The New York Giants signed veteran offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse as a free agent during the offseason to provide depth along the line. No one could have known how quickly that signing would be tested, with Newhouse getting the first shot to step into the starting lineup after Will Beatty went down during OTAs with a torn pectoral muscle.
"I knew that I've seen a lot happen and I knew that when you're on a team and you're in a position like I'm in a position you always need to be ready," Newhouse said during mandatory minicamp.
"I know what my role was intended on being, but I knew I was going to be ready. I knew that somewhere down the line there was going to be an opportunity. That's just how this works, there's too much attrition."
Let's take a closer look at the 26-year-old Newhouse as we continue our series of player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2014 Season in Review
Newhouse played in 15 games for the Cincinnati Bengals, with five starts. Newhouse played 373 snaps shuffline between right and left tackle, and ended the season with a -11.6 Pro Football Focus grade. He gave up only two sacks, but still scored -8.4 in pass blocking. Newhouse was -3.8 as a run blocker, per PFF. A 2010 fifth-round pick, Newhouse spent the first four seasons of his career with the Green Bay Packers.
2015 Season Outlook
With Beatty down, Newhouse lined up as the Giants' starting right tackle throughout OTAs and mandatory minicamp. Whether he stays there is anybody's guess. Offensive line coach Pat Flaherty said during minicamp that "I don't know if I'm comfortable" with Newhouse in the starting lineup. Brandon Mosley got second-team snaps at right tackle during minicamp.
"It's [the starter] gonna come from one of those two guys I believe right now," Flaherty said.
The veteran offensive line coach also mentioned the possibility of returning Justin Pugh, penciled in at left guard, to the right tackle spot he manned the past two seasons.
Newhouse, who has 36 starts in 62 NFL games, said he "didn't have any preconceived notions" when Beatty got hurt and isn't counting on anything.
"Nothing's set in stone until Week 1 against the Cowboys," he said.
Newhouse is amicable and well-spoken. He knows there are those who doubt his ability to step into the lineup and play well for the Giants.
"I have high standards for myself, I always have. There are definitely times when I didn't play up to my standards. and the team's standards." Newhouse said. "At the same time I was on good teams and I was a big part of helping teams win a lot of games.
"I know I'm an asset. I know that I'm better than I was. That's just the maturity part of playing football. Guys who assert themselves can definitely improve, and I feel like I'm on that track."
Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo was in Green Bay with Newhouse.
"Marshall has played a little bit of everywhere. I was with him in the past when he first got into the league. He has played just about every position. I believe he even snapped the ball at one point. He is a smart guy. He gets the game. He is very nimble-footed," McAdoo said. "We need to get some pads on and get out there and get a look at him with the defense moving and be physical. He has done it before and he has done it at a high level before and he will have an opportunity to be a major contributor this year."
Newhouse said his familiarity with McAdoo was "definitely a factor" in choosing to sign with the Giants.
"Everyone is looking for familiarity, I think on both ends. But also I think it was familiarity with a similar type organization the Giants are to Green Bay. Old-school, class organizations. They respect guys who come to work and are disciplined. There's just one way to do it around here, they expect winning," Newhouse said.
Newhouse believes he is still getting better as a player and that he can, indeed, help the Giants be a winning team.
"This is a place where I felt like I was going to be able to improve with a strength and conditioning staff and just being in a place where they definitely wanted me and felt like I had a place here," Newhouse said.
"The bottom line is that it's about winning, and being an asset to win. I feel like I can do that."
We are about to find out if he's right.