connecticut a year ago, played much more as a rookie than anticipated due to injuries to right tackle Kareem McKenzie. He relished the experience.
"i proved myself, working hard and I showed to the coaches that they can trust me going on the field during my rookie season, going on the field and filling a spot. That was a good feeling."
There wasn't any 'oh, no don't pick me. It was hands raised, waving Please Pick Me.'
This season Beatty knows the coaching staff could pick him to be the first new full-time starter on the offensive line since the current group was put together in 2007.
"That's what you want. Having the coaches say you're up, it's your turn," Beatty said. "That's why I am in the NFL -- to play. Everyone wants to have that opportunity."
Beatty said the competition does not affect his relationship with any of the current linemen.
"They know that I am here willing to work at whatever spot coach puts me at. There was never any animosity between me and the starting line," Beatty said. "They are competitive, and that's what you want out of your teammates, that's what you look for to get better."
As a second-year player, Beatty said increased familiarity with the offense is a huge advantage.
"The more you know the better prepared you are to face your opponent," Beatty said. "That was really my goal this off-season, just prepare, make sure I kept a notebook with me at all times jotting down those little things that might not be in the playbook, but things you need to know on the field to help you out."
Beatty also said he is continuing to learn from the Giants' veteran linemen.
"Their mental attitude toward the game, towards practice and towards preparation is just something that I've never really seen," Beatty said. "So, I'm still learning a lot more from them -- how to maintain your body through the regular season and, hopefully, on to the post-season."
If you have not listened to last night's show -- and if you haven't, what is your excuse? -- click on the player below. You will notice that I had very few questions during the Beatty interview, which was an intentional decision Pat and I made. Beatty is a young player who already knows Pat, so we thought that was the best approach. I thought it was a great interview.