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Can Giants' James Brewer capitalize on opportunity?

James Brewer
James Brewer

James Brewer started the season expecting to compete with David Diehl and Justin Pugh for the right tackle job. That changed when Brewer spent most of training camp and the preseason filling in at right guard for Chris Snee, rehabbing from offseason hip surgery.

When center David Baas hurt his knee in preseason and Kevin Boothe moved to center, Brewer started the season-opener at left guard. He started a game at right guard in place of Snee in Week 4. Since then he has seen most of his time as the jumbo tight end.

Now, Brewer, a third-year player is back at left guard. Jim Cordle, starting at center since Baas went on IR, is now on IR himself. Boothe is back at center and Brewer is in the lineup at left guard for the foreseeable future.

"I think that's kind of the plan that Flats (offensive line coach Pat Flaherty) has for the younger guys, including myself, as far as preparing to play at more than just one position," Brewer said. "When Jimmy (Cordle) got banged up and they needed me at left guard I was prepared for that."

Brewer played pretty well Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, getting a +2.3 grade from Pro Football Focus in 45 snaps. He allowed no pressure on Eli Manning in 25 pass-blocking snaps, and scored a +2.1 in run run-blocking.

"When you look at film you always look at technique things so you always see things that you can improve on," Brewer said. "It's pretty much impossible to play a perfect game, there are always things you can improve on."

A fourth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, this might be Brewer's best chance to show that he can be a fixture in the Giants' plans.

"My plan is to just make the most of it and play well. I've already played before. I started against Dallas that first game and I played against Kansas City at right guard, so I've already done it," Brewer said. For me, it's just to show the coaching staff that I'm the right guy for the job.

"There's no do or die for me, it's just competing and going out there and doing my best."

Baas and Snee seem unlikely to be brought back by the Giants in 2014, though anything remains possible. If Brewer shows he can hold down spot on the line -- and one good game isn't proof -- that would be one less spot for the Giants to worry about going forward.